Sherman's Food Adventures: PiDGiN

PiDGiN

Ever since Miss Y went full-throttle with her paleo diet, it has become increasingly difficult to eat out.  Sure, we have visited the odd Japanese restaurant and did mostly sashimi and have also done a few oyster bars.  However, to find prepared and composed dishes, especially for an entire meal has been almost impossible.  Interestingly, PidGin offers up a tasting menu that can almost be classified as paleo except for a few things here and there.  Miss Y and I checked it out on a whim as the other options were pretty boring.

I've been to PiDGin before, but never as an actual meal since it was either a media preview of some sort or a food tour.  Besides, it was a good time to come back due to a change in chefs. We started with some Daily Pickles accompanied by an Oyster Shot with apple granita and horseradish.  I loved the crunch of the carrots and cucumber that was fairly tart with a touch of sweetness.  The shiitake mushrooms were on point being buttery and spiked with a sweet soy marinade.  Sweet, briny and nose-blowing spicy from the horseradish, the oyster shot was a nice wake-me-up amuse for the meal.

Nicely plated, the Smoked Taramasalata with nori paste and onsen egg exhibited subtle yet impactful flavours.  When mixed together, the creamy mixture was richly salty without being salty (if that makes sense).  The brininess from the fish roe might've had something to do with that as well as the umaminess of the nori. Although simple and consisting of vegetables, the Green Beans and Cauliflower dressed with XO sauce and slivered almonds was on point.  The veggies were prepared beautifully where the beans were crunchy while not being raw and the cauliflower was caramelized and still firm.  The hit of salty spiciness from the XO woke the dish up as there wasn't too much salt used.  Loved the crunch of the almonds as well. 

Another simple, yet well-executed fish was the Mushrooms with snap peas in a yuzu brown butter sauce accompanied by an ajitama duck egg.  Tender and buttery in texture, the mushrooms were bathed in a aromatic butter sauce that had a hint of acidity.  Loved the crunch of the sweet snap peas as a textural contrast.  We found the egg to be on point being well-marinated and runny.  Onto some meat, we had the Pan-Seared Trout with bonito buttersauce and Swiss chard.  Just barely cooked through, the trout was moist and flaky while a little on the salty side.  The skin was lightly crispy, yet mostly soft.  As for the Swiss chard, it was wilted slightly being well-seasoned and crisp.

Our last savoury item was fantastic in the Lamb Rump with dulse puree, lamb fat kale and candied walnut.  Medium-rare and tender throughout, the lamb was truly beautiful and well-seasoned.  It was further enhanced by the smoky and salty dulse puree.  As a benefactor of the lamb fat, the kale exhibited a certain body and richness while still being vibrant and chewy.  The sweet crunch of the walnuts added both texture and an extra layer of flavour to balance out the saltiness.  For dessert, we were served a Black Sesame Cake with rhubarb foam, rhubarb segments and white chocolate drizzle.  Sure, the cake was rather dry since there was no flour nor egg used, but it was nutty and aromatic.  The other wet ingredients made up for it, especially the purposefully sweet white chocolate.  Overall, we were quite impressed with the food and service at PiDGin, definitely worth a return visit.

The Good:
- On point execution
- Reasonably-priced
- Excellent service

The Bad:
- Area is of course sketchy  

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