If these two years are any indication, chef collaborations are definitely here to stay. But most four hands (or six hands) dinners tend to be pretty elaborate affairs that cost a pretty penny, which is what makes the upcoming Jeremmy & Friends supper series – hosted by Le Binchotan and featuring guest chefs Damian D’Silva (Folklore), ArChan Chan (Level33), and Sam Chablani (Fat Lulu’s alum) – such a winner in our books.
#1 Hearty comfort food is the overarching principle. Here, it’s not so much about how fancy the chefs can get with their ingredient sourcing and complicated cheffy techniques, but more about presenting their most rib-sticking, soul-soothing takes on local supper favourites. Think hokkien mee, satay, porridge etc. Not that there’s any less care to the food. For instance, chef Jeremmy’s Beef Short Ribs Dumplings are made using 16-hour braised Angus beef shortribs and a chilli oil of char-roasted red chillies. There’s just no lengthy spiel between you and your food, and that’s just how we’d prefer to wind down at the end of a long week.
#2 It’s a great opportunity to get a sense of these guest chefs’ repertoire, to try something different from their usual menus. Ever read a chef’s personality profile and thought, “Wow, I’d love to have a taste of what they like to whp up for comfort food”? Here you go.
#3 It’s ridiculously affordable. $35 for two small plates and two big plates? How do they even make money? Can anyone even beat that deal? Just enjoy it while you can.
And if that’s piqued your interest, here’s what’s in store.
For one weekend (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) in April, May and June, a different chef will pop by Le Binchotan to present their take on supper favourites. $35 nets you a pair of small and big plates from the guest chef, and another such pair from chef Jeremmy.
The Supper Series run 9.30pm till midnight, and the guest chef events are ticketed via EventBrite. For other Fridays and Saturdays when guest chefs are not in session, chef Jeremmy’s supper dishes are available a la carte from 9.30pm.
ArChan Chan x Jeremmy Chiam
25 to 27 April
From ArChan: Skewers of char-grilled shishito peppers and fermented leeks, dusted with Sichuan pepper powder and hopped salt (a nod to Level33’s microbrewery). Great to get the appetite going, but the real flavour bomb is the stir-fried clams with XO sauce – local clams stir-fried with Level33’s Blond lager, tossed with the jamon-studded, housemade XO sauce. The accompanying pan-fried mantou, made using spent grains from the brewery, is another show-stopper, a little yeasty with lots of dark, caramel-like flavours. Maybe if enough of us keep bugging, ArChan might just bottle and sell her XO sauce too. Every voice counts, guys!
From Jeremmy: An umami double-whammy, starting with sakura ebi crackers and sambal belachan ($7), followed by a solid (and generously sized!) bowl of prawn noodle soup ($17). Think of the latter as a cross between Hakata-style ramen and prawn noodle soup, simultaneously showcasing the sweetness of the prawns and the richness of the pork bone broth. It only gets better – three plump, wild-caught angka prawns fresh off the binchotan.
Sam Chablani x Jeremmy Chiam
9 to 10 May
From Sam: A medley of market-fresh vegetables and fruits (including purple potatoes, Kerala bananas, lotus roots) thinly sliced and deep-fried – Sam’s idea of a healthier midnight snack. We’ll take whatever excuses we can, because these veggie chips are delish as hell. But save some space for Sam’s legendary #noburnnotaste grilled platter of burnt wings, pork ribs with a Vietnamese-inspired marinade, and his signature iberico pork collar-and-kecap manis Sataytay from Fat Lulu’s days.
From Jeremmy: Lots of patient simmering and lengthy sous-vide cooking belie Jeremmy’s menu. Besides the afore-mentioned beef short ribs dumplings in chilli oil ($15), Jeremmy has also brought back his famous Hokkien mee ($17), which was introduced last year as a National Day special. Hokkien mee is really dependent on the quality of the seafood broth, and he has spared no efforts, simmering fresh prawns, prawn shells, lobster shells, dried Japanese scallop and pork belly for a solid 10 hours.
Damian D’Silva x Jeremmy Chiam
6 to 8 June
From Damian: We’re not typically huge fans of cucumbers but we just can’t stop nibbling at this appetiser of pork belly with cucumber salsa – lots of zip and zing from fresh chillies, garlic, lime and shallots. Don’t gobble it up too soon, since Damian intends this to pair with Jeremmy’s porridge. The big plate too, was conceived with porridge in mind: threadfin fillet marinated with Damian’s very own tau cheo, steamed and drizzled with crispy pork lard, shallots, and wispy shreds of fried bentong ginger. Sure, steamed fish is common enough but Damian has the timing down pat such the fish meat is almost silken – his is in a class of its own.
From Jeremmy: A Nippon-Cantonese twist on juk, deconstructed but no less comforting. For this uni porridge ($22)Jeremmy marinated Akitakomachi grains with mashed century egg overnight, then boils them in a housemade scallop broth. Decadence takes the form of uni paste, pan-seared foie gras (atas substitute for pork liver slices), and another lobe of fresh uni. And because you can never have too many porridge accompaniments, Jeremmy’s serving it with some super sedap kecap manis-marinated chicken satay ($10) as his small plate.
Drinks aren’t part of the set (hey you’re already getting wild-caught prawns and uni for $35!) but we highly recommend chasing your supper with the special edition Yuzu Beer ($15). This zesty lager was especially created by Level33, and exclusive to Le Binchotan and Level33 for the duration of the supper series.
Photos: Ryan Acompanado