In Singapore’s challenging dining environment, crossing the one year mark is not always conceivable. Yet, there are those who are striding confidently past their 10th anniversary. Iggy’s, a 14-year fine-dining veteran by sommelier Ignatius Chan, is one. After a successful two-year run with chef Aitor Jeronimo, during which the restaurant clinched its first Michelin star in 2017, Iggy’s recently welcomed Portuguese native, Helio Goncalves, as head chef. The former head chef of Boca Restaurant and Blue Lotus Grill spent the last 10 months as sous chef and his debut Gastronomic Menu ($235++) at the kitchen’s helm features a mix of old signatures and new-to-Iggy’s dishes.
Befitting its status as a Michelin-starred fine diner, a meal here is incomplete without a “bejewelled” course and to kick things off, the dish of hiramasa (farmed yellowtail kingfish or amberjack) ticks the right boxes of extravagance – a tongue of Murasaki uni and a clump of caviar served atop a mound of chopped hiramasa.
Goncalves flexes his Portuguese heritage in his take on Brás-style cod fish – shredded cod tripes tossed with fried onions, egg yolk, scrambled eggs, fried potato chips, olives and chopped parsley topped with chunks of chewy salted cod fish. An exercise in rusticity indeed but to remind you that you’re not enjoying petiscos (tapas) in a tascas (tavern), the Portuguese chef injects a drizzle of kabayaki sauce made from cod fish bones and blankets it with delicate shavings of Alba white truffle ($8 to $10 per gram).
Building on the restaurant’s former rice dishes, Goncalves also serves a carabinero bomba rice dish. This one arrives enrobed in the deep-red colour and savoury-briny flavours of the reduced broth from the head and shell of the shellfish. Crowning the dish is the carabinero itself, with smidgens of squid ink aioli and tiny sprigs sea plants to buffer the richness of the shellfish.
A highlight of the current Gastronomic Menu at Iggy’s is the returning collagen-rich dish “pork noodles”. Gleaned from the pig’s skin, the udon-like see-through “noodles” bask in a light and peppery iberico broth that is not unlike our bak kut teh but more refined, but this one brings it up a notch with a wedge of jade abalone.
For mains, you pick from a choice of pigeon or Kagoshima wagyu. The pigeon, I hear, is off the charts but, being a fan of Kagoshima wagyu, it feels wrong to decline this wonderfully marbled slab that is paired here with chanterelles, textures of Jerusalem artichoke and a profoundly savoury black truffle jus. A classic indeed but one can’t go wrong with this, especially if it is as presented as classy as this.
581 Orchard Road, Level 3 | 65-6732 2234 | iggys.com.sg
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.