I was invited to a #foodiemigup session at Restaurant Sela organised by social media network Migme (follow me at @jaznotabi) and we were treated to a meal comprising of 2 appetisers, 2 main courses and 2 desserts from the restaurant’s new menu by Celebrity Chef Benson Tong! This event was exclusive to Migme bloggers and we had a great time! ^_^
The restaurant has a simple and elegant, yet cozy setting.
Interestingly, the food menu spans two pages but the alcoholic list spans 3+ pages!! The offerings on the new menu are a marriage between Modern European and Asian cuisines.
Before the meal was served, there was a bottle of liquor sitting on the table and labelled with the words “HONEY & PEPPER”. I’ve never seen this before and it turned out to be a bottle of Ukrainian Vodka (40% alcohol) and we were asked to drink it. @alvinology jokingly said that @littlemisshoney will definitely drink it cos her name is Honey! LOL!
I’m not a fan of hard liquor but I did give it a try! (and no, I didn’t do any shots)
Gosh…the first whiff of the vodka was already intoxicating! When you take a small sip, you can taste the sweetness of honey, as well as a spiciness from the pepper! Its aftertaste leaves a tingling sensation on your tongue. Hmm…potent stuff!!
Enough talk about the liquor, let’s move on to the food! ^_^
Procuitto Ham & Melon ($16)
Wild Rocket, Compressed Rock Melon, Pickled Beetroot, Balsamic Gel
We started the meal with this appetiser (note that the spelling is as stated in the menu and not my typo) – The ham was lovely and not too salty and sat atop an extremely sweet and delicious piece of rock melon (you can taste the ripeness of the fruit). Chef Benson divulged that the secret to making the rock melon sweeter is to compress it! Slices of beetroot can also be found at the side – I normally don’t like beetroot and this tasted different. The chef said that in order to cater to the Asian palate, the beetroot is baked, then soaked in red wine vinegar and honey to remove its earthy tasty. Wow…it seems a lot of thought went into making this dish and I learnt some new foodie tips today! ^_^
Pan Seared US Scallop ($16)
Forbidden Rice, Red Radish, Yellow Frisee, Salted Egg Cream
This dish appears to have some exotic sounding ingredients but the “Forbidden Rice” is actually black glutinous rice (think of pulut hitam). The salted egg cream found on top of the scallops was quite light in flavour and this was to cater to non-Asians who may find eating salted eggs an acquired taste. As salted egg yolks are typically quite powdery, it is mixed with cream to give a different texture and flavour. @dessertingbeauty and I felt that it tasted a little like crab roe when eaten with the scallop! :p
Miso Chilean Seabass ($32)
Confit Shimeji, Crispy Leek, Wilted Arugula, Lemon Dashi Broth
The fish is marinated for 3 days, resulting in this beautifully flavoured dish! I usually don’t fancy seabass but this version somehow reminded me of eating cod and I was surprised that I actually liked it!
Kakuni Style Pork Cheek ($20)
Arugula, Charred Corn Kennel, Braised Leek, Roasted Parsnip, Granny Smith Sauce
This was extremely tender and flavourful and tasted almost like beef, but it was unmistakably pork! Cooking takes 6 hours and the meat is braised at 150 degrees in a combi oven and kept in its own juices to retain its flavours. Yummy!
Semolina Cake ($12)
Passion Fruit Curd, Torched Meringue, Vanilla Ice Cream, Passion Fruit Coulis
The texture of the cake was a little grainy, as expected from semolina, but it paired well with the flavours from the other ingredients.
Dehydrated Pineapple Pavlova ($10)
Charred Pineapple, Vanilla Ice Cream, Thyme, Paprika, Salted Caramel
I shared this dessert with @dessertingbeauty and another blogger and we divided it into 3 parts (sorry, no “after” pictures as it was quite messy!). The pavlova was a nice crunchy meringue and I liked the dehydrated chewy pieces of pineapple, which not only had a nice colour, but also had some sweetness like the pineapple jam found on pineapple tarts! The ice cream was made from their in-house recipe using vanilla bean extract and it was smooth and creamy. What gave this dessert an additional kick was the paprika powder! I couldn’t taste it initially but the aftertaste suddenly hits you with a tinge of spiciness!
Apart from the restaurant’s standard menu, a 3-Course Executive Lunch is available on weekdays at $15.90+ (menu changes every 2 weeks).
A Singapore-Style Brunch menu is also available but only on Saturdays.
More about Chef Benson Tong…
Chef Benson is quite well-known in the industry and he is a celebrity chef who revamps restaurants, provides consultancy services to restaurants and is also a private chef. He has cooked for many famous people (who cannot be named) and we heard that one of his clients residing in Singapore is one of the co-founders of a well-known social media network!
Chef Benson is running a contest for one lucky person to win a private chef meal in your own home (worth $500)! All you have to do is to dine at Restaurant Sela, post a picture of your meal on Instagram, hashtag #selarestaurant and tag @restaurant_sela and @jaznotabi in your photo. Hurry…this contest ends on 31st August 2015! Good luck!!
Well, it isn’t often that you get to meet a celebrity chef, so I took the opportunity to take a picture with Chef Benson before I called it a night. ^_^
32 Seah Street, Singapore 188388.
Phone: (65) 6337 6358
Nearest MRT: City Hall