There are a few kinds of restaurant owners –restaurateurs who outsource for potential chefs to helm the kitchen, and independent Chef-owners. These are two of which.
Chef-owners who safeguard their secret recipes needn’t be afraid of assistants and helpers leaving the squad –all they need to do is put up new ads to seek new employees –their business will not crumble just yet.
Restaurateurs who engage prestigious chefs will need to keep their pockets fat (with $$), or risk losing them someday to rivals. The consequences for losing the commander-in-chief (together with his secret recipes) overnight, over a small (or large) dispute, would be especially drastic if the restaurant has already garnered a long-standing reputation. It would take a while for the restaurant to get back on track, and to keep up with the same consistent quality.
Sounds like a scene from one of Mediacorp’s drama series, but I do know of a small business that has garnered rave reviews previously, who is now facing this situation.
Fortunately for Platters Bistro & Wine Bar, they need not fret about losing a resident chef and fluster at adverse consequences. Every four months, a new guest chef takes charge of the kitchen and menu.
There’s always something new to look forward to.
The guest chef programme is co-conceptualised and curated by FoodCult, an F&B think tank.
Guest chefs are invited to interpret, design and create what he/she believes is appropriate to be served as a sharing platter. This concept fosters creativity, and allows involved chefs to showcase dishes that would otherwise be irrelevant for restaurants they currently own or are working at. The only restriction is that the food should fit within the surface area of Platters’ signature wooden boards.
Dining at Platters is all about sharing and bonding.
The ever-changing-menu concept also applies to the extensive Euro-centric wine selection, which will likewise be revivified on a regular basis.
Organic Lemon Lime and Bitters ($7)
Non-alcohol drinkers can sip on organic beverages such as ginger beer, lemonade and cola.
Roll with it ($36/$68)
Platters introduced its third guest chef, Tan Yong Hua, in late November 2012. Born and bred in Singapore, Chef Tan is a well-known celebrity chef in the Chinese culinary world, with more than 23 years of culinary experience. His constant love for innovation makes him an ideal candidate as a guest chef for Platters.
Chef Tan’s penchant for pushing the boundaries of Chinese cuisine is evident in this menu. For instance, ‘Roll With It’ is an original creation that’s been given an innovative spin.
Most platters are available in two sizes –half board and full board.
There are three components to this platter –deep-fried prawn meat roll with scallops and Chinese pear with mirin and mayonnaise sauce, bacon and enoki mushroom with wasabi-mayonnaise dip, and chilled pork belly with freshly sliced cucumber accompanied by a homemade minced garlic dressing.
I enjoyed every component on this platter, but if I have to choose between the three, it would be the ‘deep-fried prawn meat roll with scallops and Chinese pear with mirin and mayonnaise sauce’ that wins my vote.
Prawn meat roll is sandwiched between scallop and Chinese pear, expertly fried till a light crisp on the outside, succulent and juicy on the inside. It is a magnificent interplay of ingredients, with such seamless gestalts of tastes and textures – firm, juicy, crunchy and succulent – in one bite.
The Boner ($88)
For the carnivores, ‘The Boner’ comprises pork spare ribs with coffee sauce, baked lamb ribs with spicy black pepper sauce, and braised beef rib (bone-in) with Chef Tan’s signature homemade sauce.
The pork spare ribs hit the spot with bold flavours and toothsome succulence. The lamb is spiked with a good balance of black pepper sauce, and possesses no unpleasant gamey odour.
Although the meat could’ve been more tender, I reckon ravenous carnivores wouldn’t mind, as Chef Tan’s signature homemade sauce leads the braised beef rib to victory.
By The Seaside ($42/$82)
‘By The Seaside’ was a highlight for me. Fresh cherry tomatoes, accompanied by two varieties of grapes, jazz up the wooden board with their bright and vibrant colours. This platter is not only visually arresting, but also equally captivating in the taste department.
The main stars of this platter are baked sea peach marinated in honey sauce, pan-fried Canadian scallops accompanied by green bean puree, and crispy wild sea prawns coated in a lemon-lime cream dressing. It is an ethereal composition of varying textures, with a balanced harmony of salty, tangy and sweet flavours.
Lobster Rhapsody ($68)
Available only on a full board, the Lobster Rhapsody will please those thirsting for something a little more luxurious. An entire baked lobster is topped with Parmesan cheese sauce and tobiko, accompanied by mixed salad and cherry tomatoes.
Platters Bistro & Wine Bar
42 Club Street
Tel: (65) 6223 8048
Mon-Sat: 12-3pm, 5pm-midnight. Closed on Sundays.