Chef Daniel’s Kitchen @ Illuma

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For those follows the local television, Channel U and Channel 8 specifically, Chef Daniel Koh would not be a stranger to you. He has appeared in many culinary shows aired in both Channel U and Channel 8 alike.

I have been to Illuma a couple of time but never once I went to roof level. Being the sua-gu (Hokkien for Mountain Tortoise, to describe someone unlearn or ignorant) that I am, I was pretty amazed that there is a restaurant up there.

Chef Daniel’s Kitchen recently went through some minor renovation work. It is now elegant, classy with a touch of mod to it. But the restaurant is not the only thing that is new, Chef Daniel has also prepared a new menu.

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This did not do much to me, I was not particularly excited about this dish. The Parma Ham wrapped asparagus was good because there was a counterbalance in the taste of the sweet asparagus and the salty parma ham. Apart from that, the fried button mushrooms and truffle was simple.

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This dish is when Chef Daniel starts to show his skills. The Pan Roasted Tuna Steak was great. The cracked pepper and cumin added a tangy spice to fresh sweet tuna that was cooked to perfection. The bed of vegetables cooked with a white wine butter sauce had a aromatic curry flavor. What I liked about this dish was how seamless all the elements were. Each one of them a prelude to another.

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Next up was Oven Baked Spring Chicken served with seasonal vegetable, air-flown mushrooms, potatoes, truffles and white wine. The chicken was marinated through and was bursting with so much flavors. And often, oven baked chicken tends to turn out dry and flaky, this one was tender and juicy. The sauce/soup at the base was comforting and I wished they have that as a consomme.

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This is one of the most incredible lamb shank I’ve had so far. The Stewed Spring Lamb Shank was so tender, I had difficulty transferring it to my plate without it crumbling aparting. The taste of the lamb was fantastic as well. Having stewed in Chinese Rose wine and Red Wine, the flavors were full bodied, wholesome and really satidfying. The spicy rose wine added some personality to otherwise mellow red wine. The lamb was simply just incredible.20120421-213053.jpg

After the Lamb Shank, I thought we would have reached the climax of the menu, then came theU.S. Kurobuta Pork Cutletserved with White Pepper sauce and Pineapple Sauce Though the asthetics of the cutlet was not exactly the best looking among the dishes serve, but the taste is definitely top notch. This is one pork cutlet with 3 different taste.

The original prok cutlet has a slight smokey taste and had an undescribable flavor to it. The pork wasn’t too tender, it was slightly firm and had a very good bite to it. If you add the fiery white pepper sauce, it gives a whole new taste to it. Saunders from six-and-seven, pointed out that it was very similar to Bah Kut Teh. Personally I liked the Pineapple sauce better. The sugary sweet, slightly tart, pineapple sauce enhanced the natural sweetness of the pork, while giving a contrast to the savory crust. The hint of cinnamon in the sauce gave the whole dish an extra oomph..

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The last and final main was the Angel hair pasta in Tamarind Reduction. Its a simple looking pasta with a really awesome flavor. The pasta, Al Dente, was coated with a thick and flavorful Tamarind reduction. The tamarind reduction is a perfect tripartite of Sweet, Salty and Sour. Its not something any tomato based sauce can recreate.

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I am a huge sucker for desserts and I was looking forward to the Crepe Suzette. The staff demonstrated the preparation of this dessert right in front of us. That alone was a spectacular. This dessert is not all show and no substance. The crepe was smooth, slightly chewy. It was coated with an orange reduction made from sugar, orange juice and Grand Marnier.  The citrus flavors were strong but not overwhelming.

The menu that Chef Daniel planned was relentless in its attack of flavors and techniques.  Though the start was lukewarm, it hike to a climax by the third course.  There are no gimmicks here, only skills, techniques and experience. I truly enjoyed my time at Chef Daniel’s Kitchen.

Chef Daniel’s Kitchen is located at

201 Victoria St, 188067

201 Victoria Street
Illuma, #07-05
Singapore 188067
Tel: 6509 9888

They are opened from 1130am to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm everyday.

Check out their Facebook page for updates on promotions and contest

Post notes: #AnythingAlsoEat would like to thank Jenny, Daryl, Roy and Chef Daniel for the invite.  Also like to extend the appreciation towards the boys of  six-and-seven for arranging this tasting. Thanks!

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