We no doubt all have the Makansutra book somewhere on a bookshelf. It’s a much trusted staple; a benchmark to save you wasting a bunch of time on average or, worst case, no good food. But what about the people who contribute to the book? What about his tasting panel who are all instrumental in rating these hard-to-find-havens and doing all the work so we don’t have to?
Well, last night I met them. Andrew Wong is an uber foodie, sharing his stories with people who really matter and listen: KF Seetoh and his team of ‘makanmatas’ aka the researchers and editors of the Makansutra books. He and Tony Lim (above) – who is an anaesthetist by day – organise monthly makan (it means eating if you are angmoh and ‘dontch’ know) sessions, that are open to anyone, as well as run the Makansutra forum, which has been going for 11 years now.
The venue changes each month and the chef obligingly works to a reasonable budget which the Makansutra team set and which varies depending on the type of restaurant it is. A key requirement is that there is aircon and no corkage charge. Last night’s dinner was a snip at $42 per person for a staggering nine course menu at Fortune Seafood, right next to Violet Oon’s Kitchen on Upper Bukit Timah.
The food may have been good (in particular the luminous pink, but perfectly delicious, prawns and the steamed garoupa in a green curry sauce)…
…but that wasn’t the best bit.
The. Wine. Was. Serious. I rather let the side down with some Cloudy Bay, *Blush*. I should have known to up my game when Tony sent me an email the day before we met, suggesting that I might want to wrap my bottle in tinfoil as everyone likes to guess its vintage, vineyard and whatever else.
And they really did know about wines. I’ve never had a vintage St-Julien with Chinese food and it was incredible. We tried about 12 different bottles on our table of 10 before staggering home feeling I had met new friends, both real and liquid. (I also met two wonderful and very grown up bloggers, namely umami and camemberu; both big on the SG blog scene, I feel suitably humbled.)
The next makan session is on Wednesday 7th November, details of which can be found here.