Alma-zing, inspiring and measured.

Alma

With so so many new restaurants opening every other month, it’s really darn hard to keep track of what’s new, delicious and hot. A friend told me recently that if he spent every meal eating out at every eating establishment in Singapore, even in 5 years, it would be impossible to taste everything. Perhaps!

That’s why I always rely on friends to whisper succinct reviews and clue me in. Saves me from having to burn cash on unsatisfying meals. And you know how grumpy I get when I get disappointing food.

This week, I was fortunate enough to encounter Alma. If she was a lady, I’d say she is a gentle soul, with an adventurous but focused creative spirit. Classy, yet not afraid to get herself dirty. 🙂

By Juan Amador, a decorated chef of Spanish descent, Alma provides a pleasant ride round the flavour carousel. As per their website, the creations are Spanish-European, with Asian influences. All 7 courses pulled its own weight. Even the cheeses. Yes the cheeses. I’m a simple person. Give me cheese, bread and olive oil and I’m set. Three Spanish cheeses –  a sharp, a mild and a pungent (the blue cheese) one. The last one was surprisingly smokey. I’ve never had blue cheese this smokey. And its grey-brown colour was intriguing. I have to find out exactly how it got this way.

Alma

Sous vide salmon with red wine jus, topped with snappingly crisp salmon skin and a sexy roll of jamon (YAY). I would marry jamon if I could, so I was very very happy to see it. Beautifully cooked fish that married well with the slightly tangy, acidic sauce. Throw on the jamon and skin, and my senses were just flying. Good start!

Alma

Chorizo. Three cheers for good ‘ol chorizo. All you Spaniards, you are geniuses. This was a lovely dance of the tender and chewy. The sauce was a good syrupy bed for a seafood & meat affair. I had to bug the staff for more bread so I could mop up every drop.

Alma

Pig. Again. Yes. Stop it. I’ve already admitted I am a pork fanatic. What’s new. Suckling pig, with white mustard, and three little blobs of artichoke, chickpea and something (sorry I forgot!). I find it hard to find fault with pork belly. Especially when it’s tender, and the skin done just right. 

Alma

Pigeon. Tender tender tender. One of the best pigeon dishes I’ve had the luxury of tasting. It’s so alluring. Beautifully presented, even better when floating on what Alma calls ‘purple curry’. Being the curious cat that I am, I just had to ask the staff, “What makes it purple?”. The answer was, hibiscus. So on top of the curry blend of cumin and turmeric (and mysterious spices of which I knew better than to pry), they added in ground dried hibiscus. Who would have thought. However, I still think they should call it ‘magenta curry’ instead. That’s more accurate. But that’s just the anal retentive side of me talking.

Alma

For dessert, I grilled our very helpful maître d’ about the fact that there wasn’t anything super chocolatey to satiate my (eternal) craving for the deep and dark. He managed to convince me that I should be less typical and try their ‘Brick in a wall’ and the ‘Crema Catalana’. Me being the ever challenging diner, asked him, “Are you really really sure I will enjoy it when all I can think about is chocolate cake?”, and he gave me a confident yes. How could I say no?

My verdict was a happy one. The brick turned out to be adorably shaped as a lego piece and was made of coconut. Perched on top of it was a light coriander sorbet (super yay) and accompanied on its side were super mini mango macaron drops. Refreshingly invigorating, that was how I felt. 

Alma

The crema is like a creme brulee but friendlier. At the bottom of the arty purposefully deformed cup was pineapple cubes, which was welcomed by me. I like having some tart in my desserts, to cut through the cloying sugar rush.

And just like that, my carousel ride was over. I would definitely hop on again, especially after finding out from the lovely maître d’ that since it opened 3 (or was it 4) months ago, the chef has been so inspired, he’s been reinventing and rejigging the menu ever so often. There has been 12 menu changes thus far. That my friends, is a sign of a truly inspired chef.

Alma
Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Singapore 228221


Posted on 23rd Oct 2015 in Uncategorized

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