Where to dine this week: Yellow Pot, Sear, Ding Dong
Once pegged as a go-to for wood-fired steaks, Sear is now taking on an alternative route, at least for as long as the season permits. Their seasonal menu hails from Scandinavia — serving up Nordic cuisine dreamed up by newly appointed executive chef Erik Gustafsson. Through the course menu, guests will be able to savour and be educated on the lesser known cuisine, which still is pretty foreign to our multi-cultural city. Start off with a flatboard of freshly baked bread, accompanied with whipped butter and sunflower seeds. We suggest (as hard as it might be), restraining from finishing the entire platter, as the next course involves a build-your-own toasted brioche. Here, you'll find unconventional toppings like Swedish vendace roe (also known as the "Swedish gold"), lemon créme fraiche and pickled red onions to play around with. The main course is a a perfectly steamed Atlantic cod fish, adorned with flavours of the ocean — think side heroes like Norwegian scallop, wood-baked cabbage, green and white asparagus and cauliflower puree. Now time for dessert; in place of the typical chocolate lava cake, refresh your palate with a Swedish berry instead. Usually picked from the mountains in the Northern part of Sweden, these cloudberries find themselves entwined with important elements of caramelised pears, yoghurt, vanilla, ice carrots, roasted sugar nuts and milk sorbet. This is all part of Chef Erik's masterplan to better bring out the flavours of the foreign berry. — JS
Sear's Nordic 4-course menu will be available every Saturday from 6pm-10pm, till 30 June.
#45/46-01, Singapore Land Tower, Tel: 6221 9555
Opening hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm (Closed on Sun)
When we first heard a Chinese restaurant would be settling in our latest city gem, Six Senses Duxton, our curiosity was piqued. As much as we adored the habitual visits to our favourite Chinese restaurants, flashbacks of satisfying MSG-laden broths came to mind. How could it be weaved into a health and wellness sanctuary, without losing the essence of the cuisine? Yellow Pot has managed to attain both, under the helm of Chef Sebastian Goh. First off, only sustainably-sourced ingredients are used here, without any trace of artificial flavour enhancers. Even the cocktails here are crafted with traditional herbs and botanicals. Appetisers come in the form of chilled organic vine-ripened tomatoes that are infused with preserved Li Hing plums and micro herbs sourced from Farm Delight, a local producer that Six Senses strives to work with. Need some heat? Go for their hot and sour soup — a concoction with wood ear mushrooms, strips of beancurd and a deftly spicy chilli oil. If not, a good alternative would be their nourishing chicken soup.
Their roast duck (complete with a crackling skin) serves up a flavoursome kick, thanks to a fermented beancurd marinade of herbs, star anise, bay leaf, cinnamon and five spices. Meat lovers who have room to spare should indulge in their seared pork cheek, elevated with tangy spices and condiments. Which dish really left an impression? Their braised sweet and sour eggplant converts even eggplant haters with its winning combination of of honey, vinegar, Nanyang soy sauce and housemade bean paste. Life might not be the same again. — JS
88 Duxton Road, Six Senses Duxton, Tel: 6914 1420
Opening hours: 6.30am-10.30pm
Bored of your usual Asian fare but still craving those comforting flavours? Ding Dong appeases that fickle palate of yours with its cheeky reinterpretation of the familiar. Known for its bold and creative spins on traditional cuisines, expect the unexpected with 18 of Ding Dong's latest dishes that have been artfully curated by newly appointed head chef, Miller Mai. For starters, try the Singapore chilli crab kuih pie tee, an elevated version of the humble favourite — which sees a replacement of the original turnip filling with generous chunks of Singapore's iconic chilli crab. The use of sambal instead of the usual ketchup in chili crab adds kick to the refreshing sweetness of the sauce. Pop the entire thing at once to enjoy a palatable explosion of tangy richness. The stuffed you tiao with otah otah and kaffir lime mayonnaise is another must-try. Encased in a crisp yet fluffy charcoal you tiao is a creamy ball of spicy otah that melts away as the fried dough crumbles nicely in your mouth.
Our highlight? The beef short rib dish, which is paired with buah keluak and wingbean salad. Perhaps the highlight of menu, the Wagyu ribs are of an unrivalled degree of succulence. A nicely charred outside captures the smoky, melted-down fat flavour, adding punchy layers to the tender insides, which boast the rich, earthy sweetness of buah keluak. Dedication to traditions remain strong in this mod-sin restaurant. Finish off with Ding Dong's durian Alaska, paired with a pandan sponge and kaya. House-made durian ice cream is coated with a light caramelised pandan meringue, served atop a thin layer of biscuit with a helpful serving of house-made durian kaya. Ding Dong's touch of modern sophistication to the confines of familiarity makes it a perfect epicurean playground for the adventurous traditionalist. — RN
#01-02, 115 Amoy St, Tel: 6557 0189
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-12am (Mon-Fri), 12pm-3pm, 6pm-12am (Sat)
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