From The Straits Times    |

Credit: Forged

There’s a new bird in town. Its name is Quailia. 

Also known as ‘Coturnix Fornax’, Quailia is described as “an entirely new animal unlike any other in the world”. 

But unlike its other feathery counterparts, Qualia “serves only one purpose”, according to its creators, and that is “to be utterly delicious”.

That’s because Quailia is a cultivated meat, made from the cells of the Japanese quail bird. Developed by cell-based meat company Vow and marketed under the brand name Forged, Quailia was created using cell-culturing technology. 

“It’s different to what you might expect for a new product or brand launch, and deliberately so,” explain George Peppou, CEO & founder of Vow, and Jasper Veen, business operations lead at Vow, when asked why they chose to create Quailia. 

“With Forged, we’re not just launching a brand, we’re also launching an idea – that meat as we know it, doesn’t need to be the way we know it. Cell culturing technology isn’t just a new way to create the meats we already know – it allows us to create foods that previously didn’t exist, that you simply can’t get in nature. Quailia is a representation of this idea – a fictional creature that embodies the limitless possibilities of cultured meat.”

Cannoli with the Forged Parfait and Kaluga Hybrid Caviar (Credit: Forged)

Breaking away from conventional marketing strategies for cultivated meats, Forged is introducing Quailia not as typical meat pieces but as Forged Parfait, a consumer-friendly product tailored for the market. Serving as the flagship in a series of upcoming releases in Singapore, Forged Parfait embodies a rendition of classic poultry liver parfait or pate.

In essence, Quailia is made entirely of Forged Parfait, which is created using cell-culturing.

The duo explain: “Starting with a small sample of cells from a Japanese quail, we meticulously identified and isolated those contributing to its taste and texture. After studying the cells to discover what nutrients and environment they thrive in, the cells were moved to a stainless steel tank similar to those found in a brewery – to emulate the natural growth conditions needed to flourish. Our team of skilled chefs then took those cells and mixed them with other ingredients to create Forged Parfait.”

Forged Sandoitchi (Credit: Forged)

Having assessed the product and concluded that it is safe for human consumption, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has approved it for sale. Singaporean gastronomes will be the very first in the world to taste Forged Parfait at an exclusive dinner series – Forged at Mandala Club – held at its Japanese eatery Mori within Mandala Club from April 12 to April 27, 2024. 

Here, we speak to both George and Jasper to learn even more about Quailia, the Forged Parfait, and what diners expect from the tasting experience at Mandala Club. 

This is the first product from Forged, so why Forged Parfait? 

To introduce the world to Forged, we wanted to create something wildly delicious and previously unachieved – a meat we haven’t seen on our plates before. We wanted to create something that you can’t get in nature, showing the limitless potential of cultured meat. 

With Forged Parfait, our ambition was to bring a flavour and texture combination together you couldn’t get anywhere else – a delightful contradiction that is both rich and delicate at once. It has a rich umami flavour, but with a weightless, melt-in-your-mouth quality. It’s a pairing unlike anything else. We’re very proud to have achieved this.

Renowned chef and owner of Tippling Club, Ryan Clift, has collaborated with Forged for two years. How did this collaboration influence the development of Forged Parfait, and what insights did Chef Clift bring to the table? 

Chef Ryan Clift is a chef we deeply admire and appreciate. We have collaborated with Chef Ryan over the last two years to create Forged Parfait. 

What can diners expect from this tasting experience at Mandala Club, and how do you envision Forged Parfait impacting the culinary landscape? 

In an intimate seating of only fourteen, guests will experience a seven-course omakase menu featuring Forged Parfait, curated by MORI’s Head Chef Chun Hong La and Forged Chef Adem Kurcan.

Diners can expect dishes like a savoury cannoli filled with Forged Parfait and served with Black Pearl caviar; the ‘Hokkaido Wagyu Sando’ – a milk bun topped with A5 Hokkaido Wagyu and Forged Parfait; and the signature ‘Forged Brûlée’ – Forged Parfait layered with port jelly and cognac-poached morels, finished with hardened caramelised sugar. It’s a dining experience unlike anything else in Singapore, or the world.

With Forged pioneering the creation of entirely new meats, what future innovations or products do you foresee for the brand? 

At Forged, our vision is a world where food has endless possibilities. We exist to redefine the future of what and how we eat, and are creating an entirely new category of food that isn’t limited by what nature has to offer. With cell culturing technology, we have the opportunity to create new products, ones that are deliberately different from what’s available today. With Forged Parfait, we’re just at the start of what will be an exciting future, for us and many others.