From the streets of Singapore to the streets of Barangaroo, the team of Cirrus Dining have combined forces, and flavour, with the team from Keng Eng Kee (KEK) in Singapore to create a taste obsession.
Honoring the flavours of street food, Cirrus chef Brent Savage has partnered with chef Wayne Liew from KEK to turn up the dials on traditional zi char (Singaporean Chinese home style dishes, literally translating to cook and fry) to create a fine dining menu that uses clever technique and a mastery of flavour to bring texture, interest and surprise.
Chef Liew is a third generation chef-owner of KEK (a must visit when in Singapore) who has revolutionised traditional dishes to bring the complex flavours of Singapore to younger and now also Australian audiences. The fine dining techniques from Cirrus take this traditional menu up a notch, or two.
We enjoyed a nine-course degustation and there were some outstanding items on the menu, including the vegemite chicken which is a KEK signature dish – using soy sauce, sesame oil, eggs and flour to attain that unique vegemite flavour.
The butter cereal prawn, also a KEK speciality, uses butter crumbs, which are produced in-house, and curry leaves to create prawns that are crunchy and creamy in each bite.
The black pepper Balmain bug is extraordinary – as you’d expect a Balmain bug to be, but with unique flavour of the black pepper. The spice and the cream of the bug are perfect adversaries on your tongue.
Unfortunately, dear diners, the degustation has sold out. It sold out within moments, such is the power of advertising. Don’t fear though, the Cirrus menu will include codesigned dishes that reflect the fusion of styles from these two chefs and items that were in the degustation. For instance there is the blue eye trevalla, fermented wood ear mushroom, shisho and bak kwa (Chinese pork). The level of complexity in the dish is showcased in the bak kwa being turned into a powder, the pickling of the mushroom and the layers of flavour in the broth. It’s one of those moments in food when the room grows quiet.
The glazed duck breast with Sichuan pepper is glazed in a similar way to Peking Duck, using soy and red rice vinegar, but finished with a seasoning of Sichuan pepper. It’s rich and succulent, and could be an essential part of your existence.
Singapore chilli crab with fried bun is also on the menu…because if it wasn’t there’d be a riot.
The pandan custard, kaya coconut jam and lychee granita is the perfect way to finish is perfectly balanced and not sickly sweet. Like most Asian desserts it isn’t claudia schiffer beautiful, but it’s got gusto and presence like Cara Delvigne and is also included on the a la cart menu,
These dishes are sophisticated and are dressed up for a night on the town.
The dexterity of these chef’s sharing their skills and flavours is a great example of food collaboration. It’s the perfect way to get your Singaporean fix if you don’t have the time to get away. If you do visit Singapore, be sure to visit KEK and also contact the Singaporean Tourism Board who can help find the places to eat and drink from street food to michelin fare – at no cost to you.
Singaporean inspired menu 6th March – April 12
Open for lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm onwards
Open for dinner Monday to Sunday from 6pm onwards
Shared Tasting Menu: $90 per person
À la carte menu : entrees from $18, mains from $34