Seafood Madness

Seafood Madness

Featuring KEK Keng Eng Kee Seafood (Alexandra), Salted & Hung, Yàn, Cold Storage, Tonkatsu by Ma Maison (Mandarin Gallery), KUVO, Lucky House Cantonese Private Kitchen, Da Shi Jia 大食家大大大虾面, UsQuBa - Scottish Restaurant & Bar, No SignBoard Seafood Restaurant (Geylang)
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

We had our socks well and truly knocked off by Chef Marcus’ new main which stars a whole Amadai wrapped in banana leaf and grilled over bincho-tan. Not only is it stuffed with vegetables mixed in an X.O. Sauce concocted from the fish trimmings but also topped with the fried scales of the Amadai itself and kailan leaves. Honestly, this is one of the most delicious examples of minimal waste I can recall. We had the idea to spread that crispiness all over so there was some crunch in every smoky bite of the tender, flavourful fish. Yums!

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G I F T E D
As though I hauled it from the ocean myself, this bag of seafood from @cheatbits tasted fresher beyond expectations. Even my brother-in-law who’s also tried every delivery that’s been delivered to me, commented that it’s “by far the best seafood sent to the house”.
The accompanying sauces were a thick garlic butter that’s just runny enough to be poured over the heap of steaming hot crabs (so meaty and fresh, these were the stars!), large prawns, squid, clams, chicken sausages, premium corn (it’s very sweet) and potatoes, as well as a creamy mentaiko mayo dip. Although I would have preferred the former a touch saltier, no one else seemed to mind. Anyway, I had the salty-ish mentaiko mayo to dunk the seafood in, so I was a happy camper.

Please check out their Instagram account to order.

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(Hosted) Nothing deceptive about it. What you see is what you get at the newest restaurant opened by Chef @a.a.walsh.
Located just off Club Street on Gemmill Lane, this Asian-Fusion Raw Bar and Fish Grill serves a variety of small bites and substantial plates with cocktails and wines to pair. Interestingly, last Saturday when we were there, the lunch crowd was 95% female. Perhaps it has to do with the space which is really quite lovely. Its relaxing atmosphere makes it an easy spot to stop for snacks and drinks or to linger over a full meal. The fact that is isn’t enclosed on all four sides also has it feeling open and welcoming. I have heard a few people say it was a bit warm when they visited but we felt comfortable. Maybe because the weather was slightly overcast then.
In his introduction, @catfish.sg’s Head Chef Erik (@thenordicchef_) told us that their aim is to “elevate seafood through great flavours and great techniques”. I think a few of the courses in the Catfish Experience Tasting Menu we had (it costs $158++ per pax and is available only for dinner) did exemplify that well.
Our meal commenced with items from the Raw and Snack sections of the menu. First up, Champagne and Oyster “Fruits de Mer” which saw Bafun uni, beetroot-pickled salmon and Sturgeon caviar piled alongside the small but plump and creamy Canadian oyster in its shell for a surprisingly tasty combination.
The Japanese Catfish Taco was a crunchy bite of fried wantan skin cradling catfish dressed appetisingly in plum sauce, umeboshi-mayo, wasabi and a topping of hazelnuts.
Much-instagrammed, the Catfish Mini Cones Selection consisted of a trio of cones, each filled with a different ingredient combination. I really liked the one with raw scallop, avocado cream and Bafun uni. The other two which had salmon, ikura and furikake cream, and Wagyu tartare with caviar, winter truffle and wasabi cream cone, were decent.
A genuine standout for me was the Hasselback Potato crowned with lime-marinated blue fin tuna, trout roe and wasabi cream. They proved solid with the extremely crunchy potato (it was a tad salty but I had no issues to be honest).
The Squid Noodle Ramen featured chewy noodles and fried chicken in a broth of chicken and truffle. Can’t say I was a fan of this.
The Sesame Prawn and Scallop Toast was however, a big winner with me. I thought the crispy-coated toast, plated with a refreshing citrus emulsion, was so superb on its own, even if the grilled Argentinian prawn, caviar and uni were left out, I wouldn’t have minded.
For the main course, Chef Erik served us a Barbecued Red Snapper that was coated in Sichuan spices. Accompanying it, a laksa cream sauce and a bowl of their take on coconut rice, blanketed in crispy tendrils of fried egg. Overall, a flavourful creation that wasn’t as spicy as the name suggests. The highlight for me was the rice. It was also tasty mixed with some of that laksa cream.
Both desserts turned out to be amazing! While the chocolate mousse (it’s made from two kinds of Valrhona chocolate) with luscious orange custard, orange segments and honeycomb pieces was fabulous, I was more drawn to the Pavlova. Beneath the light-as-air meringue (it had the perfect crunchiness) was fromage blanc mixed with Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and a basil and yuzu granite. Everything about this was perfect.
Amir (@theflyingsomms), the charming Operations Director, and @ch.limm plied us with drinks throughout the meal. As I wasn’t having any alcohol, they kept me happily lubricated on a few wonderful mocktails. The first was a blend of @Melatidrinks, citrus, berries and @singhasodas. Hot on its heels was a Bloody Mary which I finished rapidly as its lime zest-sprinkled savoury tomato and pickle juice drink suited my palate to a T. Lastly, @ch.limm shook up a gorgeous gold leaf-decorated glass of coffee with cardamom and vanilla which made for a really enjoyable finale.

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I was surprised to see Golden Pomfret on the menu because it’s more commonly found in Chinese restaurants. But Executive Chef David Tang did the fish justice with his New Italian style of Pompano Piccata ($42) which had it pan-seared for a crisp skin and moist flesh, then served in a delectable sauce concocted from white wine, lemon juice, shallots and capers. The final touch, a scattering of briny trout roe. By the way, Chef personally prepares the pomfrets himself each morning after @ahhuakelong delivers them.

G I F T
@padasukaindo_food kindly blessed me from out of the blue again. This time, it was the famous Garlic Butter Crab from @beatus_chef in Surabaya, Indonesia that Irene gave. As per the usual S.O.P., once the frozen food was thawed, it just needed to be heated up for eating. Easy peasy.

I must say, Beatus’ Garlic Butter Crab lived up to its name and the some. The intoxicatingly rich butter could be smelled and tasted in every bite. I also loved how chockfull in soft whole shallots and garlic cloves the spicy sauce was. 100% finger-licking shiokness!

If you want to enjoy food from popular restaurants in Bali, Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia, delivered via DHL to your doorstep, do check out @padasukaindo_food.

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My parents and I were bowled over by this Red Grouper Claypot Teochew Style. Apart from it being really generous in serving for a small-sized order, the simmering broth was extraordinarily appetising thanks to the addition of several “sng buay” (sour plums). It was also chockfull of thickly-sliced grouper (other types of fish are also available), “tau kee” (dried beancurd skin), “tau hu” (soft beancurd), Chinese cabbage and tomatoes.
Best thing to enjoy this with? A bowl of steaming hot rice. Mmmmmm...

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H O S T E D
Group Executive Chef @juanjocarrillochef of FOC Restaurants wants us to be acquainted with other Spanish rice dishes besides Paella. Enter the NEW “Juicy Rice” or “Arroz Caldoso” of Catalunya.
Shown above is a stunning rendition starring a Boston Lobster ($68++). There’s no denying it is a showstopper. Due to a rich broth derived from lobster heads and sofritto (simmered mixed vegetables), it is immensely flavourful. I love that the grains of rice stay pretty much al dente and aren’t reduced to a mush.
As for how many people this pan can feed, well, it depends on the number of other items ordered. I reckon it is suitable for two substantial servings or four tasting portions. You can also pay to add extra lobster if you like.

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M E D I A P R E V I E W
Did you know that all of the seafood supplied to @lukeslobstersg in Singapore is exactly the same as those for @lukeslobster’s 22 full service restaurants across America and their 10 locations in Japan? Traceable every step of the way right to the source, these suppliers were selected for their practice of sustainable production.

The best way to enjoy the different seafood is to order the “Luke’s Trio”. So it’s especially perfect when you’re visiting for the first time, or if you want to have the best of three worlds. Priced at $33.50, it comes with a half serving each of the Shrimp, Crab and Lobster Rolls.

Their signature Maine-style Lobster Roll is every bit as good as it’s reputed to be. From between the super light and fluffy buttered split-top bun (a thing of beauty in itself, squiggled with just the right amount of mayo at its base), sweet and juicy chunks of lobster meat spill forth. It is so sublime every bite has a tendency to trigger X-rated sounds.

We might be use to seeing more vivid coloured prawns in Singapore and hence, may mistake the paler specimen used in the Shrimp Roll as lacking in flavour but that is not true. Those bouncy babies are really sweet and with Luke’s Lobster’s secret recipe seasoning and buttered buns, taste delicious as well.

If you adore crab, you’ll find their Crab Roll very satisfying because the split buttered bun is abundantly packed with the sweet, juicy delicate thready flesh of crabs from Maine, U.S.A.

Since @lukeslobstersg offers Pre-order online right now, you can actually tap on their link-in-bio on Instagram to do that too.

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M E D I A T A S T I N G
The famous @lukeslobster that originated in New York and is known for attracting long queues at all its outlets including those in Japan, is officially opening in Singapore this Wednesday, 23rd September at 1pm.
Located on the street level of Isetan Scotts, @lukeslobstersg can be easily found as it’s right by the entrance of the department store.
I had the opportunity to visit today for a preview. Besides catching the making-of action of the brand’s iconic Maine-style #lobsterroll, I got to try most of the items on their menu too. As sweet and juicy as those generous chunks of lobster meat are, the buttered split-top bun deserves equal credit for the overall magnificence. It is ridiculously light and fluffy, and oh-so-fragrant with butter, youll be tempted to bury your nose in there. Worth every cent of the $25.50 price tag if you ask me.

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My latest discovery is the Claypot Soon Hock (Marble Goby) at @nosignboardseafood restaurant located in the @esplanadesingapore. Love it for its extraordinarily tasty soup that comes flooded with fresh herbs, roasted garlic slices and fried ginger strips. Besides the fish which was really fresh and meaty, there were large, puffy pieces of beancurd in there too. So darn delicious and substantial as well. I consider this one of the must-orders here.

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An off-the-menu dish, this was a revelation. It starred a majestic specimen of wild-caught crustacean and extremely fragrant, roe-rich fluffy strands of beehoon. Which by the way, tasted just as good at room temperature after I brought home the leftovers.

After reading bossman @kenloon’s post on 7th June about how @nakedfinn created the sauce for their NEW Spicy Series, I was intrigued and hungry. No surprise that I immediately decided to order dinner from there for the following Saturday. What Ken wrote, I soon discovered for myself, was spot on.
More tangy than sweet, Naked Finn’s brazenly spicy version of the Chilli Crab roused my tastebuds into singing hallelujah. Thickened just enough with egg white, it‘s quite unique in taste, and I love that. The less commonly-found North American Dungeness Crab is the star here - its juicy, delicately sweet flesh a good match with the shiok assam gravy. Although the claws of this specie aren’t as huge as its Sri Lankan cousin, its fat legs yield bigger chunks of meaty bites. Priced at $12 per 100gms, my 1kg crab cost $120, and came with a box of mini “mantou” buns which did a fine job of mopping up the mouthwatering sauce.

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