Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Mustard Seed, Serangoon Gardens

By Saturday, October 09, 2021 , , , , ,

I gave up on any form of private dining since the scene started gaining popularity. Why? It is not because i turn my nose at fads and trends, it's just impossible to get a table at any decent ones, so i wait, until they become big enough to go commercial LOL. Mustard Seed is one of the private dining turned restaurant type and it is still hard to get a table- reservations are snapped up within a minute of their release on the first day of the month at 10am. I only managed to dine here 2 years after Mustard Seed set up shop in the sleepy Brighton estate in Serangoon Gardens, all thanks to my lucky friend and his extremely fast fingers. 
Mustard Seed is helmed by Chef Gan Ming Kiat, who serves his personal interpretation of Singapore's food, inspired by Japanese cuisine and technique. The fine dining, omakase style menu marries his prior experiences at Candlenut and Goto- Mod-Sin with Japanese. The menu changes every 2 months and starts at $140+ per pax for lunch and $168+ for dinner.
Jiu Hu Eng Chye is usually made with cuttlefish but at Mustard Seed, fresh squid is used, scored and seared quickly into tender scallop shapes. Instead of the usual kang kong, cucumber and kale were used instead, topped with a housemade sweet sauce which is a mix of sambal with red miso and hoisin. I don't typically enjoy the cuttlefish kangkong dish and i definitely prefer this version which is more elegant. 
Prawn Tortellini with Ipoh style broth eased us into the hot dishes and boy does it comfort the soul. The inspiration of the dish comes from Ipoh chicken hor fun and the broth is made with kampung chicken, and infused with prawn heads and prawn shell for more umami. The tortellini wanton provided a little more chew due to the pasta skin and it was quite a textural delight.
The meal just kept getting better. The Grouper with Laksa Johor is a light and lifting fish curry with pan-seared grouper. Mustard Seed makes their laksa Johor with a housemade rempah, cooked with the grouper bones which have been grilled and smoked over applewood for a slightly smokey curry. The sauce is finished with freshly squeezed coconut milk and calamansi juice for an added freshness and acidity. A crunchy herb salad of mint, cucumber, and red onions provided a refreshing note to the dish. 
The anchor of the meal was the Duck Katsu with Itek Sio sauce. I loved the sour edge to the reduced duck bone stock which has been cooked with assam skin and assam, and braised with achar. Toasted and ground coriander seeds and Sancho peppers provided an aromatic spice dimension. The hand-minced katsu was lovely with this sauce, and provided a savory juiciness and crunch to each bite. 
The rice course, Oxtail Nasi Ulam was served chazuke style with a beef broth. It's my first time having this herb rice and i liked it! The rice is cooked with beef stock and shredded oxtail meat. Local herbs like Thai basil, laksa leaves, turmeric, and ginger flower were then tossed it. Give it a good mix, and pour in the beef broth from the tea pot for the chazuke experience. I enjoyed the citrusy note from the ginger flower and the herbs helped to refresh our palate.
We had more rice for dessert but it was nothing that we imagined. Mochi balls are hidden under the sake lees ice cream drizzled with brown rice syrup, and surround with a broth made from pandan-flavored rice water and topped with a rice cracker. Truly an inventive rice dessert indeed.
I could totally understand why it's so hard to get a table at Mustard Seed after my experience here. The comforting but innovative menu was surprising at every turn. Diners who are not that into local Peranakan cuisine (due to its richness is flavors) would probably become fans (that's me, and Jr likely). Now i gotta work my fingers for the next round of bookings!

Mustard Seed
5 Brighton Crescent Singapore 559216
Wed - Sat: 7 - 10.30pm 
Sat Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm

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