We fondly remember when dynamic duo Tryson Quek and Bannie Kang showcased their combined prowess at 50Fifty earlier this year, bringing what they do so well at their own private home dining and drinking space Side Door to town.
Now, they’re taking it to the CBD with their latest collaboration with Ameising Bar & Dining, a popular post-work hangout spot for those whose offices are nearby.
Happening every Friday and Saturday evening through to the end of August 2022, the pop-up sees chef Quek preparing a 7-course meal and bartender Kang coming up with four expertly crafted cocktails to pair with the food.
Kick things off with a welcome drink that Kang offers on top of the four already inclusive (all part of good hospitality, we say), while waiting for the first dish to be served.
Quek specialises in small, tapas-style bites full of flavour and nuance, and he delivers that in droves here. It starts with the Texture of Salmon. This seemingly simple plate of two tarts filled with Norwegian salmon ceviche, shoyu cauliflower puree, nori, and elderflower is actually a play on salmon served in various forms – as a ceviche, floss, and ikura.
We especially enjoyed the Spot Shrimp dish. He once again cleverly subverts expectations by serving crisp spot shrimps alongside tom yum, not as a broth, but in shaved ice form. This play on temperature and mouthfeel comes across so cohesively despite it being so alien, and had us hankering for more.
Then there’s the 63°C Shoyu Short Ribs that is expertly served in more ways than one. Firstly, the pacing is spot on. Even though it’s the last savoury dish of the meal, you’ll actually not be too full by the time you reach this course, yet you’ll be thoroughly filled and satisfied after you’re done with it.
The course itself is a superb combination of flavours. Under three pieces of tender, succulent ribs lie a generous piece of foie gras waiting to be devoured. Having both together with the onion jam on the side also adds layers to the profile of the dish. Then there are two sticks of tempura soba atop the ribs that not only serve as garnishing, but make for highly addictive snacking in their own right.
With such scrumptious food, the cocktail pairings by Kang are equally delicious accompaniments. Themed after the elements, find drinks like the Humble, that’s made using a gin base and with earth-aligned items like cucumber, sansho pepper, and celery bitters. Refreshing and vegetal, it works wonders with the Peanut Tofu dish it’s paired with.
The Green Land, inspired by verdant pastures, has got to be our favourite. Curry leaf, watermelon, and lime combine with Fernet Hunter and Naked Malt whisky resulting in a concoction that is at once spirit-led and multidimensional.
We won’t spoil what else is in store during the dining experience. Suffice to say that this food and cocktail pairing dinner has got to be some of the best work that Quek and Kang have delivered to-date. The play on textures, temperatures, and tastes is simply sublime.
So if you’re heading down, rest assured you’re bound to have an – we had to do it – ameising time.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.