Now, we have all heard about one of the world most expensive cocktail priced at $35,000 a glass, created by famous Master Mixologist, Ethan Leslie Leong. But do you know that Ethan actually started his career as a chef in both Chinese and Western restaurants in 1996? Keeping true to his life motto of never stop upgrading and create miracles, Ethan has did it once again by developing a whole new dining concept, Fort by Maison Ikkoku, singlehandedly within Pinacotheque De Paris at Fort Canning Hill. Everything from the menu to the cocktails and the entire interior design of the restaurant was designed by Ethan. As I walked into the 30 seater restaurant, I was drawn to the dim warm Edison filament lighting with chic industrial interior. At the back of my mind, I am thinking, this must be another high end restaurant but I was so so wrong.
A glance at the menu, I am surprised to find the three course Festive Menu to be priced at $38++ per pax and cocktail pairing is available at $20 for 2 festive cocktails! One of my favourite drinks of the night was this homemade daisy vodka ($10) which was served as a welcome drink to start the media tasting. What I really like about it was the beautiful floral notes which was similar to chrysanthemum that lingers in the mouth with every sip that I take. Prior to the opening of FORT by Maison Ikkoku, Ethan went to Zurich to upgrade his culinary skills. Inspired from his trip, he has created the restaurant-cum-bar menu and The Sea ($38) was one of his signature dishes at FORT by Maison Ikkoku. This dish is a beautiful furnace consisted of Hokkaido Scallop, Irish Oyster, Ikura, Tobiko, Ebiko and seaweed lying on a sea salt sorbet bed. All the components came together and created that brininess. No doubt about it, the dish was so aptly named! But do remember to go easy on the roes, you do not want to start the night with a mouth full of excess saltiness. I would suggest to order this to share on top of the starter of the day if you are ordering the festive menu. The entree of the festive menu would change everyday based on the freshest ingredients available so be prepared to be surprised! =)For the main course, we had the Holiday Turkey which comprised of 2 tender and moist turkey breast medallions that were marinated with a mix of herbs and spices before it was sous vide cooked and served with a watercress puree. I have always thought that sous vide cooking was one of the great culinary invention as it allows the meat to retain its moisture while creating a beautiful flavour to the dish. This is definitely a turkey dish that I would approve. Yay to delicious juicy turkey meat! Santa Red cocktail was one of the festive cocktail recommended to pair with the Holiday Turkey. This is a concoction of distilled red wine with homemade strawberry vodka. The dry ice effect of this well balanced cocktail worked wonders to kick in that Christmas mood. Not forgetting that sweet aftertaste of the cocktail which paired well with the turkey meat. To end the dinner, Ethan has given the traditional creme brulee an alcoholic twist. The creme brulee was infused with a hint of lavander and Martell Cordon Bleu was added to enhance the warm caramel taste from the caramelized sugar. Pairing with the dessert was a cuteness overloaded cocktail, The Snowman came with a “OLAF” marshmallow which I almost couldn’t bring myself to eat. The spice rum concoction with buttered popcorn , hazelnut and milk reminded me of nutella which was perfectly suitable for people with sweet tooth. Other than The Sea, there are also signature dishes from the ala carte menu. One of more interesting dish is the Spicy Maguro Handroll, The Fort (4 pcs- $18/ 8 pcs – $28). Minced maguro rolled into a maki with cucumber and topped with onion sprouts on the outside. I like the heat that gave this dish an extra punch but 4 pieces for $18 is not too friendly to the pocket. Oh well, I guess the ambiance, the attentive service and the city view outside the restaurant made everything else worth the value. One of the most intriguing cocktail of the night was the Prosecco with lavander pearl membranes. With bubbles from the prosecco slowly enveloped the lavander pearls, the pearls started to dance together with the bubble in the chicago flute glass. Quite an impressive cocktail to order for those who are on a date. 😉Another signature was The Nest ($28) which I overheard a fellow diner sitting near me asking if there is meat inside this dish. Do not misunderstood me, my fellow diner was not a vegetarian. Instead, the texture of the hot melted Mozzarella, Parmigiana-Reggiano with free range chicken egg does have a slight resemble to that of a meat protein. The label read Antibiotics but this is not any ordinary “Antibiotics”. With different labels on each bottle, this is definitely a playful cocktail with means to inject fun into the any party. The cocktail was created with whisky, fresh ginger, lemongrass and infused the aroma of burning bourbon wood to create that hint of smokiness. This was so popular amongst the guys that I heard from 2 of my fellow male diners sitting beside me singing praises about the cocktail. Temptation is running high at FORT by Maison Ikkoku for any cocktails lovers with bespoke cocktails going at $18 each. Besides using an array of different techniques such as distillation, infusion, spherification, dehydration, emulsion, smoking, the bitters and Tonic Water are made in house too. Sounds like a paradise already, isn’t it? I am so sure that I will be back again very soon! Who would said no to well balanced cocktails with notable impressive presentation? Coincidentally, it was the birthday of Myke, a fellow diner. Ethan has also specially concocted a matcha white chocolate birthday cocktail for him. If you are a matcha lover, don’t miss this if you are here. This cocktail tasted like a good matcha latte with more richness and complexity. I like the strong aroma of matcha with a sweet finishing note. yum yum. Happy Birthday Myke!
Starting 1 December 2015, FORT by Maison Ikkoku will launch their 12-course Omakase for just S$68++ per person. So besides the Festive Menu, you can also look forward to the the omakase menu. Though I have yet to try the omakase menu, $68 for 12 course sounds like a steal for me! Look like a trip or two might not be enough for me. lolDo take the time to appreciate the beautiful city view outside Fort if you are here. I got so mesmerized by the view and somehow at that very moment when I look at this, a sense of thankfulness just came to me which feel so apt for this season of love. It is indeed a blessing to born in Singapore. Overall, there are hits and misses. One thing for sure, Ethan has lived up to his name as a Master Mixologist. My dining partner was a guy who rarely drinks and takes hours to finish a glass of wine on many occasions. But he finished almost all the cocktails that were served throughout the night. I thought that said a lot on the quality of the cocktails. =)
FORT by Maison Ikkoku
5 Cox Terrace Fort Canning Hill #01-02 Pinacotheque De Paris Singapore 179620
Telephone: +65 6336 0507
Operating Hours: Daily 4pm till late