September 28, 2023


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Chubby Hubby's in town for a few days and wanted to catch up over a meal. He had originally requested one of the toughest tables to score in town, but as I had already asked the chef for a table in 4 days' time, I had to break it to my friend that I could not fulfill his wish on this particular visit. Instead, I suggested that we should lunch at MONO, as Ricardo is doing some pretty interesting stuff. It appears that Singapore is about to have its first fine dining Latin American restaurant, so this visit could, perhaps, offer my friend a glimpse of what may be to come.

As I am about to start my suicide mission at lunch time tomorrow, I was really hoping for a light lunch. Alas, that was not to be...

Mexican blue corn inflatida, mezcal-steamed fine Cadoret oyster, shallot cream and chayote - the flavors of those French oysters were definitely pretty strong, as was the bergamot. Nice crunch from the chayote on top, and there was something in the mix that numbed my lips a little bit...

Oven roasted Peruvian mashua with shitake dressing and smoked Cantabrian sardines - I've always loved the way mashua is served here, in the style of Hasselback potato as it comes roasted, raw, and pickled - along with slivers of shiitake (椎茸) and smoked sardines. Garnished with yuzu and habañero gel along with nasturtium leaves grown from the mashua. This time around, we've got a cream sauce infused with shiitake and then mixed with nasturtium oil. Funnily enough, I thought I tasted a little vanilla in the sauce...

Brittany sea bream ceviche, fresh hazelnuts, and figue de Solliés leche de tigre - the fish tasted... fishy... The emulsion was made with smoked bones of the sea bream. Nice scent from the lime leaves. Interesting addition with the bitter gourd (苦瓜).

Artisanal Bolivian kiwicha sourdough and Eva Aguilera's bio-dynamic Spanish arbequina olive oil - the quinoa has been replaced with kiwicha, so it's no longer as obvious.

Our signature pan seared imperial langoustine and expressions of Ecuadorian cacao - I was amazed the first time I tasted this dish, and it was just as beautiful today. The langoustine was dressed with a tiny bit of cacao paste and lime on top, and served with cacao fruit on the side - whose fruity acidity I still find to be perfect for this dish. The sauce made with cacao paste and langoustine heads. That's such a powerful and wonderful combination.

The cacao tea was made with the skin of the cacao beans.

Chicken ass taco - so a few weeks ago the Great One was bragging about how much chicken ass she ate during our trip to Bangkok, and I had asked Ricardo to "show us your asses." Well, ask and ye shall receive!

The chicken tails were charcoal grilled and served with xnipec, black bean purée, sofrito, and served on a white corn tortilla. So, soooo good! Too bad the Great One is missing out.

Clam consommé - uses the same spices as the tortilla.

Chicharrón taco, salsa verde - OMFG!!!! Chicharrón!!!!!!

What's not to like about deep-fried pork rind?! And the salsa verde made with tomatillo and jalapeño was perfect to bring the acidity to cut the fat.

Charcoal grilled Brittany Monkfish and Corrèze veal sweetbreads, anticucho rub, tamarillo-chipolte salsa and spiced oca salad - the "monkbread"... Ricardo's signature dish. The combination was coated with an anticucho rub. The sauce was made with chipotle and three kinds of tomatoes, which was pretty interesting. The spicy oca salad came with some crispy buckwheat.

Ricardo and Mauricio prepared the mole for our next course...

Brittany pigeon with mole - baked in banana leaf before being charcoal-grilled. The breast comes with pigeon jus infused to tuna - the fruit of nopal - alongside chimichurri, while the leg was also charcoal-grilled and paired with the mole. We also have bollito on the side as well as some strips of nopal. Soooo good.

Costa Rican soursop sorbet, Java long pepper mousseline and Colombian arequipe - I had no idea that they also had soursop in Costa Rica... Garnished with crispy milk skin with vanilla.

Underneath we find the sorbet, arequipe that's kinda similar to dulce de leche, and the long pepper mousseline. Combination of everything together somehow just works.

Our homemade EcuadorianTaiwanese chocolate layers, Argentinian mate ice cream, fleur de sel, gochugaru pepper and peanut milk - cacahuate milk at the bottom, and I had no idea that peanuts were native to Mexico... Very interesting with the mate ice cream, which definitely tasted just like the drink. Overall, though... this was like a variation of Snickers. Not that it's a bad thing.


Chamoy gummy

I wasn't sure that we would be drinking at lunch, but clearly Mauricio thinks I'm an alcoholic...

Krug Grande Cuvée, 171éme édition, ID 122009 - prominent acidity, not as ripe but also not too lean thanks to the acidity. Lemon citrus on the nose.

2019 Lucien Le Moine Bourgogne Blanc - sooooo buttery and vanilla on the nose, sooooo beautiful! Good acidity, too.

2020 Bættig Pinot Noir Los Parientes - sweet on the palate, sweet fruit but somehow also a little dusty on the nose. Toasty notess.

Very happy to be back, and glad that my friend enjoyed his experience. Until next time...

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