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More Reviews at OwnselfmakeChef

More Reviews of good food at OwnselfmakeChef

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.
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ownselfmakechef
Address: Reserve your slot for the different dinner themes via email. More details at www.ownselfmakechef.com

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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..
💰$99
📍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.
_________________
ownselfmakechef
Address: Reserve your slot for the different dinner themes via email. More details at www.ownselfmakechef.com

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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.

Looks like a winning combination, tastes like a winning combination. The broth is so ‘Unami’ and the noodles ‘QQ’ (very much reminding me of Taiwan’s 曾拌面. I thoroughly enjoyed Chef Shen’s seafood feast, every dish was so creatively thought and brought flavours familiar yet ‘new’. I would gladly pay to try another menu here at Chef Shen’s.

Chef Shen Tan @chefshentan has a couple of menu ongoing at her private dining location, and I got a seat at the one that has a seafood thread going through each of her dishes.
🔸
In the cover photo was the dish I liked from her seafood menu. The housemade oyster noodles came in broth rich and flavourful from the use of various seafood and pork bones simmered in hours.
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The full menu includes:
* Mee siam ceviche (2nd pic)
* Oyster fritters with salted egg yolk aioli (3rd pic)
* Seafood tau pok pau (4th pic)
* Luxe hae mee tng (cover pic)
* Green pepper curry clams with nasi lemak (5th pic)
* Grilled salted egg cured grouper (6th pic)
* Durian tempoyak mussels and bacon (7th pic)
* Crab and mango crepes with salted egg yolk ice cream (8th pic)

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Besides the Nasi Lemak with its two killer sambals and the three incredible desserts, I would vote the “Beef Rendang Pizza” as my other favourite from the “Wok & Barrel Make MEE Great Again” dinner at @ownselfmakechef.
Laid on the soft and chewy dough was a good amount of cheese, a little tomato sauce and the pièce de résistance of Wagyu Beef Rendang. The ratio of each topping to the others worked well so the outcome was a tasty and balanced flavour profile. I was also very pleased to find the chunks of meat aromatic, very tender and spicy enough to be taken seriously.
On the whole, this themed dinner by @chefshentan differs from the other two I’ve attended: “Sinfully Seafood and “What The Duck” because it is more of a trip down culinary memory lane albeit with tweaks since quite a few years have passed since her “Wok & Barrel” days. Furthermore, it includes a couple of new “mee” dishes as well.
If you are keen to try this menu ($99 per pax), be warned that it is extremely carb-heavy. Skipping a meal prior to it is highly recommended. And pacing yourself during the meal itself is paramount.

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The rice was so good and on point, just the way I like it and here it’s paired with a lemak curry of local clams and kampot green peppercorns. So good!

The broth is so rich, simmered in hours with pork bones, carrots, shallots, crab, prawns and clams. The prawns are a real treat. Dig in and you will find handmade oyster noodles and bits of lardons. Hands down the best Hae Mee Tng!

Served with some killer chilli lime. This was another addictive course and it was so freaking good. Plus that killer dressing which set some of us on fire.

Case in point, oysters. She’s cleverly transformed these whole shucked oysters into some kind of lovely deep fried fritters and served them with some salted egg yolk aioli. How to resist? Well, let’s just say, we all went for seconds and some thirds.

A delightful start to our Sinfully Seafood dinner. All the flavours of mee siam without the usual ingredients. Here it’s elevated to the next level with botan ebi, Hokkaido scallops and grouper mixed with pineapple, cucumber and chilli. I like the sour notes which wakes your palate up for the feast that was lined up for the evening

Flagging off our recent “Sinfully Seafood” journey was this pin-prickingly tart and spicy “Mee Siam Ceviche”.
Cubes of raw botan ebi, Hokkaido scallop and black grouper (from “Ah Hua Kelong”) were “cooked” in the acidity of kalamansi lime, then tossed with fresh pineapple, cucumber and chilli. Heightening the “Mee Siam” identity in this ModSin creation was the must-have condiments of “tau pok”, chives, coriander and spring onions.
I attacked this like a zombie on a rampage. Not only because I had skipped lunch in anticipation of the meal but the hyper saliva-activating deliciousness was addictive.

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Because my fellow diner Yuh Meei had asked Chef Shen the right question, I got to learn something new. And that is, when a “tau pok” is turned inside out, the rougher textured interior lends itself to a crunchier finish when deepfried. I have to say, I love how this contrasts with the smooth “otak” mousse (so fragrant with torch ginger flower) and steamed “sea hum” (blood cockles) stuffed within.
The maniacal bit of this course comes from the bright orange garlic chilli lime sauce. Once slathered on the “tau pok pau”, you will feel it grab your tastebuds for a wild ride in bright heat. So go easy with it if you aren’t big on spicy food.

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Chef Shen Tan’s legendary twice-steamed, rich and moist Nasi Lemak (it’s what she launched her culinary career with a decade ago) arrived in the vivacious company of a mouthwatering green curry with clams. It’s a little milder than her other spicy concoctions (I guess Chef didn’t want us to spontaneously combust and burn down her place 😂) but still very aromatic as she had thrown in kampot green peppercorns (which most of us polished off too). The masochists who wanted to heat things up further, happily loaded up on the sambal belachan served separately.
Because Chef is a believer in supporting local producers, she used clams from “Ah Hua Kelong”. They weren’t that large but their freshness and sweetness made the effort of tugging the little nuggets of flesh from each shell worth it.

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My second visit here was sinful to the nth degree.
Different kinds of seafood, from Kalimantan prawns to local mussels and clams to grouper, got the “Chef Shen Tan treatment” which means they became dangerously delicious as she ventured to the extreme in imbibing them with intense flavour and richness. I will be sharing more details in upcoming posts about a few of my favorites from this “Sinfully Seafood” meal soon.
What I can say right now is that the woman doesn’t play coy. So when you make a booking for any of her private dining sessions, be ready for an onslaught of punchy dressings and sauces, as well as food combinations and preparation styles that are as far from boring as you can imagine.

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No wonder it's dubbed the Aporkalypse because after this meal, a revelation will dawn on you that life will never be the same again. 😂😂😂 Suckling pig with lard sambal and corn fritter, THAT pork chop, pork rendang with scallion pancakes, and bacon ice cream with sweet potato lard bread and gula melaka butterscotch ice cream. Babe, I love you. Ok, that's all.

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Both the min jiang kueh and kueh tutu take on a savoury profile for this glorious interpretation of old school snacks done right. Here, the min jiang kueh is lavished with a filling of crispy bacon, freshly grated coconut, peanut and crispy garlic bits while the kueh tutu is ensconced with minced pork curry with kampot green peppercorns. So much love. Ok, that's all.

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