by Qian Leung @ 28 Jul 2017
Ephernité Within restaurant Ephernité, a microcosm of France can be found, with French music playing overhead, and the husband-and-wife team of sommelier Claude Chen and chef Vanessa Huang conversing softly in French. In 2002, Chef Huang first went to France to study film-making. “Back then, I stayed with a family who ran a bakery,” says Chef Huang. “On my days off, I would help out with the baking.” Ten years later, she returned and enrolled in culinary school Ferrandi. Octopus carpaccio with white balsamic vinegar pearl, yuzu, watercress, pineapple sage, and shiso powder is paired with 2011 Domaine Alexandre Bain Pouilly-Fumé, which is light and fresh with honey notes and minerality. Chestnut pumpkin soup, with umami from Bayonne ham, texture from Jerusalem artichoke chips, an elegant bitterness from gingko nuts and chrysanthemum petals, and a touch of espelette pepper, makes an amazing combination. 2012 Benjamin Leroux Puligny-Montrachet, with its roasted notes, buttery palate, and hint of citrus, accentuates the savouriness of the soup. Pigeon in two ways, with breast seared French-style and served pink, and leg roasted with honey and spices Beijing-style, is accompanied by a pigeon jus and green vegetable sauce. “The sauce is not heavy, and the flavour of local pigeon is not strong,” says sommelier Chen, who grew up in Paris. “So I’m pairing it with 2014 Domaine Ballorin & F Très Girard, which has berry notes and a little smokiness.” To commemorate a trip to Finland, where she caught the aurora, Chef Huang creates an igloo out of Tahiti vanilla custard, with a core of pear sorbet with vodka on mulled wine jelly. “We hope that guests at Ephernité can wind down, taste slowly, and enjoy the time spent with loved ones,” says Chen. “This is the meaning of Ephernité - when the ephemeral, a moment in time, turns into a memory you’ll remember for eternity.”