Dinner with Celebrity Chef Edward Kwon

Edward Kwon in Dubai:
When you get a call inviting you to dine with one of the best Korean celebrity chefs in the world, you try your best to stay calm and not freak out. At least that’s precisely what we were trying to do. Because it’s not every day that you get to meet Chef Edward Kwon, let alone have him prepare a nine-course menu for you.
After all, our entire blogging journey is more than just exploring different cuisines and restaurants. It’s about the getting the chance to meet the pioneers who redefine and revolutionize the diverse food cultures of the world. A few weeks ago, we met one such inspiring soul who has managed to single-handedly globalize Korean cuisine and do so with utmost flair and finesse.
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Dinner at Namu:
It was a beautiful night filled with some of the best bloggers, dining at one of the most futuristic restaurants we’ve been to yet, and gawking at the most breathtaking views of the city. But none of that could overshadow the fact that we were going to be taken on a culinary roller-coaster of Korean textures and flavors construed in techniques unimaginable. By the end of our meal one thing was for certain, Chef Edward Kwon is passionately serious about his cooking and deeply fanatical about his quest to modernize Korean cooking and bring it to the forefront of the world’s best cuisines.
Course 1: We began with an Amuse Bouche of Korean Beef Tartare and Eggplant. Apart from the refined presentation, the tartare ticked all the boxes in terms of a balance of flavors and ingredients.
dsc_0940Course 2: “Pumpkin” which was a thick soup comprising of Korean Rice and Pumpkin Porridge. Loved the velvety smooth texture of the soup as soon as it was poured onto our bowls. The simplicity of the soup is what shines in this dish. The flavors weren’t too bland nor too overpowering; it was just right. And by the end of it, you’re left with this warm and comforting sensation, almost leaving you in your zen mode.
dsc_0941Course 3 – Sea Urchin Egg Custard with Seaweed Cracker, Baby Onion Pickle and Crown Daisy Oil. Although the dish was theatrically presented, it was the sweet and subtle flavor of the sea urchin that stood out for us. The smooth and creamy custard coated our palettes perfectly and the onion pickle added a nice crunch to it. A distinctive yet positively pleasing dish.
dsc_0955Course 4 – Bibimbap with Chili Glaze, Crispy Rice and Korean Greens. Bibimbap is probably one of the most well known and beloved Korean dishes and Chef Kwon puts his very own artistic spin on a traditional classic. We loved the incorporation of crispy rice as it added a unique taste and texture to the dish. We also admired how Edward eliminated meats and eggs in this dish and transformed it into a vegetarian version and somehow managed to taste delectably delicious.
dsc_0964Course 5 – Braised Abalone. Okay, we confess this our first time ever trying abalone and we weren’t too excited about it. For those of you who don’t know, abalones are sea snails and not one of the prettiest looking seafood. There were mixed reviews on the table for this one. The texture was a bit too rubbery and hard to chew, but the seasoning and flavor of the broth was perfect. A bit of a hit-and-miss with this one.
dsc_0972Course 6 – Hae Mul Tang which is Seafood Bouillabaisse with Minari (watercress) and Crispy Garlic Oil. This dish was flawless, to say the least. The scallops were seared perfectly, the broth was therapeutically aromatic and components worked perfectly well together. We just wish we could drink bowls and bowls of this everyday. What a perfect life it would be. Sigh!
dsc_0986Course 7 – Ginseng Sorbet with Honey Caviar. As a palette cleanser, we got to taste the flavor of Ginseng, an aromatic tea with a lot of health benefits. The flavor was subtly sweet and we adored the creativity of using honey caviar. Yum!
dsc_0994Course 8 – Our final savory course (and probably the best) was the Soy Braised Beef Short Rib served with an aromatic broth, steamed rice and various other condiments. This dish got us all excited, since we knew we finally get to play around with our food. There is no particular way of eating this dish, its all based on your preference. The combination of the sweet and tender beef along with the rice and broth was sensational. The condiments didn’t do much for us in terms of flavor but they added a nice crunch element to the dish.
dsc_0999Course 9 – For dessert, we had the Jujube (Chinese Red Date) Ice Cream with Crispy Jujebe, Dried Apricots and Jujube Curd. The flavors, sweetness and textures were all spot on. The ice cream had the most perfect consistency and the flavor of the jujube was evidently prominent.
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