[Michelin 1 Star ★] Alma by Juan Amador: Elegant Food for all Souls [Food Review]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with Snapseed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with Snapseed.[Alma by Juan Amador has just been awarded one Michelin Star from the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016!]

Nestled within the compounds of Goodwood Park Hotel is Alma by Juan Amador serving Asian-inspired Spanish-European cuisine. Alma, Spanish for ‘Soul’ provides a fine dining experience in a laid-back ambience with professional service.

The dinner menu offers a 6-course (SGD 138 ++) and a 8-course (SGD178 ++) option with a choice of wine pairing.

In celebration of the restaurant being awarded a Michelin Star, each diner is entitled to a glass of J. De Telmont Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne, 2005.

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8-course + Wine Pairing

Some light snacks are served before the start of the meal. The ‘platter’ arrived looking like a piece of art, so exquisitely arranged. It is recommended to start with the appetising tomato meringue, followed by the beef tartare and sable. The flavours intensified subtly with each bite of the snacks.

Tomato Meringue | Buffala | Black Olive Jam | Truffle
Beef Tartare | Miso Mustard | Beef Floss | Coriander
Sablé| Blueberry | Fermented Garlic | Goat Cheese

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Moving on, the Egg Cocotte is served as the amuse bouche, with a creamy and custard-liked texture and a side of crispy mushroom chips.

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An intrigued-looking rucksack came along with the egg cocotte. In the brown bag, there were Potato Breads with coffee bits on the surface. The condiment made of parmesan, butter and garlic tasted well with the breads with its smooth and light texture. What’s amazing is that inside the bag are stones which are really hot. This is so to keep the breads warm even if they are left on the table for long. A very considerate thought from the chef indeed!

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The first course was the Foie Gras with lychee, sorrel, cauliflower sorbet and two slices of toasted brioche. The sweeter lychee complemented the creamy foie gras while the sorbet added a cooling touch to the overall feel.

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One of the interesting dish went to this plate of Lamb Tartare. Instead of the usual beef tartare, Alma’s take of the lamb tartare presented something citrusy with a spicy punch on the palate. Together with the charcoal bread, sweet tomato chutney and herbs, it was an explosion of flavours in the mouth.

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The Hokkaido Scallop came with leeks and green apple puree while poured on the side was the ginger root sauce with spanner crab flesh. Seafood lovers would love this as you could taste the bits of the crab in the sauce and the scallops were succulent with bite.

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Don’t be fooled by this Crispy Tofu, an unusual dish served in Alma, which I would have expected to only appear in a Chinese restaurant. The foie gras sauce on the side added substance to the simple tofu whereas the wild mushrooms on top provided some crunch and juiciness. You can even taste a little bit of spice. It was surprisingly delectable.

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I particularly enjoyed the Kingfish Belly, especially the perfectly fried crispy skin and fried onion.

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The highlight of the meal is this Ham and Cheese Sandwich filled with suckling pig and manchego, finished off with Manjimup truffles. The interior was moist with flavourful meat while the edges of the toasted bread gave a light crunch.

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The Australian Blackmore Wagyu of Marbling Score 7, featured a pinkish interior, tender and juicy. Grilled over binchotan, the taste of the beef impressed with hints of smokiness and charred. The broccoli served on the side, was seasoned in vinegar and ginger to complement the meaty dish. On the plate was also endives, roasted onions and the sauce was yuzu kosho which lightly enhanced the flavours of the beef.

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Before moving on to desserts, this was served to cleanse the palate. Crack the hard caramelised sugar on top and mix it with the basil and rhubarb espuma beneath. It was sourish and good to have after the beef.

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Desserts came in the form of meticulous plating again with two types of ice cream: truffle and chocolate, on a bed of chocolate crumbs. I could savour faint hints of truffles with truffle bits in the truffle ice cream. As for the chocolate ice cream, it was satisfyingly smooth and rich.

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The Petit Four showcased several interesting light bites to end off the meal on a sweet note. From the right, there was the Apple Bon Bon with salted caramel, bread ice cream with gula melaka caramel and pear puree and lastly a canele.

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The wine pairing included tea as well. This was the peppermint tea from Jing.

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Overall, Alma by Juan Amador serves up good sophisticated dishes with the incorporation of well thought-out ingredients. Several dishes have an asian element in them through the clever use of local flavours. The environment is cosy with friendly services too. Surely, it is well-worth the michelin star.

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Alma by Juan Amador

Goodwood Park Hotel

22 Scotts Road

Singapore 228221

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