Thursday, November 21, 2013

Food Photography Workshop by Dr. Leslie Tay at Forest 森 @Equarius Hotel, RWS

My friend and I signed up for a Food & Makan Photography Workshop by famed food blogger Dr. Leslie Tay. The event was organized by Canon Imaging Academy, course fee was $55 (including a 3 Course Set Lunch valued at $38++).

We took the Sentosa Express monorail from Vivocity and dropped at Waterfront station. It was pouring and I didn't get a good shot of the Navy's Landing Ship Tank L207 on display at the harbor.

We got lost in the labyrinth of RWS (lack of signage and vague maps) but eventually figured out we needed to take a hotel shuttle to get to Equarius Hotel which is pretty far to get to on foot. The Shuttle service served the Hardrock Hotel, Festive Hotel, Hotel Michael, Crockfords Tower & Equarius Hotel at 15mins intervals. The Genting group is definitely weak at designing world class integrated resorts projects (I didn't like Genting Highlands' layout either).

After 10mins of comfortable ride on the complimentary shuttle, we hopped off at the entrance of the Equarius Hotel. The nature themed hotel lobby has a nice and bright lobby with tall ceiling and cheerfully colored sofa and furnishings. A visual waterfall serves as the backdrop behind the bar

Forest 森 restaurant is located at the left side of the lobby. The forest themed restaurant has an equally tall ceiling with wooden laminated pillars stretching out to the top like trees with 'branches' spreading across the entire ceiling. The decor and furnishings here is chic and contemporary with strong influences from the nature and trees, an extension of the nature-styled decor used throughout the Equarius Hotel.

The restaurant has a spacious private dining room and also al fresco dining area set within the lush greenery.

This place features a 'Theatre Kitchen', an open concept kitchen with unobstructed view of the chefs working on their creations. I caught a glimpse of the Head Chef, Mike Tan, carefully crafting out the first dish of the set lunch with his culinary team.

We were just in time to get seated before Dr. Leslie kicks off his workshop. 

He shared with us on common challenges encountered when photographing food and some tips on getting better shots in different situations. Basic settings like lighting, composition, white balance and depth of field were discussed, and some simple food styling tricks to bring out the point of interest in a shot.

After he's done with the theories, we were free to practice what we've learnt by taking photos of 3 sample dishes prepared specially for the workshop.

My best shots...

I wasn't entirely satisfied with these shots but it's not easy having to compete with a crowd armed with extremely intimidating equipment!

It was already 4pm+ and I was famished, so we quickly settled down to have our late lunch. Our 3 Course Set Lunch consists of an Appetizer, a Main course and a Dessert.

The Appetizer, Deep fried mushroom coated in wasabi mayo w/ avocado & tomato salad. A modern take on an oriental dish made with traditional ingredients but prepared in a western way. The contemporary styled plating is definitely pleasing to the eye, with 3 layers of distinct color stacked on top of each other.

This dish is not just pretty to look at, it tasted wonderful too...the crispy battered mushroom was very juicy and goes really well with the mixture of creamy avocado and savory mayo sauce. The thick cut tomato at the bottom was refreshingly sweet...a pure joy to eat!

The main course, Wok-fried Japanese pearl rice w/ squid ink & XO sauce topped w/ Hokkaido scallop. This dish is an east-meet-west fusion dish, with Japanese ingredients prepared the Chinese way and infused with western flavor.

The plump and juicy scallop was huge in size. It was pan-seared perfectly with lightly charred edges but still retains its tender center. The fried rice was well executed with lotsa wok-hei, we could taste the sweetness from bits of fresh crabmeat inside it...delish!

To end the meal on a sweet note, we had Chilled lemongrass jello w/ sweet Thai mango, young coconut & wolfberries. This is more like a Thai style dessert served with western fruits topping.

This dish will appeal to diners who like the taste of lemongrass, the jello has a pretty strong lemongrass aroma. Its soft and silky smooth and slipped into my throat effortlessly. The fresh fruits and tender young coconut compliments the jello perfectly. Thumbs up.

After having my meal, I had some time to check out the goodie bag contents...we have the Canon accessories catalog, photography magazine, usb thumb drive & a calculator key chain. Cool.

The Forest brochure...

We enjoyed our dining experience at Forest restaurant tremendously. The ambiance here is lovely, food and service quality is definitely top of the line. It is worthy of an occasional splurge. For price conscious diners, try their set lunches..they are great value for money!

Forest 森 
Equarius Hotel, 8 Sentosa Gateway, S098269
Resorts World Sentosa

Tel: +65 6577 6688

Operating Hours
Breakfast: 7.30am - 10.30am

Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm
(Mon – Sat, last order at 2:15pm)

Dinner: 6pm - 10.30pm
(Mon – Sun, last order at 10:15pm)

Sunday Brunch: 12pm – 3pm
(last order at 2.45pm)

On a side note, the lobby toilet is super chio!

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