Wednesday, 20 August 2014
SELA Restaurant in Singapore, Seah Street
SELA Restaurant just opened (3 Jul 2014) on Seah Street in Singapore's financial centre (just across the road from grand old Raffles Hotel).
Johor Kaki was invited to try out the modern European dishes at SELA.
Stepping inside SELA, the dining area is bright. Decor is minimalist contemporary European chic. There is room for 40 diners comfortably.
Leading the kitchen at SELA is Head Chef Mohd Shahrom, local Singapore boy and a SHATEC graduate. Chef Shahrom worked at Garibaldi Italian restaurant and Lolla Spanish restaurant before joining SELA. While at SHATEC, Shahrom won a cooking competition which earned him a memorable study tour to Italy to visit some of Italy's best restaurants and meet with Italian grand master chefs. The study tour left a deep impression on Shahrom and is a big influence on his art.
I tasted SELA's dinner dishes and liked all of them.
Shahrom has a light sensitive touch on sauces, marinates, and gravies which accentuated the natural flavours of the premium ingredients. This is actually my preferred style of cooking (as opposed to the alternative of heavy handed use of sodium, sugar, grease, and synthetic flavour enhancers e.g. MSG).
I also sense that Shahrom is an instinctive and creative chef. So, the dishes at SELA all have his imprint and personal touches. Shahrom's European dishes have a local twist as some of the ingredients are locally sourced and Shahrom bring the West and East together in a sensitive and complementary way.
Here are the dishes I tasted at SELA and enjoyed. You have to come to SELA and taste it for yourself.
Carpaccio of Scallops with Thai Fish Sauce and Chili Dressing SGD16.50+.
Our first appetiser set the stage - succulent Hokkaido scallops dressed in a light Thai fish sauce with delicate herbs and juicy cherry tomatoes, punctuated with salmon roe that pop and release wet savoury bursts in your mouth. The very light sprinkle of chili flakes gave the starter a delightful tingle.
Duck Rillette and Seared Duck Liver with Apple Compote and Rocket SGD18+
The duck rillette spread was soft, smooth and had a light savoury flavour characteristic of Shahrom's style (in my opinion). I like this.
Creamy savoury lightly seared duck liver done just right. Muaks!
Grilled Baby Romaine, Crispy Pancetta with Tomato and Manchego Cheese SGD14.50+.
The crispy pancetta was so feathery light and delicately savoury, it resembled a kind of savoury spun sugar.
The Spanish Manchego cheese made from sheep's milk had a light yet distinctive flavour and aftertaste. Cheese lovers must try this.
Slow Braised Veal Cheek with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots.
The braised veal cheek was velvety tender, juicy and gently savoury. I like it very much.
Baked Lamb Ribs with Braised Red Cabbage and Baked Tomato SGD30+.
The tender, juicy lamb slides off the bone effortlessly. I am a lamb lover and appreciate the quiet presence of the distinctive lamb flavour.
Baked Miso Chilean Sea Bass with Edamame and Sweet Peas SGD27+.
The huge chunk of white meat was tender, creamy and naturally sweet. It's soft texture reminding me of a firmer form of egg white curd. The nice subtle savoury flavours from the miso sauce and lightly browned crisp outside, put all the flavours and textures together in a fine balance.
Pot of Scot Mussels.
The good size mussels were soft and juicy with a refreshing kind of saltiness that reminded me of the sea.
These quite addictive mussels were like savoury soft beer nuts that went superbly well with beer.
Talking about beers....... SELA stocks a good selection of exclusive Japanese craft beers which are priced only at a slight premium over mass market brands.
Besides beer, SELA has a range of house pour, white wine, red wine, and champagnes personally selected by Leonard, SELA's owner.
Finally, we rounded up our scrumptious meal with a couple of sweet desserts.
Fresh Berries, Rice Beer Sabayon, Ice Cream SGD10.50+.
Pinenut Crust Lemon Tart with Fresh Cream SGD10.50+.
I enjoyed my tasting session today and is happy to recommend SELA restaurant.
Thank you Leonard and Marie for the invite.
SELA Restaurant is located just below the Singapore Hainan Society. Five minutes slow walk from City Hall MRT station.
Restaurant name: SELA
Address: 32 Seah Street, Singapore
Hours: 11:30am - 2:30pm | 6:30pm - 11:00pm
Date visited: 19 Aug 2014
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