Food trends in 2019: Texture, pairing and plating are some of the biggest focusses in the culinary scene in Singapore

2019, InterContinental Culinary Council

Eating out? Top restaurants in Singapore aren’t just plating #Instaworthy meals but also pushing for smarter pairing techniques

The culinary scene in Singapore continues to see more luxury restaurants loosening their grip on the formalities of fine-dining. Forget stiff, white tablecloth service, fine dining can now be fun. And head’s up: Earning a Michelin star or providing impeccable service aren’t the only considerations for today’s discerning gourmands.

chef Eric Neo, chef de cuisine Sebastian Reischer, chef Chelsea Logan, Claudio Russo
From left: Chef Reischer from InterContinental Bangkok; Claudio Russo, bar manager at Publico Ristorante; chef Logan from InterContinental Sydney Double Bay; and chef Neo, who overseas all restaurants in both InterContinental hotels in Singapore

Take it from local celebrated chef Eric Neo who oversees all restaurants in both InterContinental hotels in Singapore, chef de cuisine Sebastian Reischer from Fireside Grill & Bar in InterContinental Bangkok and chef Chelsea Logan, who leads the pastry team at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay. The trio came together to shine the spotlight on innovative preparation techniques, all of which are predicted to play an even more significant role in the kitchens of fine dining establishments in the year to come.

Texture Is Everything

According to chef Neo, texture in food holds more value than ever in this time and age. “Gourmands now look forward to small, little surprises in their food, and this is where unique textures can really come to play,” says Neo. Case in point: chef Neo uses a soda siphon to infuses grapes with Champagne and nitrogen, giving the grapes an effervescent effect and a slight fizz on the tongue.

Strategic Pairing Techniques

Pastry chef Logan predicts that smart pairing techniques will come in handy for dessert creators like her next year. She joined hands with Claudio Russo, bar manager at Publico Ristorante to whip up a refreshing dessert-cocktail combination.

Both created their own renditions of the classic gin and tonic — chef Logan’s version takes the form of lime curd paired with gin jelly, tonic rocks, juniper meringue and lemon sorbet while Russo’s Gin Fusion is a play of citrus and sweet notes with a tangy dash of ginger. Here, Logan proves that a well-concocted cocktail can easily elevate a simple palate cleanser to wondrous levels.

Expensive Ingredients Alone Aren’t Enough

“It’s crucial for your food to look appealing, but more importantly, you need to find the suitable visual for each dish. If the appearance doesn’t match well with the flavours of the dish, the entire dish may fall flat,” says chef Reischer.

He also foresees that fine dining will be made more affordable in the near future. “The spending habits of gourmands have changed over the years. They’re no longer just interested in putting their money on the most expensive dish or cocktail. The use of ingredients may be fairly simple, but it’s the techniques that you awe them with,” says Reischer.

One can argue that food is increasingly looking like the fashion industry. Trends come and go, but you’ll see a repeated cycle in time to come. Perhaps one day, less will once again become more, but in the mean time, here’s to pretty plates and dishes that take us by surprise.