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Affordable Restaurant Food

Affordable Restaurant Food

I eat for pleasure.. And at times you want a place where you get food that's a little bit finer than usual.
Justin Teo
Justin Teo

On 2 Aug and 3 Aug, four chefs will come together to present "Home Truly", - collection of dishes inspired by their childhood eats, as a tribute to our nation's birthday. It's only on these two days you'll get to taste local-inspired dishes jointly created by @dingdongsg Head Chef @millermai_ with Masterchef Singapore's former finalists - @aaronwong.sg, @zanderng and @gen_lxn.
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Pictured is the second main course by Chef Zander Ng, Masterchef Singapore winner. Chef Zander created his own rempah and mackerel paste, but lightened it to create a soft steam custard. And what I also like we're the large chunks of barramundi and Hokkaido scallops within the otah, which provided contrast in texture. It was then topped with a calamansi gel, ikura, Thai basil, coconut cream and torched in a banana leaf parcel. It has every taste of the otah that we are familiar with, yet nothing like what we've ever tasted before.
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I'll be showcasing the dishes by the other two Masterchef finalists as well. But meanwhile you may start making your reservations.
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[Invite]

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It's worth coming here even if it's only for this chawanmushi.
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It's very soft, silky, and wobbly, like good chawanmushi served at fine dining Japanese restaurants. And indeed, according to owner @junchen_hong and Head Chef @keeleng_, this is inspired by @akane.eno, Head Chef of one-michelin starred Sushi Kimura. She shared with me that to achieve that silkiness, the chawanmushi must have the right ratio of dashi, Japanese water, and egg, then cooked at very, very low temperature over a longer time.
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And Nude Grill's chawanmushi isn't just any chawanmushi. Instead of dashi, it's cooked using old henโ€™s stock, infused with black truffles and real foie gras carefully selected after Chef Kee Leng tested over 20 types of foie gras. It's a genius and seamless combination. The whole chawanmushi was occasionally punctuated by sharp ume kosho, and lifted by ginger. Think about it - it's a genius and seamless integration, with old hens stock and foie gras both coming from the poultry family.
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Thanks Junchen for having me and Chef Akane over for this wonderful dinner!

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* Ice Plant ($14).
* Grilled Ray Fins ($12).
* Torched Ginger Oil Salmon Carpaccio ($26).
* Roasted Duck Chawanmushi ($8).
* Fragrant Mala Fried Rice ($16).
* Moo Yang ($36).
* Kampung Sauce Barramundi ($26).
* Cold Jade Noodles ($18).
* Sweet Purple Potato Montblanc ($12).
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My favourite is the salmon carpaccio and mala fried rice. And.. All the best in your new role, Chef @brycelimg13!
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[Invited]

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Very affordable price for this Singapore-inspired dining experience created by Chef Haikal Johari (from one Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Amador) and Chef Emmanuel Stroobant (from one Michelin-starred Saint Pierre).
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The five courses are:
* TOMATO CONFIT (Chili, Szechuan Peppercorn)
* WARM CANADIAN SCALLOP (Coconut, Turmeric, Laksa Leaf Oil)
* BEEF SHORT RIB (Black Pepper, Ginger, Buah Keluak)
* WILD SEA SHRIMPS (Kaffir Lime, Chili Jam, Carrots)
* FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE (Hazelnut, Dehydrated Longan)
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You would be dining outdoors in a casual setting, and eating from disposable cutlery. But that way, you get the most affordable way to enjoy a 4 Hands Dinner by these celebrity chefs. And it's a special menu to celebrate Singapore cuisine with ingredients which are familiar to us.
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Seats are already limited. Register at http://l.ead.me/bav65y.
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EMPRESS LAWN
10 Empress Place
Singapore 179557

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The strong laksa fragrance filled the air as we were stirring this laksa pappardelle. Yet, as we started eating it, the taste was light and not gelat. And what I liked about this, and as with all other pastas here, is that the texture of the pasta were soft and springy, as they were all made in house.
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And the flavours here is representative of OFC's DNA - to present local flavours executed with a contemporary twist. And we see it in this dish as the Southern Malay Laksa is creatively reinterpreted in Crab & Prawn Laksa Pappardelle. A familiar flavour profile with the quintessential spices, dried shrimps, and coconut milk found in most Laksa dishes; the homemade pasta dish is pepped up with prawns, kaffir lime, and curry leaves from OFCโ€™s garden and topped off with crispy soft-shell crab tempura.
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[Hosted]

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"An all-local effort, NUDE Grill has the energy, enthusiasm and style that remind one of Les Amis in its early days. Just opened months ago, it shows great promise and is a testament that a restaurant doesnโ€™t need an imported celebrity chef to be successful. Within its dark, streamlined interiors, NUDE Grill serves up downright excellent food. Run by a young team, creativity here is rife, original and proudly local. We love its contemporary fare--Western in framework, but with an Asian body, flavour and soul." - http://toprestaurants.sg/2018/contemporary/nude-grill-review-2018/
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Pictured is their Foie Gras Parfait ($15), a starter that's like an ultra rich butter to be taken together with the sourdough bread. Encased in a sweet longan glaze and puffed rice for texture, it's topped with a dollop of passion fruit gel to balance the creaminess of the liver. Spread a little on the sourdough bread, and sprinkle a little of Himalayan pink salt just before eating. It's like having a foie gras as a dessert, or you could think of it as a glammed up version of butter with bread to start your meal. Either way, it was lovely.

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When our host talked about how much she loved this pasta (and that she would come back on weekends to eat this!), I knew that we have to order this even though it wasn't originally in our tasting menu.
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And I loved it too. That spicy chorizo was so shiok with that much heat to it. But having the chorizo together with the linguine with tomato coulis, capers and parmesan helped to mute the spiciness and gave it some sweetness. It's also loaded with lots of deshelled tiger prawns.

Most of their starters were stellar, but this ranked first as the most popular starter (voted amongst the eight of us around the table) that evening. Swipe to see what's beneath the foam.
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The pork jowl was slow cooked for 26 hours (so soft and velvety), before being fired over almond wood. And that's the almond wood that imparted a lovely smokiness to this pork. It's already good on its own, but everything else complemented it to give it a fuller range of flavours, from the Szechuan peppercorn pineapple, celeriac puree, shoyu-cinnamon glaze to the finishing touch of the fermented tamarind (the espuma).
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Taken during a tasting.

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If you're lucky enough to have this on a day it's available, try it. Zabuton aren't always available elsewhere, as it's a very rare flap of meat along the back where the muscles and the fats are interlinked, resulting in that magical ratio of fats to lean meat to muscle.
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And having the A4 cut means that it's still fatty enough for it to melt-in-your-mouth, yet retaining much of its flavor. There's also a touch of local flavour here, with the use of rojak flower jus.
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And all that came with this beef were wonderful treats even on their own - crisp yokeshire with molten buah keluak hidden within, a dashi made from potato skin, and refreshing daikon strings in ponzu.
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I really, really love this.
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Taken during a tasting.

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The Oh! Matcha Dessert Buffet ($38++) is also available in a 3-course set lunch menu ($20++ top up), which includes an appetizer, a main course, and ending with the matcha dessert buffet spread (see my previous post).
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When I was there in mid May, my appetizer was Canapes with Salad and Yuzu Dressing, and a choice of mains between the Chicken Breast with Gourmand Sauce, or the Swordfish with Green Olive Paste.
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[Hosted]

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I didn't do justice to my wonderful meal here, as I wasn't actually taking photos of my dinner that evening. But I need to post this substandard photo, because my dinner at Naked Finn was among the best places I've visited in 2017 and 2018.
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Every dish was cooked simply to showcase their fine seafood that were used. But their form of simplicity is about being meticulous about their seasoning and dressing, and using them only minimally. With that you can really taste all the subtleties of the seafood, and it was really good.
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For this dish, it's a Lates calcarifer fillet from Kuฬˆhlbarra, pan-fried in grapeseed oil, finished with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. The grilling was also perfectly executed, the skin was very crispy, flesh easily taken apart.

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Newly opened at Hilton Hotel this year, Verde Kitchen embraces a holistic and wholesome attitude toward healthy eating. They support locally grown, organic, certified ingredients as well as sustainable food systems. Thats making food healthy for us, and healthy for the environment.
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Take this toothfish for example. Chef Tan Ming Fatt explained that since cod fish are prone to overfishing, he replaced cod by toothfish that are sustainably sourced and carries the Marine Stewardship Council eco-labels. Indeed, it has a very similar texture to cod, though it was less oily.
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I had a lot to eat during this tasting, but I certainly felt clean after my meal here.

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I started my IG @i_post_for_love with a passion for writing honest independent reviews. It still is.

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