Food Blogger's Dinner 2007 @ Le Papillon


I attended my first Food Blogger's Annual Dinner on 1 Sept 07 (Saturday) @ Le Papillon. I was apprehensive at first as I've only been blogging for a little under a year and not very often at that. However, I trusted that dear June, the amazing organizer of this event would ensure that everyone felt comfortable. With Mia as June's amiable sidekick at the event, I was sure that I would be in good hands. It also helped that I am a fan of Chef Anderson's cooking! I think that Le Papillon is an excellent restaurant however it does not get the recognition that it deserves, probably due to its location.
Incidentally, "le papillon" means "butterfly" in French thus you might note that the logo used in the menu is that of a butterfly. I like how the restaurant is decorated using the theme of flowers and butterflies, with a slight touch of Baroque.

There were 31 of us at the event. It was great to meet fellow foodies! Quite a number of them were armed with really impressive cameras! I was also thrilled to meet Serene again, she had taught me how to use certain features on my old camera [it has since gone kaput] at a cooking class. She more than anyone knows that the mention of the word "macro" was greeted with "HUH?"...and she had to tell me... you know, the function with the "flower" symbol? Oooh!!! *bimbotic giggle* Being a tech-idiot, I was fumbling with a new IXUS 860IS camera that I bought at COMEX. Looking at the ease with which the others handled their advanced cameras, I felt very "blonde" as I tried to "fuzzy logic" my way towards finding the functions that would enable me to take decent shots (the lighting was a little too dim). I scurried to Serene's table for help after various attempts to change my settings went down the tubes. Alas, even a good camera cannot make up for the lack of talent behind the camera and I spent a large part of dinner asking friends for tips on how to handle the camera.

Dinner was supposed to start at 7.30pm but only started at about 8.30pm as we waited in vain for a few people who turned out to be "no-shows" (how rude of them not to call to update us!). I was glad that warm bread rolls and florettes of unsalted butter were served to help us cope with the hunger. I especially loved the multi-grain rolls as they were soft, fragrant & had a nice crunch whenever one bit into a nut/grain.
We started with an Amuse Bouche (ooh! I adore this term) of Chef Anderson's Signature Marinated Meredith Goat Cheese with Pesto perched on a cube of refreshing Watermelon. A single leaf of Basil intensified the flavour of the pesto. Unfortunately, the watermelon was not as sweet as I would have liked (I reckon that it must be the rainy weather that's making the watermelons a little too moist) but nonetheless it made for a interesting mélange of sweet, salty, tangy & herby flavours, which tickled our taste buds and had us prepped for the meal ahead.
We had an appetiser of Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio & Barracuda Fish Mousse with Miso Cream. I loved the mousse and most of all, I loved the miso cream as it was a blob of decadence! The sweet miso paste was well blended into the cream thus the resultant effect was akin to that of eating freshly whipped potatoes with tons of cream & butter but with a slight touch of healthy sweetness.
That was followed by the Jasmine Tea Perfumed Duck Consommé with Foie Gras Tortellini. June absolutely swears by this dish. When I tried it, I could fully understand what all the fuss was about. Incidentally, the consomme at this dinner was made using Fiji Water (one of the kind sponsors for this event). The consomme was a light yet robustly flavoured stock of duck but I don't know if it was because I was too focused on how I could actually taste the Fiji Water, such that I could barely taste the tea. Being a Foie Gras Freak, I naturally LOVED the Foie Gras Tortellini! The firm bite of the tortellini was a perfect contrast to the smooth and succulent morsel of foie gras that seemed to explode into your mouth. Ooh la la!
The next dish was Escargot with Herb-Garlic Butter Crust on Button Mushroom Gratinée, Parsley Oil and Arugula Salad. I do not like escargots but since Chef Anderson is serving it, I tried a piece (the little one) and gave the other piece to Justin (June's brother). He loves escargots so I figured that it was better to give it to one who truly appreciates the dish. I must say that though I dislike escargots, the one here was pretty good in that it was not too strong on the escargot flavour and was nicely balanced with the smoky and woody flavour of the grilled mushroom. I wished there was more arugula on the plate but I guess one can't expect too much for a full course dinner that costs a mere S$60!

Next, we had Rigatoni Pasta Tossed in Crustacean Oil, Tiger Prawn, Shaved Bottarga and Parmesan Cheese. I had this dish during my last visit with June, Mia & Ivan. We are all HUGE fans of this dish! June is such a big fan of this dish that she often wishes that she had a "Hor Fun" size portion of it (ie. a serving size that's akin to that of a single dish meal). If you ever had the opportunity to taste this dish, you would fully understand why we just can't get enough of it! It's absolutely divine! The rigatoni pasta was al dente and yet smooth to the bite because it was lubricated by the tasty goodness of the crustacean oil. I wished there was more of it but there are other items on the menu to be savoured. The next time I visit, I want a "Hor Fun" sized portion too.

The next item on the menu was the Char-grilled King George Whiting Fillet with Toasted Mustard Seeds and Saffron-Tomato sauce. It was a delicate fish and though there were mixed reviews about the fish, I found it pleasant and enjoyed the dish thoroughly. Saffron is one of my favourite spices and its presence in this dish (together with tomatoes) reminded me of Bouillabaisse. The best Bouillabaisse I've ever had was in Cassis, a little fishing village in Provence, a few years ago.
Then came the palate cleansing Blood Orange Sorbet. I love Blood Oranges and this sorbet didn't disappoint as it was not excessively sweet nor tart. My taste buds were primed for the main course.
The main course was a Slow-Cooked Oxtail in Feuille de Brik Parcel with Truffle Butter and Jus Gras. Though the picture doesn't do this dish justice, it was nonetheless a most flavoursome and wholesome dish. I loved how the crisp pastry that encased the oxtail broke open when I cut into it and how the rich aroma of oxtail and truffle (another favourite ingredient of mine) wafted to my nostrils. The oxtail bits were tender and perfectly infused with the flavour of the rich gravy (incidentally Jus Gras loosely translates to oily juice/drippings, that forms the base of all rich gravies). It reminded me of Daube (a rich Provencal stew that is traditionally thickened with the blood of the animal that was cooked). I also loved the creamy mashed potatoes that graced the left side of my plate (view pic above). I must confess to being a carb freak and absolutely adore mashed potatoes! I was such a fan of this dish that I mopped up every drop on my plate. Dessert was: Passion Fruit Symphony - Souffle, Creme Brulee and Macaron. It was a trio of Passion Fruit Souffle, Passion Fruit Creme Brulee and Passion Fruit Macaron. I love Creme Brulee and so I had my portion and June's portion as well. I love crunching on the crust of caramelised sugar and how it contrasts with the soft and smooth custard. I also loved the light souffle which had been presented in the passion fruit skin. I'm not a huge fan of macarons but the macaron served here was not too chewy and had been cut into 2 to sandwich a passion fruit infused sponge cake.

Chubby Hubby and June had a few sponsors lined up for the event. For a full list of sponsors, please read June's Blog for more details. We were also lucky that Chef Anderson had obtained sponsorship of tea bags by his supplier, Premier's Tea Ltd, for the event and thus many of us walked away with a goody bag that contained at least 12 different flavours of tea. I loved their teas especially their chamomile tea bags which contained whole chamomile flowers in a silken tea bag.

I was one of the lucky bloggers who won a prize at the event. I'd won the ColorVision Monitor Spyder 2 Suite, a monitor colour calibration tool, which had been kindly sponsored by Cathay Photo. Unfortunately, I'm a tech-dinosaur so the tool was not something that appealed to me. I sold it to Julia of Aroma Cookery. I trust her hubby will have far greater use for the tool than I ever could by keeping the box on a shelf.

I'm looking forward to the next Food Blogger's Dinner in 2008 which will be organised by Colin of Only Slightly Pretentious Food.

Le Papillon

28 Maxwell Road,
#01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building
Singapore 069120

Tel: +65 6327-4177

Operating Hours:

Monday to Friday : noon to 2.30 pm

& 6.30 to 10.30pm

Saturday : 6.30 pm till late (last order @ 10.30pm)

Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

BYO : Mondays only