This young man’s menu, even on the second day of service, was already a polished statement-maker with its Singaporean ingredients-inspired theme.
After Manager Jose did his introductory spiel, things got rolling promptly with a fascinating confluence of hot and cold where grilled sweet corn kernels met a quenelle of frozen corn and butter sabayon in a roasted buckwheat tea with masala chai spices.
Then, an appetisingly balanced cold appetiser of Sri Lankan mud crab with green tomato chutney, diced tomatoes and green apple in a pandan leaf oil-laced green apple juice sauce. While slices of pickled and cooked celtuce (chayote) added crunch, ginger flower and lime zest enhanced the aroma.
Chef Jonathan’s interpretation of laksa was the basis of the next course, another cold creation featuring Hokkaido scallops, kabu and lemon.
The silky-skin duck leg-stuffed dumplings in a duck broth perfumed by a touch of Szechuan spices were tasty but the accompanying bowl of rice managed to outshine it a little. Cooked with “hum choi” also known as “sian chye”, and finished with crispy duck skin, that carb was extremely fragrant and tasty.
I thought his take on 茶叶蛋 (“cha ye dan”) was brilliant! The black tea foam-covered egg sat with lily buds and sautéed Maitake mushrooms on a base of fermented mushroom purée and fermented mushroom juice. Everything about this course was spot-on.
Another winner in my book, the pan-cooked 4-day-aged Sawara (Spanish Mackerel) from Japan. It was just impeccable in done-ness and flavour. And so delightful when savoured with the green rempah purée, green onion fish stock sauce and smoky wok-fried Dragon Chives.
To me, the meat course was a clever East-meets-West dish as the 10-day-aged Irish duck was glazed in tamarind caramel and spice glaze which gave it an Asian taste profile. Yet because it came with citrus elements of kumquat chutney and a duck jus made from roasted duck bones and reduced orange juice, there was a decidedly French influence as well. Loved the black banana purée too.
The palate cleanser reminded me of a more sophisticated version of Solero / Jolly Lolly ice popsicles as it combined a lemongrass sorbet, kaffir lime, green tea and little chewy bits of attap chee. A surprise spicy heat made it all the more beguiling to me.
Coming full circle, Chef @jonathan_gan closed the meal with another hot meets cold creation. This dessert was a love letter to the Jerusalem artichoke as the tuber’s versatility was on full display. To complement the mochi balls, it took on different forms - as a veloute with coconut milk, and a crumble from its skin being fried and tossed in sugar and peanuts, as well as an ice-cream. Without a doubt, dinner ended on a high note.

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