Authentic Thai Food by Home-based Indian Chef Raised in Bangkok

Our Foodie Friend Annette Tan of FatFuku Private Dining returns this New Year to tell us about her delicious collaboration with Luke’s Lobster and their first-year anniversary in Singapore. They’re celebrating with a limited edition menu of signature rolls that have been given a local twist by homegrown chefs, like Annette. Here, she tells us about her Peranakan-inspired Sambal Achar roll. Listen now and scroll down to the end for more lobstery details!

HEAR:

SEE:

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Annette also recommends one of her latest Instagram food discoveries – @part.thai. A home-based private dining experience started by Le Cordon Bleu Paris-trained chef, Rishi Arora. Having worked extensively in the corporate F&B industry and as the co-founder of Bangkok’s award-winning Tribeca Restobar, Chef Rishi certainly has the culinary chops.

With @part.thai, he creates bold, punchy dishes that draw on his memories of growing up in Bangkok. For Annette, it was love at first bite and good news if you can’t snag a coveted private dining booking, Chef Rishi has a smashing takeaway/ delivery menu which I gamely ordered from.

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What I experienced with @part.thai (even in a regular delivery) was beautifully-prepared food that was lip-smackingly delicious, spicy and like a comforting hug from Mother. In fact, Annette’s favourite dish is Mama Knows Best (based on a beloved recipe from Chef Rishi’s mum), best described as fish, tiger prawns, chicken or tofu ($25/ $35) given a liberal tom-yum-esque marinade then fried to spicy, tongue-tingling perfection.

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I went with the most-popular choice of fish and it certainly did not disappoint. The melange of spices really excited the tastebuds with pops of salty, sour, sweet & heat. Breaking past the deep-red, fluffy, battered exterior revealed a firm, white and flaky Seabass that was fresh and tender. So good!

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Another dish that comes highly recommended by Annette is the Tom Yum Spaghetti ($25), which had all the spicy and sour hallmarks of Thailand’s famous soup, but given a modern-luxe touch. The al dente pasta was lovingly coated in a silky, creamy sauce packed with tangy, salty, spicy flavours and a little sweetness to round things off. Juicy, fresh, shelled, garlic butter prawns and a large slice of lime crowned the dish, along with coriander, red chillies and shiitake mushrooms.

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For purists who poo-poo the idea of such a “fusion” dish, we assure you that the combination of tastes and textures will blow you away. In fact, Annette has brought friends from Thailand to dine at Chef Rishi’s and they themselves claim that his food is exactly what Thais would create authentically in their homes. Chef Rishi makes food that is exciting to the eye and palate, but remains comfortably familiar in Thai flavours. You won’t find his most popular dishes in a run-of-the-mill Thai eatery, but if it’s the classic pad thais and red & green curries you’re after, he can also do those expertly!

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Speaking of classics, Annette loves Chef Rishi’s Thai chicken curry noodle bowl (Khao Soi Kai $20), which she can easily polish off two servings on her own. I can testify to the addictiveness of this dish, which came thoughtfully in separate packages to prevent sogginess.

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The cooked yellow noodles and crispy deep-fried noodle topping were in one container, the yellow curry in another (ready for re-heating, if necessary), the garnish of preserved veg, lime and diced raw shallots in yet another, along with little tubs of chilli paste and sliced red chillies on the side.

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Reassembled at home, the taste of this Khao Soi Kai was far from shy. Heady flavours of coconut milk, chicken and lots of seasonings asserted themselves through the mildly spicy curry. The first hit was salty, followed by aromatic herbs and spices, chased by creamy coconut and a gentle sweetness. Crispy noodles played on the tongue with the soft, flat yellow mee. The fresh lime chunks, when squeezed enthusiastically, spritzed the noodles with an uplifting citrus zing. Fresh, crunchy texture came from the onion and preserved vegetables, which took the flavours to another level.

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A generous, whole chicken drumstick glistened invitingly, only adding to the intense chicken flavour with its tender-smooth dark meat. By then I really didn’t need any other flavour enhancement, but then there was the sticky-sweet chilli paste as a jammy bonus!

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If you have room for more, Annette thinks this is just wonderful – The Spicy Krapow Pizza ($20). Think the classic Thai quick lunch dish of minced meat stir-fried with holy basil, but served atop handmade pizza dough instead of rice. The pizza came thin, crisp and hot from Chef Rishi’s oven, blanketed with basil chicken, lots of chillies and cheese, with the addition of crispy-fried Thai holy basil to garnish.

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Again, this was an interpretation of an iconic Thai dish that still made sense. Its flavour profile was familiar, its textures exciting. For sure a crowd-pleaser with my family!

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Annette and I next have our eyes on Chef Rishi’s latest “Waterfall” beef salad, but alas, that is only available on @part.thai’s private dining menu and bookings are pretty much full, so do try to reserve your slot for future dates and the full culinary experience by DM-ing Chef Rishi. Thankfully, a large part of his repertoire remains available for takeaway & delivery. Simply text him with your orders, make payment online and settle on delivery dates/ times (or pickup, if you prefer, from the Sunset Way area). Set meals for 2 or 4 also available!

TASTE:
Part Thai Dining & Delivery
Menu: For takeaway or delivery
Order: +65 91268970 (Call or WhatsApp)
* All orders require 24 hours notice and pre-payment.
Minimum order $50. Free delivery for $150 or more.

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LUKE GOES LOCAL: A CELEBRATION OF MAINE MEETS SINGAPORE!

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Timed with its first-year anniversary in Singapore, Luke’s Lobster adds a third shack in Great World, after Isetan Shaw and Jewel Changi, with a celebration of local flavours championed by homegrown chefs, including our Makan Kaki Annette Tan.

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This is her creation, which blends sambal belacan with creamy and a zingy Nyonya achar (pickled vegetables) given a surprising lift with dill! The fresh herb works really well with the sweet and sour achar and best of all, the dill is sourced locally – check out Artisan Green’s home-grown herbs here.

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The result is a satisfying sandwich that treats you to familiar local flavours, yet manages to maintain the delicate New England integrity of Maine’s famous buttery lobster roll.

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Annette’s Sambal Achar Lobster Roll boasts the spiciness of sambal tempered by mayo, balanced with achar, freshened by dill, along with fresh, juicy lobster tail on a lightly toasted bread roll. It’s available at all Luke’s lobster outlets till mid-January.

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A quick follow-up to Annette’s roll from mid-jan till end-feb is Park Bench Deli’s collab – the XO Smoked Duck Lobster Roll – lobsters in homemade XO mayo, topped with umami XO bits. Beers, curly fries and soups like clam chowder will complete your Maine-by-way-of-Singapore experience!

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For more details, visit Luke’s Lobster online.

Luke’s Lobster, Great World
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#01-152, Great World
Singapore 237994
+65 6269 9600

Luke’s Lobster, Isetan Scotts
350 Orchard Road
#01-K4, Shaw House
Singapore 238868
+65 6592 7642

Luke’s Lobster, Jewel Changi
78 Airport Boulevard
#01-K209, Jewel Changi Airport
Singapore 819666
+65 6241 5765

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