In my opinion, one of the best restaurants in Singapore is New Ubin Seafood. Great food, good prices (especially for Singapore) and no corkage (extremely good for Singapore). On 1 July 2015 New Ubin held the first of its new monthly series of set dinners where they will invite their favourite chefs to cook for those lucky enough to be on the mailing list.
For the first dinner they invited Jeremy Cheok from Slake to cook the Truly Singaporean Makan Session. Jeremy is not a trained chef, he is a scientist who is enthusiastic about playing with food (his own words).
Our table was for Singapore Brown Bag Drinking Club (Not my term), so the wine was, as usual excellent, and very diverse, maybe even more so than usual. There is only one, well maybe two, rules when it comes to Brown Bag, rule one make sure you bring a bottle a very good wine, the second rule is bring a back up, just in case the first is corked or we get thirsty, usually the latter.
Chilli Crab Rillettes with coffee shop toast soldiers
“Chilli crab for lazy people. Family recipe sambal and good quality crab claw meat folded into butter on old fashioned bread”
Angel Hair with Macerated Mushrooms
Jeremy’s comment “This dish was developed while bunking in with friends in Munich. Originally used tom yum cubes as the base but the dish has come a long way since then”
I enjoyed this dish especially the spice, paired nicely with the Gewurztraminer and the Riesling.
Pulut Hitam Risotto Stuffed Sotong
Jeremy’s comment “Always wondered why we make savoury rice porridge (vs the sweet ang moh oatmeal porridge) but no one made savoury stuff with pulut hitam. Also, really liked this Vietnamese dish where they stuffed the squid with mince pork.
Decided to make a pulut hitam risotto and stuff it in.
The risotto absorbs the heat from the squid allowing the outside to char while helping to keep the flesh from over cooking and turning rubbery”
I really enjoyed this dish!!!
Whole Norwegian Mackerel with spicy tomato and onion chutney
Jeremy’s comments “Grew up eating canned sardines every now and then. When I first tasted the Norwegian mackerel, I fell in love with the freshness of the meat and knew immediately that it needed the spicy tomato flavours found in canned sardines to go along with it.
The fish is seasoned with a cumin based spice mix to bring an earthy tone to it”
This was a really fishy fish. It was tasty, but not liked by a few people at our table. Not bad, but would probably not order it if I was at Slake, there were other dishes that I preferred.
Kichap Manis Pork Spare Rib with chye poh potato salad and GM mustard
Jeremy’s comments “I love bbq ribs and use spare ribs because baby back have a meat to bone ratio that’s not worth the effort. The sauce is kichap manis based because whilst still smoky, I prefer the Asian flavours as compared to the tomato base bbq sauces usually associated with bbq ribs. The chye poh potato salad is robust enough to match the bbq flavours and the gula Melaka mustard is an amazing accompaniment and is my take on German sweet mustards always served with pork.”
Awesome dish, my favourite of the night!!
Oxtail Rendang with soft cooked egg and sweet potato mash
Jeremy’s comments “Beef rendang is one of my favourite dishes and using oxtail lends a gelatinous richness to the gravy.
This Peranankan style oxtail stew is accented perfectly with a soft boiled egg and sweet potato mash.”
I am a big fan of rendang, this was an enjoyable dish, but not enough spice for my tastes. Would order this again if eating at Slake as it deserves at least one more chance.
Pisang Raja Dark Rum Flambé, Almond Crumble with homemade coconut ice cream
Jeremy’s comments “Coconut and bananas scream tropical flavor madness.
Bring these together with some crumble for texture and a heady lash of rum and you have the perfect way to call it a night”
Enjoyed this dessert, especially with the Sauternes
Post Dinner Aftermath
2009 Larmandier-Bernier Terre De Vertus Millésimé Premier Cru - Non Dosé
This Champagne was made from only chardonnay grapes, pale gold in colour with a steady bead of small bubbles. On the nose there were honey and citrus aromas, I found it to be balanced with a pleasant creamy finish. Paired nicely with the Chilli Rillettes.
2009 Dry River Lovat Gewurztraminer, Martinborough
Pale straw in colour, citrus and spice aromas. Lychee and citrus flavours, drinking well now, will get better as it ages, I hope I get the opportunity to taste this wine again in a few years!
2008 Willi Schaefer Riesling Qba, Mosel
This was a great Riesling. Mineral and kerosene on the nose, balanced sweetness and acid, lots of fruit.
Pairs well with the spices in the Makan food.
Qba = Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete or quality wine from a specific region
1986 Penfolds Grange Bin 95, Australia
Penfolds Grange, formerly Grange Hermitage, is one of Australia’s iconic, if not most iconic wine.
According to some, the 1986 was one of the best vintages of Grange ever produced, even though the bottle showed the characteristics of why it is a great wine.
Even after so many years it still had a dark crimson colour, with mocha and oak aromas, a very enjoyable palate with dark berry and chocolate flavours, with smooth tannins and long finish. Great wine!
The 1986 vintage received a red star rating in the Sixth Edition of the Penfolds Rewards of Patience in 2008. Red stars are awarded to those wines that are considered to be an exceptional vintage.
The cork in the Grange was very dry, unfortunately, but the wine was fine once decanted.
1988 Zema Estate Family Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra
Family Selection is Zema’s premium wines.
Red brick in colour, the aromas of this wine were muted as was the palate due to the age. The faint characteristics of a good Cabernet Sauvignon were still there, which, in my opinion, indicates that this would have been a great wine in its day.
1996 Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra
1996 is considered one of the better Coonawarra vintages and this wine confirms that!
Dark deep red in colour, with red brick “edges”. Blackcurrant and berry aromas, dark fruit and oak flavours, the tannins have started to soften but it still had great mouthfeel and medium to long finish.
2001 Rockford Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley
Rockford is better known for its Basket Press Shiraz, but it also makes this great Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Deep purple in colour with blackcurrant and vanilla aromas. Black cherry and vanilla flavours with silky tannins, nice medium to long finish.
A great wine, but I am biased as it was one of my contributions.
2004 Kilikanoon Attunga 1865 Shiraz, Clare Valley
The grapes sourced for this wine are from a vineyard that was planted in 1865. This wine received a 98 rating from Robert Parker The Wine Advocate, which is why the price has rocketed up to over USD200 per bottle. I don’t always agree with Parker’s ratings but in this case he may have gotten it right.
The 1865 is only made in years when there is exceptional fruit, 2004 was definitely a year when this was the case.
The colour is deep purple, with chocolate, vanilla and spice on the nose. On the palate this was lush and rich with berries and spice flavours, silky tannins and a long finish.
An excellent wine, will have to keep an eye out for it!
2005 The Wine Shiraz, Barossa Valley
The Wine is made for export to the US. Even the bottle was specially made for export with thinner glass that is coated in plastic to strengthen the bottle whilst making it a lighter and therefore cheaper for transport.
In my opinion this was not a great wine and I would not recommend it.
1996 Fontanafredda Vigna La Rosa, Barolo DOCG, Piedmont
A surprise towards the end of the night was this great Barolo.
Deep ruby colour, aromas included spice and tobacco, with spice and fruit flavours and a medium to long finish. Great wine!
2004 La Alta Grand Reserva 904 DOCA, Rioja Spain
As we were still thirsty one of the back up wines was opened.
Bright red colour with aromas that included vanilla, leather, herb and spice aromas.
A medium body, but not an overly tannic wine, with cherry, plum and vanilla flavours, with an enjoyable long finish!
2011 Chateau Guiraud, Sauternes, France
To pair with the dessert we had my second wine of the night.
Golden straw in colour, with apricot, honey and vanilla on the nose. Balanced acid with lemon and honey flavours and a medium to long finish.