Spring evokes new beginnings and cherry blossoms, and the transition between the old and the new. With this in mind, Lewin Terrace introduces a new Spring menu featuring opulent multi-course menus, that translates the essence of Japanese springtime through the use of seasonal ingredients.
Chef de Cuisine Hiroyuki Shinkai actualises the concept of new beginnings and the crisp feeling of starting anew by centralising his new creations on a play between contrasting flavours and textures. Rich overtones, commonly associated with comforting stewed winter dishes, are juxtaposed with lighter, more acidic notes. Just as the new year signals a time for spring cleaning and change, the refreshing flavours invoke a sense of being cleansed internally.
Starting off with the lighter flavours are the two seafood centred appetisers.
For the Seabream Carpaccio, a sheet of carrot, paper-thin, acts as the base. Marinated in amazu, a sweet and vinegary marinade, it provides a welcome crunch and tangy flavour to the dish. Slices of seabream sashimi are then draped across, with gold flakes and sakura peel encased in drops of dashi-infused jelly, and pieces of pickled pink cauliflowers are expertly positioned on top. As a contrast to both the light flavours of the dish, and the use of colourful petals as garnish, a sprinkle of black sesame powder completes the dish by lending its creamier texture to prevent one from being overpowered by the dish’s otherwise refreshing nature.
Bringing a similar level of textural complexity is the Inverted Crabmeat Sandwich. Crab prepared in two different styles surround a thin sheet of pâte brik, a Tunisian pastry that is similar to Filo pastry but less flaky and more robust. Topped with uni, caviar, and a sprinkle of dried crab roe, this added richness, a hint of what is to come, is balanced out by the burst of pomegranate seeds which decorate the dish.
Making the transition to heavier flavours is the Foie Gras Terrine. The spiced bread crumbs and celery root cream served on the side draws one’s attention to the centrepiece of the dish, the triangular-shaped foie gras. Paired with an American cherry compote coated with a vegetable gelatin derived from a type of red algae, Kappa, its sweetness successfully counters the richness of the foie gras terrine.
The Wagyu Beef, smoked in oregano, whose flavour and scent only further entices people to the dish, continues the pattern of contrasting bitter notes with flashes of sweetness. Celery root makes another appearance in purée form and contributes to the astringent flavour delivered using seasonal root vegetables. Meanwhile, the red wine cream sauce lends its tartness to revitalising the taste buds. Together with thin slices of crystallised potato, the components of the dish come together to create a parade of textures, from the crunch of the root vegetables to the velvety smoothness of the red wine cream sauce.
Rounding up this gastronomical journey that reflects upon the events of the previous year whilst welcoming in the new is the Matcha Parfait. The dichotomy of the lighter-flavoured matcha ice cream and irresistibly soft, deeper-toned matcha warabi mochi effortlessly highlights the subtle, natural notes of matcha. Steamed adzuki beans, a popular accompaniment to matcha, is hidden beneath the matcha ice cream and mochi, complementing the latter’s umami profile. Along with a shower of chocolate crumble and a hot chocolate sauce drizzled at the table, this intricacy of flavours and textures echo the complexity of life, shaped by past and present experiences.
**Photos courtesy of Lewin Terrace