We've finally tried Tailor. In terms of food concepts and presentations, there were a lot of similarities between Tailor and wd~50. But I feel that Sam Mason's Tailor has a long way to go before it's at the same level as Chef Dufresne's wd~50. Overall, the food was good, but I wasn't exactly wowed. Surprisingly the Salty dishes were more impressive than the Sweets, which puzzled me a little since Sam Mason, is after all a star dessert chef. My favorite dishes there were the Chorizo Cured Kampachi, Roasted Duck and Pork Belly with Miso Butterscotch. I don't really have a favorite dessert at Tailor, I thought they were all ok, but if I absolutely have to pick one, I'll have to say that the cheesecake paste was quite unique.
Gan: You hear it all the time but yet, it's amazing to see how often (in my humble opinion) restaurants keep forgetting this. "Keep it simple". "Let the ingredients speak for itself". "Good food do not have to be complicated". Gordan Ramsay lives by it. Thomas Keller perfected it. Even the Japanese makes it a cardinal rule to their cuisine. Tailor, it seems, had fallen victim to its creator's past success. Avant garde for the sake of it does not necessarily yield positive results and that is the case with this establishment. I agree with Sarah that there's a lot of similarity between Chef Duffresne's wd~50 and Sam Mason's Tailor. However, there's one big difference between them. Coming out of the dinner at wd~50, I can say the taste of the food was the most memorable experience that night, more than all the experimental, molecular gastronomy, and interesting presentation/plating. Sadly, I can't say the same after the dinner at Tailor. For some reason, when I give some thoughts to this, the always entertaining Iron Chef came to my mind. Specifically, it's the epic-like battle between Chef Morimoto's Neo Japanese cooking and the Ohta faction's traditional Japanese cooking. Morimoto was always chided for his perceived lack of respect for traditional Japanese cooking method by mixing it with elements from other cuisine. I have been a fan of his neo Japanese food but more than anything, I think I have respect for his willingness to take risk.
Back to Tailor... A bit long-winded on this.. hehehe :-) I commend Tailor for their willingness to take the risk in trying to advance their concept of blurring the line between dinner and dessert. There's some hits and misses in the dishes but overall, I think it's confused by its own complexity.
Gan: I like this just as Sarah did. Quite a lot going on.. and can't really smell or taste sausage in the chorizo cured kampachi. The fish however, was salty, which I guess could be from curing it with chorizo (a usually salty sausage) and it works well with the sweetness of the garnishes.
Gan: The risotto was creamy and goes well with the well cooked monk fish. I like most of the fish dishes. We actually ordered one of each dish from the menu for both sides of the table. Lol.. yao kuis!
Peeky Toe Crab, Pineapple, Basil, Pine Nut Puree - I don't quite like the taste of pineapple foam with crab.
Gan: I also agree with Sarah. Foams are usually focussed on the flavor (pineapple in this case) and light or airy. It doesn't have the original texture and are meant to be used as flavoring agent for the underlying protein. But pineapple flavor over peekytoe crab (used to be a throw away by product of lobster fishing) seems to be too overpowering for me.
Roasted Duck, Spaghetti Squash, Chanterelles, Raisin Dashi - Love the duck and the Chanterelles mushrooms
Gan: I think the sweet raisin dashi goes well with the duck, as with most sweet sauces. This is an interesting tasting dish and I like it.
Gan: I got the last piece of the pork belly and had the one without the crispy skin! Grrr... :-( The miso butterscotch sauce was yummy though.
Manchego Cheesecake, Concord Sorbet, Sage - the white paste on the plate was actually the cheesecake ;)
Gan: The cheesecake was not good for me. I didn't like this one at all. Not the taste which was way too sour for me and not the presentation, which didn't look too appetizing.
Gan: It's definitely an interesting dessert. Breakfast in dessert? As the waiter kept repeating.. it's outrageous!