You can’t have the best of both worlds, or so they say.
In the third installation of Art at Curate in Resorts World Sentosa, Chef Kang Mingoo from one Michelin-starred Mingles in Seoul proves otherwise.
The revered chef steals our hearts with his interpretation of contemporary Korean cuisine with European influences. The way he mingles disparate flavours in a harmonious unison is inexplicably effortless.
Nevertheless, he stays true to his native roots with his signature use of of traditional Korean ingredients – fermented condiments and vinegar such as ‘jang’ (generic Korean name for any seasoning made from fermented soybeans) and ‘cho’.
After having trained at renowned restaurants in Spain, Miami and the Bahamas, Chef Kang returned to Korea after becoming the youngest head chef at Nobu Bahamas (part of renowned celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese-Peruvian restaurant empire).
Since the opening of Mingles in 2014, he has received the much covetable Michelin star and his restaurant was voted ‘Best Restaurant in Seoul’ for the second consecutive year.
Where tradition meets modern cuisine so seamlessly
The celebrated chef rethinks contemporary Korean fusion food in a way that very much blows your mind. As he shakes up the Korean fine-dining scene, Chef Kang remains true to using staple Korean ingredients – dishing up an element of tradition in his exquisite creations.
Just a taste of Mingles’ signature Doenjang (Korean fermented soy bean paste) Cured Foie Gras Rolled with Baek Kimchi & Korean-style Beef Tartare will bring you to foodie heaven.
If you love foie gras, the Doenjang Cured Foie Gras Rolled with Baek Kimchi is right up your alley. The cross-continent pairing of the rich and savoury French foie gras, with traditional spicy and fermented kimchi will tempt even the fussiest tastebuds.
The fine balance of bold flavours in this cold appetiser ensures neither ingredient overpowers the other.
Koreans sure love their beef but this pairing takes things up a notch, where the use of gochujang (Korean chilli paste), plum jangajji and sancho jangajji (Jangajji – Korean fermented vegetable pickle) complement the sapid taste of beef.
Upon the sight of this intriguing creation, your curiosity is bound to be piqued – and for good reason. The rich and savoury flavours in the wondrous medley of Chorizo and cabbage marinated with Sancho pepper definitely won’t disappoint.
Egg-lovers will lap up the tasty soft boiled egg yolk, filled with cauliflower and egg white foam in no time.
K-BBQ lovers will fall head over heels in love with this quintessential dish because the Australian wagyu beef is done to perfection.
Contrary to your usual K-BBQ fare, this charcoal-grilled indulgence is doused in BBQ smokiness yet uber-juicy at the same time. You can be sure it tastes just as great as it looks, even better with a side of traditonal kimchi served alongside this modern dish.
His mingling of flavour hits the bull’s-eye
Hands down my favourite dish, this tender Tilefish is slow-cooked in special stock made with ganjang, fennel and water parsley.
It may not be heavy on its sapid flavour but the freshness of the fish shines through, particularly with its soft and chewy texture.
Besides, the contrasting flavours and textures from the crispy potato roll and fish blend seamlessly and the palatable Donejang Béarnaise Sauce only further reinforced my choice.
The multi-layered taste of this combination further whets your appetite with the zesty ganjang yuzu sauce. Bugak, otherwise known as a traditional Korean way of frying vegetables dipped in glutinous rice batter and then dried, also enhances the flavour of this hot appetiser with its light yet flavoursome crisp.
Creativity shines through even in Chef Kang’s desserts
Jang Trio is a Mingles signature formed from three types of ‘jang’ in Korean cuisine – simply a juxtaposition of sweet, savoury, spicy and sweet.
The best way to enjoy this enticing delight is to ‘bottoms-up’ as you bite into different layers of texture from the bottom. From the bottom, you will taste the toothsome Crème Brûlée with doenjang, before reaching the crunchy layer of caramelised pecan with ganjang and fried crops with gochujang (Korean chilli paste) and lastly, the kochujang powder – spicing up things a little.
The talented chef also puts a truly authentic Korean spin in his desserts. The use of Doraji (balloon flower root) essence in the Korean pear sorbet is bound to entice you further with the crunchy and traditional style yakgwa (Korean cinnamon snack).
In Chef Kang’s diverse culinary repertoire, he certainly redefines contemporary Korean cuisine with an element of novelty in familiarity. He works his ‘Mingle’ magic every time he surprises us with another facet of traditional and classic Korean ingredients in his fusion creations.
Third edition of Art at Curate 2017 featuring Michelin-starred Chef Kang Mingoo
16 to 23 August
The Forum, Level 1
Resorts World Sentosa
Prices range from S$180++ for a four-course lunch with wine pairing to S$380++ for an eight-course dinner with wine pairing. Reservations are strictly required. For more details, please click here.
To make a reservation, please call (65) 6577 7288 or send an email to [email protected]
The next and last installation of the year will take place from 5 to 12 October and it hails esteemed Chef Alexandre Dionisio from the stunning Two Michelin-starred La Villa in the Sky in Brussels. He will be showcasing contemporary European cuisine with expertly crafted dishes that reveal influences from his Spanish origins.