How The Humble Mushroom Became Celebrated By Krug Champagne
Every year, the House of Krug partners with some of the most talented chefs around the globe in a culinary exploration and eventual celebration of individuality, a study in creative match-making that began with the potato in 2015 and the egg last year.
This year, five aptly dexterous toques in Singapore have been tasked with creating an inspired ensemble starring their choice fungi that is also an exemplary complement to the House of Krug’s Grand Cuvee; in this case, the Edition 163.
Founded in 1843, Krug is still a unique Champagne House dedicated to creating only prestige champagne—the best it can create regardless of climate variations, made possible by its extensive library of reserve wines that help make up each edition’s extraordinary blend of over 120 wines from more than 10 different years.
Aptly extraordinary are this year’s distinctively daring creations, which includes a surprisingly spicy dish of chargrilled tandoori-spiced portobello topped with a cardamom infused blend of Roquefort and cheddar by Michelin-starred Song Of India’s Manjunath Mural. Despite its assertive flavours, the dish does not overpower the elegant and characteristically expressive bubbly; its notably tiny bubbles, in fact, helps the champagne take on the dish’s conspicuous heat.
Sushi Hashida’s creation is less intimidating but no less innovative. Chef Hatch Hashida spent days making the shiitake mushroom “ice cream”, which he serves with a mix of tempura featuring seasonal vegetables and the prized potan prawn. “I wanted to work with a common ingredient (as opposed to a rare variety of mushroom) to highlight an out-of-the-box approach to showcasing its flavour,” he shared, explaining how the mushroom is first fermented at around 30 degrees Celsius for four days to elicit more flavour, making the frozen concoction fragrant even at such extreme temperatures. The bonus is the addition of Hatch’s signature caramelised ankimo or monk fish liver (which we recommend you save for last).
A more familiar pairing can be found at Jaan in chef Kirk Westaway’s deliciously elegant dish of Scottish langoustine, prepared two ways, and paired with more seasonal mushrooms and vegetables, as the season for his preferred morel mushrooms comes to an early end. In its place, he shared, will be seasonal stars such as artichokes and Blue Foot mushrooms, to name a few, sourced from across France, England and Italy.
(Related: 4 Of The Best Champagnes Money Can Buy)
Also joining this year’s trail are expertly inventive dishes from chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club, which include an ensemble of seasonal fungi such as girolles from Lyon, asparagus from Spain, deep-fried confit cocks comb and chicken oysters, topped with shaved black truffle.
Guests can also head to Atlas Bar to have inspired canapes with their Krug, light bites such as chanterelles and porcini mushroom “montblanc” with Blue Foot and king oyster mushrooms served on a mushroom cracker, courtesy of chef Daniele Sperindio.
Available as part of a “trail menu” from now until September 30, it might also be worth noting that the first five Krug-lovers to try all five dishes (a stamp on a specially prepared "passport" is given for each of the dish) will receive a Magnum of Krug Grande Cuvee and the first 10 Krug-lovers to collect a minimum of three stamps will receive a Bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee Edition 163.