The disgruntled darling Daniel Sia is fishing for deeper pockets with his new establishment. While The Disgruntled Chef over at Dempsey is a casual dining, sharing plates concept, his outlet at the recently refurbished boutique hotel The Club opts for higher stakes. However, Sia's fine dining venture is anything but stuffy. Staff are decked in denim aprons and Superga sneakers, while contemporary graphics flank the panels of this duplex restaurant. Yes, it's bigger, pricier and has more black marble mass at its bar — but Sia retains his heartwarming smarts in the kitchen, where it really matters. Here's where to start.
To start: Truffle brioche
With an in-house bakery, it's almost a crime not to have specialised breads — so this fist-sized brioche is a good start. Rings of black truffle wind in between the fluffy folds, which up its umami factor when slathered on with homemade nori butter.
To share: Wagyu beef carpaccio
No, the yolk that sits in the middle doesn't burst when you break it. Instead, the sous vide egg smears into a paste so it doesn't turn off raw food phobes. The pretty plate comprises thin slices of wagyu topped with shallots, parmesan and cep purée — making for a creamy and crisp morsel in one bite.
To indulge: Crispy beef short ribs
While it falls under the Big Plates menu — presumably for two — you wouldn't want to share this. Firstly, the serving of four to five pieces isn't really enough for one; and secondly, it's something you'd want to tuck into all by yourself. The ribs are sous vide for 36 hours before battered with corn flour and left in the fryer just as the outsides get sinfully crisp. When lightly glazed with honey soy and a Korean hot bean paste, its tender, pink insides sit well with the bed of white kimchi, while hints of kimchi mayonnaise provide a spicy kick.
To finish: Strawberries and mascarpone
Textures dance around this dessert: The spongey, bread-like pistachio pieces; the dehydrated, flattened pieces of strawberry which resemble the gummy tape of your childhood; the crisp lime meringue and the braised strawberries. All those elements harmonise in your mouth, balancing each other to ward off cloyingly sweet flavours.
The Disgruntled Chef. 28 Ann Siang Road. Tel: 6808 21854