We had previously featured Mark Singson here. We were treated to a culinary tour de force as we took part in “Family Matters, Episode IV”, his latest popup event at Roof Garten.
Our meal started with an appetizer dish consisting of three delectable bites. The first was crabmeat wrapped in burnt eggplant with cashews. The second was a rice ball with foie gras and wasabi. The third was an oyster served with a spicy sauce. Normally, we like to keep our raw oysters simple, but the sauce really helped bring out the fresh flavour of the oysters.
From there, we had an incredible burrata dish served with cucumbers, melon, herb jus, pickled rinds, celery, shallots, almond, and mint. The dill flowers added a real punch to the flavour. Chef Mark knew exactly which ingredients to put together to heighten my senses and wake up my taste buds.
The third dish was a cured tuna served with radish, flowers, blueberry soy, and strawberries. I loved the colourful presentation of this dish. It was a feast to the eyes before I took my first bite. The tuna melted in my mouth like sashimi. The textures of all the other ingredients added a different flavour with each bite but for me the main focus was the blueberry soy that balanced out the flavours and brought out the tuna. It was really a surprise with each bite.
Next came the slow cooked pork belly with XO sauce, salted daikon stuffed in cabbage served in a broth. This dish is close to my heart since I feel there is a bit of Chinese and Korean influence to it. The interesting thing with this dish is that you’d normally expect all the flavour to be in the pork belly, but in this case, the flavour was packed into the broth along with the XO sauce. The pork belly and cabbage combination reminded me of a Korean dish called bossam.
Lobster mushroom with onion, bay foam, parsley and lentils. I didn’t know mushrooms can taste so good when matched with the right ingredients! This dish had a lot of depth – from the savouriness and substantialness of the lobster mushroom, to the light playfulness of the bay foam with the parsley and lentils, to the texture of the lentil beans and the sweetness of the onion, Mark layered everything on perfectly.
Our last dish before dessert was roasted duck breast with smoked apple miso, charred corn and cilantro. Again, while you’d expect the duck breast to be the star of the show on this dish, it actually takes a backseat to the charred corn and smoked Apple miso which added an ever so subtle smokiness that elevates this dish.
Joelle tells us dessert is Mark’s take on shaved ice desserts like the Japanese “kakigori” and Korean “patbingsu”. Instead of shaved ice though, Mark created rose ice using liquid nitrogen, pairing it with poached peach, cherries, lemon gel and salted corn flakes with a splash of almond milk. The proportions of each ingredient used though is inverted from the traditional shaved ice dessert, where the vast majority of the dessert is ice and condensed milk. Instead, we see these are the two ingredients that are used least in the dish. This in turn brought the focus onto the sweetness and tartness of the fruits, but at the same time left us longing for more of the rose ice!
Mark Singson’s dinner was thoughtfully executed. The drink pairings complimented each dish perfectly and each drink had its own character as well.
Even though we couldn’t chat during the event, we were having a conversation through his food. Each dish had its own surprise or twist and so despite being given the menu of what dishes we’d be having, the first bite of each dish was an adventure unto itself. We look forward to Mark’s fifth popup dinner to see what he has in store for us next!Follow us on Instagram. @WanderlustFoodie @eatupvancouver @foodartmusicinc @ddbg.photo