These days, he can be seen running Smor, the name of his eatery at the basement of the mall. It is a rather small and compact outlet, but boy does he put a lot of heart and soul into it.
Smor specialises in open-faced sandwiches, and that is something that I can relate to very easily. I enjoy the look of open-faced sandwiches, and to see everything plated so pretty and neatly, it is a visual treat for the eyes.
Traveen imports a lot of Nordic ingredients, including smoked salmon, shrimps and mustards to use in his food. He even bakes his own bread in his central kitchen for the sandwiches. Most impressive.
|Herring and Shrimp Sandwich|
His sandwiches are also fairly reasonably priced. You can choose to have a single, or a double on a plate. And the toppings are just gorgeous and generous.
The herring sandwich was our pick of the day. Using herring from Norway, he infused it with a sweet and sour cream that masked the inherent fishy taste of the herring, and instead injected the rather succulent fish with a perfect balance of ocean flavour and acidic punch.
The shrimp was another favourite. Layered with a spark of lemon mayonnaise and chives, the combination of textures and flavours proved to be another winning combination.
|Mushroom and Kale|
In addition to the above mentioned cold selections, there are also some hot sandwiches on offer as well. The mushroom and kale, in particular, was a particular standout.
As a vegetarian sandwich, this was definitely out of the norm but I suspect will prove to be a hit with the ladies and the health conscious crowd with its strong earthy tones and flavours. Beautifully garnished, this is a sandwich that is both pretty and delicious.
For the office crowd, Traveen also provides takeaways using customised boxes that are thoughtfully constructed. I highly recommend the smoked salmon that comes garnished with horseradish dill and an indulgence of salmon roe. Simple and utterly tasty.
|The Viking of Sandwiches|
Traveen has just operated for a few months, but already there is a steady stream of crowd trickling in to this eatery. Most are consumed by the fact that all his sandwiches are nicely plated and properly served with cutlery. There is definitely effort in every plate he puts out.
As for his kitchen staff, he is also very social enterprise oriented. Working in his kitchen is a yellow ribbon ex-offender. Traveen believes in giving back, and part of the reason he started Smor is to further this objective.
I had some time to sit down and talk to him about his cafe and his motivation, and I came away rather inspired by this soft spoken gentleman. He has this warm and caring notion about him that disarms any cynic almost instantly.
It is also especially heartwarming during this festive season to discover an eatery that is as genuine as it comes. Traveen's passion for making his food sincere and unpretentious deserves praise alone, but for his extra intentions in doing some good for the community, it is beyond reproach.
A year ago, my Christmas post touched on Soon Huat and Jabez's social enterprise and how it warmed my heart with their aspirations. This year, Traveen's simple little enterprise may be on a much smaller scale, but his heart and soul is equally generous and heartwarming.
As 2014 draws to a close, think of what you can do in giving this festive period. And when you need a good old open-faced sandwich laced with the goodness of Nordic produce, come down to Smor to enjoy the immense hospitality of Traveen and his crew.
Merry Xmas, from the Silver Chef
#B1-23 One Raffles Place
Next to Raffles Place MRT