Materialising at our table, he tells us in rapid-fire delivery that his goal is to give us the best meal of our lives. To that end, he asks us what we love to eat, and what we do not love to eat. Then he slips away for about 90 seconds to create a customised six-course menu from the 32 dishes that he says are currently in his head.
We tell him we eat almost anything. I like exotic delicacies, seafood, chilli and saucy stuff, and can’t be bothered to save room for dessert. Being English, Roy likes traditional comfort food such as eggs, cottage pie and apple crumble. That’s what he tells Chef, anyway, possibly just to be difficult.
As a cutting-edge progressive chef – he has worked in a slew of two and three-Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain and the US, including El Bulli – Kevin is the very opposite of traditional. “Nothing here is traditional. Every dish comes from my head.”
However, he says, everyone who comes into his restaurant is a VIP. “If you asked for cottage pie, I’d ask myself ‘Why?’, and ‘What does that tell me about your tastes?’, and then offer you something of my own but with a traditional twist.”
Here’s what progressive chef Kevin comes up with for us:
• Cloud – a gossamer-light mouthful with a spun sugar base that defies description
• Lucky oyster – you first eat the silver “pearl”, a soft, gelatinous pea that encapsulates a briny liquid that is the essence of the sea; the accompanying Fin de Claire oyster is exquisite
• Lobster Thermidor – a springy tail in a rich broth
• Foiegras@fruits.com – a succulent, subtly spiced morsel of pink-centred decadence (pictured above) with pistachios and strawberries that have been roasted then lightly stewed
• The egg came 1st – a soft-yolk egg that has been first boiled, then crisply fried; don’t ask Chef how: he says it took him 6,000 eggs to get it right
• Sparkling grape – a sorbet surrounding a single, intensely carbonated grape that explodes on the palate
• Lamb mole – Mexican-inspired dish of tiny loin of lamb featuring potato, corn and the dark spiciness of chocolate
• Apple crumble – comfort in a bowl.
This was a superb and enormously entertaining meal, served with passion, flair and a dollop of humour. The Experience meal costs $139++ a head; wine-pairing is available. BLU is on the 24th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel. Call +65 6213 4598.