Asparagus with Oxtail Ravioli $26 from Bistro Du Vin
Singaporeans are not used to thinking about foods seasonally because we get produce from all over the world so we almost forget that most fruits and vegetables are only available for a certain part of the year. The big exception is of course Durians. But even then, durians are now almost available throughout the year but we all know that it is during the peak that they are at their cheapest and best.
White Asparagus is in season now and is considered a delicacy in Europe. White Asparagus and is actually the same plant as the green Asparagus except that it is grown with a mound of dirt piled on top of it so that it is not exposed to sunlight and allow thechlorophyllto develop. This results in an Asparagus with a delicate woody flavour and a texture that is more tender and almost creamy.
I tried a few different white aparagus dishes at Bistro Du Vin and decided that my favourite was the Asparagus with the Oxtail Ravioli. I guess I am a little partial to oxtail but I find the combination of the beefy flavour of the oxtail and the woody earthy flavours of the white asparagus particularly pleasing.
White Asparagus with Hollandaise and Melted Butter $26from Magma
Over at German restaurant, Magma, they will tell you that the White Asparagus or Spargels as they are called in Germany, hold a special place in the hearts of Germans much more than they do in France. Every German looks forward to the start of Spargel season as much as Singaporeans would for Durian season. They love it so much that they have Spargelfests and Spargel peeling competitions. The owner of Magma, tells me that he would eat three portions of Spargels everyday when it is in season. With a twinkle in his eye, he quipps that he believes it is an aphrodisiac. I guess a large Spargel does have a phallic shape and it is understandable why people might think that eating it would enhance one’s manhood (wonder what it does for women?).
Magma imports Spagels from Beelitz, one of the famous regions in Germany that grows the vegetable. The sandy soil there which was a result of therecedingice caps during the last ice age is especially good for cultivating Spagels.
The German Spagels were larger and had better texture than the French ones but between the French and the German I think that I prefer the French way of eating it. However, if you really want to appreciate the taste of the Spagels, then the classic German way of eating it with Hollandaise or melted butter with potatoes is the way to go.
At $26 for four sticks of Asparagus, these would probably be one of the most expensive side veggies around (not counting truffles and other mushrooms of course). I would personally prefer to use the money to buy Mao Shan Wang Durians, but that is only because I am born Singaporean. I am sure the Germans would feel the same way about their Asparagus.
Bistro Du Vin
1 Scotts Road
Tel: +65 6733 7763