Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Melancholia and Truffles.


Fedillini Pasta with Parmesan and Black Winter Truffles.

Firstly, apologies for my prolonged absence are in order. The past few months have been very tiring for me. Work and it’s implacable appetite for my attention  and time was partly to be blamed. I have grown accustomed to its tedium and its abject disregard for my spiritual well being and sometimes, even my sanity. I’ve somehow managed to hunt down that elusive “me” time previously, to edit some photos, reading a few snatches from literature not related to work and to write something in my blog, which is my form of emotional catharsis.

New Year Greetings to those celebrating Chinese Lunar Year.
Since November, the already elusive “me” time has been forced into extinction by a series of cataclysmic events, not happening to me, but to some people who are very close to me. I will talk about it one day when I am well and ready, but for the time being I am still shell shocked and am still totally devastated.

Beef Crusted Wagyu from their Lunch Menu
I had the opportunity to watch “Melancholia” recently and it spoiled my entire weekend, not because it was a bad movie. On the contrary, it was morose, spartan, haunting and beautifully acted by Kirsten Dunst, whom I had little regard for as an actress until this movie. Confronted with the looming specter of earth’s destruction by a rogue planet aptly named Melancholia, the clairvoyant yet cripplingly depressed Justine was portrayed as the “sanest” and the calmest in accepting the inevitable. 

Petite Threes...
Her reaction was idoneous, being chronically depressed, she has no more expectations out of life and probably welcomed the impending apocalypse as an end to her physical existence. As she prepares her young nephew for the event, she creates the illusion of a “magic tent”. A place where they can hide and escape the calamity. In the final scene, a calm Justine, her equally calm nephew, Leo and her whimpering sister, Claire sit and hold hands in a stick tent against a backdrop of an approaching planet in the Horizon with Wagner’s Prelude to Tristan and Isolde in the background. von Trier’s vision of the Apocalypse is oppressively nihilistic, yet beautifully calm and undistracted. The increasing brightness and deafening roar of the approaching planet ends with darkness and total silence.

Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio with Black Winter Truffles
I too required a magic tent to gain a temporary respite from the inevitable calamity that will encroach on the life of my friend. It takes very special people to make me ebullient again, and my fellow diners at Sage were just that.

Perfectly Twirled Pasta... Topped with Truffles. Food Styling courtesy of CS
Dinner began with an amuse bouche of Chicken Roulade with Katsu Sauce, delightfully presented and refreshed my plate with it’s pristine taste.

Chicken Roulade with Katsu Sauce
Unlike the austere stick tent in Melancholia, mine was unabashedly hedonistic. All of the dishes came generously tented in a brownish brocade of truffles with it’s lacy grey veins. These were Himalayan Truffles which is the antonym of Chinese Truffles, which is less pungent and aromatic than the Perigords but nonetheless satisfying.

The Carpaccio of Hokaido Scallops was a beautifully rendered cold starter. Slivers of perfectly textured scallops bathed in slightly sharp and sweetish shoyu vinegar showered with winter truffles set the mood for dinner. Austere, yet satisfying without being crass, it was a reflective starter offering a tranquil repose for the agitated mind.

Boo's Pan Roasted pink Snapper with Sauce Périgueux
The pasta was breathtaking in it’s simplicity and the warmth of the cheese based sauce enhanced the beautiful aroma of the truffles. As we were seduced by this overture of beautiful aroma, we bit into the pasta with reverence, in homage to the perfect texture. The silky creaminess of the sauce was jarred by the slightly rougher texture of the truffles which reveled and continued to tease my tastebud as it made it’s way down the throat and ultimately filled my breath with it’s earthy aroma. 

The Aged Angus was a reaffirmation of my carnivorous conviction. It was the best piece of bovine pleasure I have been able to indulge in for a very long time. It was buttery soft, flavorful and perfectly medium rare. 

Aged Angus Tenderloin
The perfect ending of the meal was Mango Feuilletine that was served with Phyllo and not feuilletine flakes, served with Vanilla Ice cream and Truffles. I was surprised to find out from the owners of Deux Garçons that their beautiful Truffle Marscapone Tart was not well received by certain clients. I guess it will take some time for Malaysians to be accustomed with the idea that truffles can go well with both sweets and savories.

Mango Feulleteine with Ice Cream and Truffles
I knew long ago that life is never just a bed of roses. It will be riddled with loads of disappointments and heartaches. No matter what happens, there will be truffles and friends to cheer me up and encourage me to forge on. The Truffle Dinner at Sage will be inked into my memory forever.

N.B. I am blogging from my MacBook and am having trouble calibrating the screen’s color. If the pictures turn out funny, ping me.

Food from Sage's excellent value Truffle Tasting Menu, available till end of February.

8 comments:

Michelle Chin said...

issues calibrating your macbook? how come? i thought it was pretty straightfoward... or did you use the advanced option?

you have to agree that the events that make up one's life can sometimes shock the you out of you.

Baby Sumo said...

I was actually gonna ask u if u were using a different lens to take photos.. the colours look really nice!

J said...

*hugs*
Don't know what its all about but I hope things start getting better for u (and ur friend) really soon.

(On another note: Still can't figure out whether I like or hate Melancholia. On one hand, it's so beautiful and poignant but on the other hand I feel duped due to a really misleading blurb on the back of the DVD which made me expect a COMEDY =_=)

thenomadGourmand said...

u blogged!! * happy *
But ur sad * aww.. :( *

I know u been busy but didint knw it was also personal, sorry to hear tht :(

Kirsten Dunst was really good in Centrestage - it's a dance show btw lol.
Yea, she has more in her compared to the rest who's only reliant on their pretty face.

The angus sounds like my perfect piece of bovine too!

And the pics are perfect, as usual. no worries :)

flux said...

hi PA.....er.....u might want to leave out the apostrophes for the 2 "it's" in your opening paragraph? i'm grouching over a bill that says "licking oil" (as opposed to "leaking oil")so no offence yah if i'm being nitpicky and petty today :-)

Paranoid Android said...

@Michelle I did, and it just looks so different on my PCs.

@Babysumo Thanks, but same old, same old.

@J: Lol! They did? Have a nice holidy.

@TNG: *hugs back* Will reveal in next post.

@Flux: Thanks for spotting, correction done. Hasty, and hurried as usual. :D

Thailand Club said...

take care PA, eat well, gourmet is a therapy!

CUMI & CIKI said...

For some strange reason this last shot of the Mango Feulleteine with Ice Cream and Truffles strikes me as gothic. It looks like an interpretation of decay, death (the truffles flaking away) and life (the yellow center looks like a yolk).

Very nice! love that shot.

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