Matteo Ortenzi has always loved cars and food. Since moving to Singapore last April, the adventurous Asia-Pacific CEO of Automobili Lamborghini has tried local fare such as chilli crab, chicken rice and prata. For our Power Lunch, we dined at one-Michelin-starred Corner House. Helmed by one of Singapore’s top culinary talents, chef Jason Tan, it is also ranked 49 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list.
Our table on the upper floor air-conditioned balcony of the colonial bungalow was the best spot to enjoy a relaxing meal in cool comfort, surrounded by Singapore Botanic Gardens’ lush foliage awashed in sunshine. Between sips of a crisp NV Guy Charlemagne Rosé Brut champagne, Matteo shared that he was “not really a dessert person” or a fan of complicated dishes, but as the three-course lunch progressed, he was impressed by Tan’s creativity in bringing out the best in the ingredients.
“The sequence of eating the amuse-bouches went from savoury to sweet-savoury to sweet; it’s like a smooth ride on our Lamborghini,” he quipped, marvelling at the ingenious transition that primed our palettes for the rest of the meal. The oyster appetiser also earned kudos for its creative pairing with cucumber, yuzu kosho, fresh cream and caviar.
“Normally, I prefer eating oyster on its own, because the taste is already so strong. But this is very refreshing,” he said.
The Iberico pork cheek main course was Matteo’s favourite for its tender and flavourful meat. And despite earlier declarations of not having a sweet tooth, he polished off the dessert — Tan’s unique interpretation of kaya toast with kaya parfait between shortbread cookies coupled with a pineapple sorbet. The meal ended with three types of petits fours: salted egg macaroons, rosemary and olive oil madeleines, and jackfruit mochi. Matteo said: “The dishes were complex but well balanced, with a fine quality of food. I’m going to bring my wife here!
“A dish I love is La Pergola’s fagotelli carbonara, a pasta stuffed with liquid egg and cheese. Imagine this: You’re on the terrace at the top of a hill, with Rome in front of you, and when you put the pasta in your mouth… Words cannot describe the incredibly magical feeling.”
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“In Panarea, one of the small islands off Sicily’s northern coast, you can close your eyes and choose any restaurant, and you’ll taste real Mediterranean cuisine, where you can feel the sea in your mouth. Dishes such as pani cunzatu (seasoned bread) and seafood are very simple and basic, but the taste is amazing.”
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