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Planning a party: our guide to setting up the perfect (socially responsible) dinner party

It’s time to emerge from our man-caves and dust off the silverware. Small gatherings are back on the menu, and that means the time is ripe for some (socially responsible) fun. It’s been a good couple of months since you’ve last met your friends in the flesh, which means missed birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions. No matter: there’s time to make up for it.

You may still be interested in doing it virtually – after all, there’s nothing like a great host driving the party – but there’s something to be said about meeting in person. Eating at the same table, listening to the same person speaking and so on: sometimes, it’s the finer details in life that we take for granted. All said though, The Peak knows that for a great party, you need to be ready.

Just remember to keep things clean though. First and foremost, it’s okay to flake if you’re sick. Make sure that you, and your loved ones, are in the pink of health before accepting any invitations. Secondly, serving spoons, napkins and everything else are pretty much commonplace since SARS in 2003. Finally, try to eat in a well-ventilated area like your patio or garden.

Now that we’re done with that, we’ve got the ingredients for a perfect party: excellent starters and vino to get the conversation flowing, a show-stopping centrepiece as the night’s main attraction, and something sweet to end off the reunion. The rest is up to you.

Canapes: Tim’s Fine Catering

To start the party off, Tim’s Fine Catering, which was started by Michelin-trained chef Tim Meijers, have just unveiled a new canape collection. Titled the Artisan Canape Box, it’s a collection of new gastronomical delights and familiar flavours that showcase Meijer’s mastery of mod-French cuisine with Japanese influences. He’s acquired quite some knowledge over years in various two- and three-Michellin-starred establishments, including a stint at Saint Pierre in Singapore as head of catering: and it shows.

With a total of twelve assorted bites, your guests will be titillated by the medley of exciting morsels, without losing their appetite for the rest of the evening. One exemplar of Meijer’s cuisine is a chilled Somen noodles with jellified tomato bouillon and salmon belly tataki seaweed salad topped off with ikura: an amalgamation that makes the best of fine France and Japanese ingredients as well as cooking techniques. The tomato bouillon takes an entire 24-hour cycle to conjure up, while the salmon belly is charred over an open flame. What results is a truly extraordinary bite – with 11 more in a biodegradable box that’s just as pretty as it is sustainable.

To order, email or call 9800-6874.

(Related: Steakhouses and grill concepts that are now delivering premium steaks to your home)

Tipple (and more): Culina Bistro and Wine Bar

For fine vino, we’re fond of Culina Bistro and Wine Bar. Tucked away in Dempsey Hill, their selection is varied and won’t break the bank, sourced by wine manager Kok Wyman from more than thirty award-winning or noteworthy vineyards and vineries worldwide. Whether you’re partial to pours from Old or New World vineyards, or perhaps fond of biodynamic and organic wines, you’d be sure to find something that’d suit any assortment or partygoers. Of course, there’s plenty of premium juices and sparkling waters as well: the best part is that you can try anything by the glass before you commit (and it’s a fine excuse to sample wines on a lazy Saturday afternoon).

The wine bar at Culina

Finally, you could also bolster the party supplies with cured meats, fine cheeses or other manner of epicurean delights: Culina’s shelves are stocked with gourmet treats from across Europe that range from the zany to delectable.

15 Dempsey Road. Tel: 6474-7338

Centrepiece: Lawry’s The Prime Rib Singapore

Is it really a dinner party without a centrepiece? For that, you’ve got a few options. There’s always getting something from the butcher’s and doing it yourself. Else, there’s Lawry’s. Lawry’s The Prime Rib is a Californian-based restaurant established in 1938, best known for its silver cart and table-side service of the standing rib roast. After the circuit breaker period, they’ve begun to offer either pre-portioned, or uncut in 3kg and 6kg portions, of their signature slow-roasted USDA Prime Rib.

With such a big roast, any cuts made on the outer portions of the roast tend to be slightly more well done – perfect for accommodating to guests who don’t like it as pink. The kicker’s that you won’t have to watch your oven for four hours (while scrambling to deal with last minute prep) – just call Lawry’s and swing by when it’s done. There are also classic steakhouse sides like mushroom soup, mashed potatoes and hulking Yorkshire puds slathered in beef jus.

Image courtesy of Lawry’s The Prime Rib.

#04-01/31, Mandarin Gallery. Tel: 6836-333 or whatsapp 9277-7792.

(Related: Luxury catering for a sumptuous private feast at home)

Dessert: Le Matin Patisserie

To end off the night, something a little sweet is in order. For that, why not a box of fluffy, hard-to-snag pastries from chef Mohamed Al-Matin of Le Matin Patisserie? He’s spent some time abroad – including a two-year jaunt as pastry sous chef at Copenhagen icon Noma – and returned to Singapore with a couple of extraordinarily well-received pastry pop-ups. He sells sixty boxes of pastries a day, which often sell out within minutes of him releasing slots for order. Within the boxes, highlights include kouign aman (something like a croissant, but with sugar added as well during the lamination process) as well as its cousin, the cruffin. He’s made one of 2018’s trendiest his bakes his own with a combination of smoke-infused cream and a pungent, citrusy eucalyptus meringue. Finally, a pistachio escargot rounds out the selection of viennoiseries, where a snail-shell-shaped croissant is topped off with pistachio custard and rose-scented cranberries.

Le Matin Patisserie

More than just good bakes, there’s quite a bit of cachet in actually securing a box of the stuff. If you fail, then, well, there’s always the ever-popular (and equally showy) Basque burnt cheesecake.

Order here. The next drop is slated for Jun 28, 4pm. Mark it down.


 Featured photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash.