This month we put Melissa Koh of food blog Melicacy on the boiler at En Japanese Dining Bar @ Alocassia. We get the scoop on how much this petite blogger with the big appetite can really eat.
Who: Melissa Koh (melicacy.com)
Blogging for: Three years. Blog’s name means delicacy from Mel’s perspective.
Weapon of choice: Canon 7D with a 50mm “food photography lens” .
Ultimate comfort food: Fish head steamboat from Nan Hwa Chong (808/812/814/816 North Bridge Road). “I last went (checks Instagram) eight weeks ago. I love fish.”
Will spit out: Raw celery.
On the bucket list: “To visit France. I enjoy foie gras and French cooking techniques. Another dream is to eat JoÃƒ «l Robuchon’s mashed potatoes.”
Most delicious moment of 2014: “Hilton Tokyo’s teppanyaki in March. The prawn was alive when set on a grill. It was still wriggling, huge and fresh.”
On eating competitively: “After Roadhouse’s Terminator Challenge, I saw stars because I ate too fast (16 minutes). I was not prepared as it was my first time.”
On her appetite: “Since young, I could never decide what to order. So I would order many dishes, and my appetite gradually grew.”
On cooking: “I’m the only one who cooks in my family. I’ve made sausages from scratch (by UK chef Tim Ross-Watson) about 10 times. It’s tedious but I remember the steps by heart and I play around with the ingredients each time.”
On kitchen accidents: “I once suffered a major burn on my thigh after a pot handle broke at home. I was in the hospital for weeks and had to undergo surgery.”
THE BUFFET: Queen Crab & Seafood & A La Carte Buffet at En Japanese Dining Bar @ Alocassia ($68++; daily 6-11.30pm, Sat-Sun, PH 12pm-3pm)
Time of visit: 13 August, 6.30pm
Strategy: “Before a tasting, I’ll eat fruit like watermelon or papaya to aid digestion. I start with dessert, something sweet, to perk up my appetite. Orange juice during the meal helps to cut the richness. Then, sashimi, something plain, before the flavoursome cooked dishes, and soup. I’ll revisit my favourites when the craving hits.”
Best dish: The crab croquette. “I can’t find such a creamy version elsewhere.”
On freshness: “This aspect makes or breaks Japanese food. It’s good here, especially the scallop and the prawn.”
Shouldn’t have ordered: “The soft shell crab wasn’t spectacular, as well as the ebi fry, which had a thick and hard coat. The tako harumaki (deepfried beef and cheese spring rolls) was too filling.”
Pleasant surprise: “Unagi fried rice. The rice is well-coated with the sweet and salty flavour of the sauce. The Japanese rice is plump with bite.”
On the Ãƒ la carte concept: “Food is fresher, arrives hot and is not left out for a long time. I also like having the hotpot on the table. Initially, the dishes arrived before they finished taking our order on the iPad. Later when the restaurant was full, we had to keep asking for our orders, like wagyu (Australian, grade 5) for the hotpot, and California temaki. The service staff are quite hard to get a hold of, so it would be good if they could put an iPad at each table.”
How many BiTES?
Value for money: 4/5