Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Disgruntled Chef - More Brilliance Than Disgruntledness

Disgruntling aside, Chef Daniel Sia's latest iteration of his mischievously titled restaurant lives up to its reputation with its combination of well executed classics and updated modernistic revivals.

The joint itself looks classy and relevant, and nestled within a section of the revamped The Club establishment.

The service staff are more than just attentive, the pleasantries and conversational abilities do shine rather brightly amid a litany of cold faced servers in the Singapore food industry.

The menu is also direct and speaks more to highlight choice cuts and produce, rather than flashing gimmicks and fusion antics that have simply bored me to death recently.

Steak Tartare

Their classic steak tartare does not take much risks and by giving it the traditional treatment, the results speak for themselves. Nicely seasoned and topped off with a quail's egg for an oozy and luxurious creamy finish, the protein has a delicateness due to its precision chopping and a nice and colourful garnish on top to finish the job.

Foie Gras Parfait

Fried chicken skins are done correctly here, nary too oily nor too pungent, the textural joy brings out the richness of the foie gras parfait beautifully. Perhaps not their prettiest dish, but as an ode to classic French cooking, this nails it for me. The parfait is likewise, full of intoxicating flavours that reaches the edge but never attempting to leap off its gastronomic cliff.

Mushroom Tortellini

The mushroom fillings within the housemade tortellini is also a revelation. Not so much for its conception, but more for its thin pasta sheets that is rare in Singapore restaurants these days. That earthy and robust notes nicely lifted by the air of the parmesan foam to inject it with a touch of savoury umami.

Pork Cheeks

Pork cheeks braised to a meek submission is to be expected from an establishment like this. What is surprising is the additional depths of porcine flavours that Chef has miraculously coaxed out of the oink, and that is nothing short of spectacular.

The simple daikon and broccoli garnishes provides a straightforward but necessary accompaniments to relieve the palate from the intensity of the meaty tones, and all things considered, this is a carefully balanced plate of food.

Cote de Beouf

The Cote de Beouf, or the French equivalent of the Tomahawk steak is perhaps the only achilles heel during our dinner experience. It is adequate, and looks the part. Even the sides of truffle mash and vegetables are above par.

The meat itself is pulled off to a nice medium rare, but there is a sense that the beef flavours are not as pronounced nor as striking as I would get from the top steakhouses here. Nevertheless, my expectations are perhaps elevated by the preceding dishes and on its own, it is a fine steak.

Lemon Posset

It may look rather messy and unsightly, but this bowl of dessert is absolutely smashing. A contrast of textural conflicts between the brittle meringue and the squishy sponge gives your mouth much to ponder and to play with. The citrusy punch of lemon permeates the entire dish to bring every tinge of sweetness obediently back into focus.

Honestly, I did not bother to ask why the monicker. Chef Daniel, in person, looks anything but a Ramsay replicant. Quite the opposite, he looks calm and serene, as if he knows he has full control of his culinary expertise.

My first dining experience with the disgruntled one has proven to be a joy and a satisfaction. Frankly, if his inspirational fuel is full on disgruntledness, then bring on more angst in his kitchen if he can ensure this level of cooking is permanently maintained.

All hail the Disgruntled One!

The Disgruntled Chef
The Club Singapore
28 Ann Siang Road

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