SINGAPORE – In this age and time of a recession and economic downturn, it’s hard to turn a corner and not bump into an organization or two that is spearheading a program in support of local businesses and the community during a pandemic. As a food writer, I have seen first hand the impact of diners exercising caution and choosing to stay home. It’s becoming a norm now for restaurants and dining establishments to go back to the drawing board and manifest a new menu weekly to cater to shortages in ingredients and often, in response to sudden government announcements—sometimes stepping up precaution, and at times, easing restrictions.
Not exempt from economic woes are retail shops who are feeling the effects of a perceptible drop of tourism, now in the fifth month of border closure and, unfortunately not seeing a bounce back anytime soon.
It makes this gastronomical collaboration between fashion brand Boss and Wild Rocket at Roketto Izakaya very heartening. Now in its third restaurant partnership—previously with Braci and Salted & Hung in June and July respectively—#BossTogetherSG aims to uplift and support local business and community during these tough times. Also, 10% of the proceeds from this exclusive collaborative menu will be donated to The Food Bank Singapore.
August being the month of Singapore’s 55th Birthday, it’s apt that Boss has partnered up with Chef Willin Low, who famously coined the term Mod-Sin to describe a cuisine that pays homage to heritage Singaporean food while honouring new modern cooking technique to, in a way, put a spin on the familiar.
From 1 - 31 August, diners can enjoy an 8-course menu curated by Chef Low at Roketto Izakaya, a cosy Omakase restaurant within Wild Rocket at Frasers Tower that offers a direct view of the open kitchen.
The 8-course menu boasts a selection of food that a patriotic Singaporean will definitely know from regular visits to the nearby hawker centre. It starts with a Soon Kueh that comes stuffed with crunchy bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and sits in a shimmery pool of candlenut milk. While the traditional iteration uses rice flour, here, the skin is crafted from Hokkaido Scallop—equally silky and soft, but with an elevation that's a departure from the ordinary.
Elsewhere, there's a Cuttlefish Char Kway Teow that uses cuttlefish in replacement of the flat rice noodles we often associate with this holy grail of Singaporean-ness. Save for the swap, everything else remains the same from the crispy and cackling lard to the use of dark soya sauce that gives it a lively, caramelised sheen.
Laksa also departs from familiarity and is presented sans noodles and cockles. The iteration here comes with a plump fillet of locally fished red snapper that sits on an orange Laksa gravy from the OG—Roxy Laksa, a recipe and brand bought by Chef Low from the original owner, Mike Lim.
There's a delicate film of green made from Laksa leaf that hides all the other elements beneath, and though presented in such a Mod-Sin form, still retains the citrus and spicy notes we've come to associate with.
National Dish—though debatable—is Chilli Crab. It is served on a plate that has been painted with soya sauce to look like a crab. There’s a sizable ball of breaded crab that is chock full of juicy crab meat, which, in all honesty, is a much more worthy proposition than an actual crab that takes too much effort to extract.
I particularly loved the Satay—also a mainstay on the Wild Rocket menu—that is made with a thick cut of Iberico Pork jowl, marinated in satay-esque spices and served with a wickedly potent chilli sauce that is as addictive as it is fiery. The accompanying pineapple relish is a tart supplement to probably taper off the heat, but I say embrace that spice, honey. This is, after all, a Singaporean dish, and spiciness is mandatory.
The collaboration between BOSS and Wild Rocket at Roketto Izakaya runs from 1 – 31 August and is priced at S$150++ per diner. Customers will also receive a S$50 BOSS voucher with every order of this menu.
Website | Relish @ Frasers Tower, 182 Cecil Street, #02-12/13 @ Oasis of Frasers Tower
Lunch: Relish (Mon to Sat, 11am - 3pm)
Dinner: Roketto Izakaya (Tue to Sat, 6 - 11pm)
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