Layers and layers of flavours with the blend brothers
We showed up to volume three of #takeoverISONO, ready to taste everything on the 6-course meal. The blend brothers offer a completely fresh concept, where they combine a constantly evolving combination of ingredients, based on their personal tastes and travel experiences.
The talented pair are known as “deeply impassioned gastro junkies”, and they made sure there was PLENTY in store for us throughout the evening. The elder brother, Hendrik, brought us his Michelin Star status, whilst the younger brother, Kamiel, used his expertise in mixology to craftily concoct cocktails (and mock-tails!) that kept us sipping away. The fact that he’s also a professional DJ was yet another perk to the Friday night vibes. These two were all about blending flavours, drinks and entertainment, so their name is particularly apt!
If you’re in the mood for wine pairing, fine wines are carefully selected to compliment each course. Though we were tempted by the different wines, we ultimately opted to check out the mixes. With a sweet Ginger Mojito on the mock-tail list, we were surprised to find ourselves beginning our weekend celebration with non-alcoholic drinks. Refreshing, fruity and cool, I was a huge fan. When we finally moved on to cocktails, it was clear that Kamiel’s mixology had taken a fun contemporary twist with elements of Asian flavours. I sampled the Frozen Margarita Mezcal, served in a tall cocktail glass with seawater foam, instead of salt round the edges, with a delicate citrus scent from the Yuzu. Each of the cocktails were presented in a uniquely creative way, with fun flavours to match.
After the amuse bouches came and went, we tucked into the crispy Lebanese Bread. Paired with a deliciously smoky BBQ cauliflower cream, with a humous-like texture, roasted almond flakes, fresh spring onion, and salted lemon: this flavour mix was a a great indication for what the blend brothers had in store for us. Hendrik mentioned how cauliflower can often be thought of as bland and boring, so they wanted to add an element of excitement to the ingredients. They definitely did!
Now, the words ‘strawberry’, ‘camomile’, ‘mozzarella’ and ‘chicken’ don’t generally go in the same sentence. But you wouldn’t believe how brilliantly they blend (let’s see how many times I use that word!) into one dish. Though I’m a fan of all the items separately, I’d never think to combine them. The sweet tang of the strawberry puree cut through the rich cheese, and we were actually really enjoyed by the flavour-filled crispy chicken skin. An extra bit of texture, and yet another flavour we didn’t expect!
The Poached Zealand Oyster arrived with green apple and cucumber, Vin Jaune Mousseline puffed rice and green matcha. Layers and layers of flavours in one mouth-full! The extra flavours managed to successfully compliment, but not overpower the refreshing briny notes (that the Zealand oyster is known for).
Next to arrive was the Sea Bass with Fregola & Chistorra, and Fennel Salad. The course was placed in a heated dish and the fish was seared to that melt-in-your-mouth state. We loved how the fresh flavours of the cockles (tender and clean on the palette) were paired with the bubbly garam masala sauce. Definitely a flavour mix that we could get used to…
The lamb with white asparagus, Buttermilk and Pecorino was probably my favourite part (sans dessert) of the dinner. The lamb chop cut was especially tender and the grated cheese on the side was an added bonus for someone who asks for extra cheese on almost every dish.
For dessert, freshly made bubble waffles brought us an elevated element of Hong Kong street food. The nostalgic taste of growing up in this city, was paired with parsley root, miso, yogurt, white chocolate and bergamot. With a Nutella-meets-salted-caramel feel, the miso was a huge hit.
If you haven’t yet been to Isono in PMQ, you’ll want to check it out for yourself. The restaurant is spacious and airy, which is already a rare thing in this bustling city, with a laid-back atmosphere that exudes an effortlessly cool elegance that we just can’t get enough of. The blend brothers successfully brought us a fresh-flavoured mash-up of textures and tastes: truly taste-bud heaven.
The 6-course tasting menu is $628, with a lunch menu offered for $318. The brothers will be cooking up a storm at Isono until Saturday, 29 October – and Kamiel will be playing tunes every Friday and Saturday.
Isono, 6/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2156 068