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Private dining with custom menus, featuring Chef Shen Tan's mod sin creations

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The fat-inspired menu showcases indulgent, oil-rich dishes such as Lemak (twice-steamed nasi lemak with prawns, crustacean-infused oil, coffee sambal, sambal balachan) and Ah Buta Den (lard sambal with kurobuta roasted house-cured bacon steak), with Chef Shen Tan's various signature chillis being stellar as usual. The night's showstopper was the Bok Bok (kampong chicken confit with chicken fat scones, chicken fat soy caramel, butter), with the magically umami butter instantly enlivening every inch of surface it coats, lending to its underneathlings a savoury merriment the equivalent of gustatory technicolour glory.

The dinner was paired with curated wines from Epiphany Wines (@sgepiphanywines), with the dishes prepared using some of the newest models from Bertazzoni's range of cooking appliances. The vibrant and eyecatchingly-coloured ovens from the Professional Series - clad in Lamborghini and Ferrari-esque coats of paint (the cookers undergo the same painting processes as those for the famous Italian sports cars) - are essential for every Stepford-pretty kitchen.

A couple of months ago, my ears perked up when I heard Chef Shen Tan was launching a fruit-centric menu ($99 per pax) for her @ownselfmakechef private dining. I promptly made a reservation and that is how a group of us indulged in it last Saturday night.

The 8-course menu featured at least one fruit in each dish, but sometimes it wasn’t immediately obvious what fruit it was, which made it kind of fun because we got to play guessing games. The following were my favourites from the entire menu:

- Green banana (or plantain) layered mille-feuille style with slices of Wagyu beef which was then breaded, battered and deep fried. This painstaking creation tasted a lot like mashed potato and beef but with the benefit of a crunch factor. It was served with a sharp-ish kalamansi marmalade and kewpie mayo and the combination was terrific in my opinion.

- One of the top crowd-pleasers of the night had to be the huge and fleshy mussels from @ahhuakelong that were cooked in a piquant guava chilli sauce. It possessed the kind of appetite-whetting flavour that triggered a craving for more. In me anyway.

- Inspired by the tapas from her recent trip to Madrid, Chef Shen came up with croquettas of green jackfruit and mashed up cooked jackfruit seeds. Crunchy on the outside, and thick and creamy on the inside, they were served on fluffy Japanese rice topped with a curry sauce and onions. This also proved to be a hit with everyone around the table.

- Although Chef Shen and her assistant chef Joy proclaim to not enjoy desserts, the brown butter cake with lychee sorbet, coconut ice-cream and a dusting of red peppercorn seemed to suggest otherwise. I inhaled it despite how full I was feeling by this point.

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This is actually the fusion Ba Chor Mee Pasta from Chef Shen Tan where she uses handmade tagliatelle tossed in a spice mix of chilli, lard and vinegar, and served with slices of 5 spice pork confit. Delightfully light and appetizing due to the vinegar, the noodles absolutely stole the show.
Address: Reserve your slot for the different dinner themes via email. More details at www.ownselfmakechef.com


The highlight for me is : .
💕Bak Chor Mee Pasta.
Hand made tagliatelle tossed through chilli, lard. Topped with Chef Shen’s 5 Spice Pork Confit
💕Make MEE GREAT Again
Extra Umami Mee Siam
Prawn and crab infused mee siam with quail eggs, chives, tau pok, prawns, deep fried crab spring roll
💕Lamb Curry
The Wok & Barrel’s signature tender slow cooked lamb curry
💕Super Gao Mee Rebus
Extra rich Mee Rebus made by braising beef tendons, simmering prawn stock with beef bone broth, thickened with sweet potato mash..
📍84 Commonwealth close, pls email the Chef @ownselfmakechef for reservation.

Upon hearing this, we are half scared and half excited of what’s to come in this Wok & Barrel Redux + Make Mee Great Again dinner ($99/pax), essentially a Mod Sin meal featuring chef’s best dishes during her Wok & Barrel days. You will literally be stuffed silly, so do bring an empty stomach and be prepared to start standing and walking midcourse of the meal.

We started off the meal with some carbs loading of Super Gao Mee Rebus and Extra Umami Mee Siam, both equally good and I’m torn apart to choose my preferred one between the two. On one side there’s the extra rich and nutty broth of the mee rebus made from a stock of prawn and beef bones, thickened with sweet potato mash and served with tofu puffs, quail egg and beef slices. Then, there’s the mee siam that brought a slight tang from its flavourful broth served with prawns and a deep fried crab spring roll.
Address: Reserve your slot for the different dinner themes via email. More details at www.ownselfmakechef.com


One of my favourites in the private dining experience. The Nasi Lemak rice is so super fragrant, and with the clams, was surprisingly quite ‘light’ to me. Sambal here is definitely not for the faint hearted. You have been warned.