Founder of Leonica K Trichology, Leonica Kei, tells us some of her best culinary experiences over the years.
The Gyu Bar
Though she usually opts for a light noontime snack to tide her through the workday, Leonica gamely agrees to review the new 10-course omakase menu at The Gyu Bar, located within Accor Hotels’ integrated lifestyle hub along Stevens Road — also home to two hotels, Novotel Singapore on Stevens and Mercure Singapore on Stevens. The beef-centric selection, offered for dinner, features premium cuts sourced from the Kumamoto Wa-Oh breed, prepared in up to eight different ways.
“This may be small, but it’s greatfor me — I like variety, but I always find I can’t handle the portion size,” Leonica remarks about the signature starter, the Uni Yukke Cone, packed with fresh Japanese uni and beef tartare. “It’s a nice feeling, to want more rather than having eaten too much.”
After a selection of cold and hot appetisers, the star of the show makes its entrance: a platter of jock roll, top rump, rib-eye and misuji slices, which are grilled on the spot. “I like a bit of marbling, so I go for the fatty cuts, such as the belly,” Leonica says. “Among the cuts here, there are subtle differences: The jock roll, for instance, has a lot more marbling, while the top rump has more texture and a fuller body. The variety is definitely a plus; you get to taste more just one cut of beef.”
“I enjoy good company more than just the food itself.”
Making the Cut
“When it comes to Michelin-starred restaurants, ambience and quality of service are always considerations. Tin Lung Heen in the The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is so different from the typical bustling and busy Chinese restaurant — it’s quiet and the food presentation is excellent. In particular, the Iberico pork char siew has a great flavour with a fragrant smokiness.”
Most Memorable Meal
“We dined at La Tour d’Argent in Paris with friends from Thailand about a decade ago — it had a six-month wait list, but we managed to get a table at the last minute. This famous spot is known for its iconic pressed duck. The staff would demonstrate to diners how they press a duck — bones included — flat with a special machine that drains the juices, which is used to prepare the sauce the duck is later served with. And diners are given certificates to take home.We were taken on a tour of the restaurant’s basement wine cellar too. It’s huge, with a 3,500-bottle collection entirely comprised of French wines — the restaurant’s very proud of its heritage.”
Hair & makeup: Benedict Choo