In this week’s edition of new and drool-worthy eats, I headed over to StraitsKitchen to sample two standout dishes that will be included as part of their Christmas and New Year’s buffet menus (full details at the bottom of the post!). Cue the food frenzy, cause the Double Boiled Seafood Soup in Whole Coconut and Lobster Masala are sleighing this holiday dining season in Singapore: outstanding flavours whipped together from a team of chefs who know how to get local cuisine right. Let’s go behind the scenes to see how these go from kitchen fresh to your eager stomach.
Double Boiled Seafood Soup in Whole Coconut
As one of the founding members of StraitsKitchen Chef Albert works hard to not only replicate the authentic local flavours he grew up with, but to also improve on them through culinary innovations. Case in point: this limited time festive dish takes the traditional double boiled soup to a whole new level of food greatness.
Chef Albert sources a mixture of red date, goji berry, Chinese herbs, mushroom, Chinese yam, scallop, and prawn to prep the soup.
All of those fragrant and fresh ingredients go directly into a young Thai coconut whose water has drained and saved for other dishes, but whose flesh kept totally intact.
Chef Albert adds chicken stock and lets the mixture steam for a minimum of 4-6 hours to completely infuse the flavours with the coconut, resulting in a complex and soothing herbal seafood soup with hints of the tropics.
All of the seafood at StraitsKitchen – where the kitchens are 100% certified Halal (but they serve wine in the restaurant area) – is certified sustainable, from catch to prep, and you can taste the freshness. Being a chef, Albert explains that he’s ‘always looking for something new’, and was thus inspired by the traditional ‘Buddha Jump Over the Wall’ soup. He claims that ‘this is the sequel’ – a sequel that vastly improves on the original, in my humble opinion.
It’s smooth yet herbal, and achieves an ideal level of mild saltiness. The coconut mellows out some of the stronger flavours while allowing the soup to maintain its subtle earthiness. Oh, and the scallop simply falls apart into a warm and tasty seafood treat that’s only enhanced when you scrape some of the coconut flesh off into your spoon. It’s pretty much herbal soup HEAVEN (but scrape that coconut, trust me!). Catch this Double Boiled Seafood Soup in Whole Coconut as part of all of StraitsKitchen’s Christmas buffets as well as their New Year’s Eve Dinner!
Here, folks, is something even more limited edition, as the Lobster Masala will only be served during the New Year’s Eve Dinner Buffet.
Lobster. Masala. That’s right, two of the most delicious foodstuffs on earth in one plate, for your eating pleasure. Here’s how this earth-shatteringly yummy delight comes into being, courtesy of Chef Siddharth:
Chef Siddharth sautées garlic, red onion, tomatoes, and a *few* chili peppers together with a splash of vegetable oil.
Next up is a shower of spices in the form of ginger, turmeric, chili powder, spice powder (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg), and a pinch of salt. The mixture gets a splash of water and simmers for about 20 minutes, while I salivate behind the camera.
The lobster is first boiled for 15 minutes, then added to the fragrant curry to cook for a few more minutes. Chef Siddharth then spoons the curry right back into that tasty crustacean for a mouthwatering presentation…
A+ for style! The lobster masala is finished with a coriander & red pepper garnish, and is ready for prime feasting.
Chef Siddharth was inspired by the cuisine of Mumbai, which borders the sea and thus features a variety of seafood dishes with an emphasis on rice over heavy curries. Don’t expect butter chicken – here we have a deeply flavourful curry that’s less saucy than you’d expect, but with just the right kick of spice that’s never overpowering enough to stop you from eating. The fresh basmati rice (imported from India, naturally) is key to balancing the explosion of flavours, and the tender lobster is the perfect seafood complement to the rich gravy. This tastes just as fantastic as you would imagine it to.
So how can YOU get a taste of these wickedly delicious holiday dishes? Here are the deets on how to fill your festive season with all the Seafood Soup and Lobster Masala you can fit into that tummy:
CHRISTMAS BUFFETS (Double Boiled Seafood Soup in Coconut)
-Christmas Eve and Day Dinner buffets begin at 7:00 PM and are priced at $88++ per adult (without alcohol) and $48++ per child (ages 4 to 12).
-Christmas Day Lunch buffet begins at 12:30 PM and is priced at $68++ per adult (without alcohol) and $48++ per child (ages 4 to 12).
-Christmas Eve Lunch buffet begins at 12:30 PM and is priced at $58++ per adult (without alcohol) and $28++ per child (ages 4 to 12).
-Dinner begins at 7:30 pm, $188++ per adult (with alcohol), $138++ per adult (without alcohol) and $98++ per child (ages 4 to 12), which all include entry to the Belle Époque countdown party. The party will feature live entertainment, complete with free-flowing beverages such as Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque vintage champagne, and an epic dessert extravaganza from 9:30 PM onwards.