So you’re sick of eating out, cafes, restaurants, hawker, they serve the same thing over and over again, albeit some better than the other, and you’re dying for a fresh dinner experience – some where that would keep your palates aroused and will pick your mind for the entire night. I know how that feels. I was exasperated and running out of places to go until.. I found Snack Culture Company at the very ulu CT Hub.
On every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, Snack Culture serves up their very own 9 course Omakase Degustation Dinner! Sounds like a mouthful, but it’s basically just you enjoying 9 different small plates that pack a punch aesthetically and gustatorily, at a pretty affordable price of $59+. While I hear some of you going HUH, dinner for $59+ where got affordable?! Trust me, this is cheaper than an average buffet you would go to, and these 9 dishes won’t cause you to feel like you just gained 5kgs, made with quality ingredients, and a pretty damn good experience, that beats queueing up for your oysters at the buffet line any time.
9 courses of small plates inspired by cuisines all around the world, wow. I’m excited already.
Located at CT Hub, alongside DeBurg and Travelling COW (both moved over from Bukit Merah’s Salut Coffeeshop), lies Snack Culture Company. Despite housing these powerhouses, CT Hub still remains horribly empty except during the lunch hours. This very fact makes the dining ambience amazing without the hustle and bustle we are so used to, and together with the unique dishes, this is a perfect getaway. I like the off-white interior, and during your dinners, the lights will be slightly dimmed for a more cosy experience. Do note that the degustation dinners are only by reservations, so call in if you’re interested!
Sparkling Sake with Jelly ($10) and Yuzu Italian Soda ($6). If you’re craving for something alcoholic, go with the Sparkling Sake (in the background), the peach jelly gives the additional texture and taste with an additional alcoholic kick! The Yuzu Italian Soda, on the other hand, was fizzy and refreshing, with fresh bits of yuzu in there! Both of which I couldn’t stop sipping on the entire night! So ,so good!
So now, let’s embark on this visual tour of their degustation dinner! When you’re there, you’d be issued with descriptive cards before every dish, which provide explanations for the particular dish that you’d be trying next.
1) Japanese Edamame with Thai Tom Yum Espuma Tom yum espuma is just a chim name for Tom yum foam. To enjoy this dish, pop the edamame beans into the small cups of tom yum foam and eat them together. I’m personally not a huge fan of edamame because of how green and tasteless it is, which tastelessness complemented the flavorful tomyum, that had the right amounts of heat and acidity! But… I still really not like edamame beans. A great way to kick start our meals with such a fancy pairing, and this was just the tip of the ice berg.
2) Chilled Korean Mandu in Singapore Bak Kut Teh Consomme
Have you ever had a cold bak kut teh? I guess not, unless you’re starving in the middle of the night and tried drinking from the leftovers in the fridge. It may sound weird initially, and even feel a little funny at the first mouthful, because that’s not what your psychological schema is attuned to. Bak kut teh = hot, not cold.
But trust me, this herbal bkt will grow on to you, and you’d be regretting for finishing your share so soon. I loved the herbal taste in this, especially since most of the bak kut teh I had, tend to be just peppery. Oh, and the Korean dumpling? Well.. We both thought that the skin was a little too thick. The first few bites would leave you frowning a little, because it was just… dumpling skin. However, you’d then taste the amazing flavors of the minced pork subsequently, which would soon overwhelm you and make you forget about how thick the skin was, until… when you have to write a review on this.
3. Chilled Black Fungus & Mushroom Salad in Nonya Belachan Mayo Dressing
Easily my favorite dish of the night, because MUSHROOMS. Inspired from the Nonya Chap Chye, Tat Hon, the Chef-Owner of Snack Culture, made this just the day before the first omakase dinner service! Check out his story behind this degustation menu here!
This dish was perfect with the BELACHAN MAYO dressing. Made with their home recipe, the belachan had the spicy kick and it was so, so flavorful. We even asked for more belachan to be added to our mayo and quickly emptied all of which into our bowls of nonya goodness. This was a simple dish, but the complexity of the flavors and textures were just out of this world!
4. Ter Kar Chor Scotch
Is this a scotch egg or vinegared pork knuckle? You got to try it for yourself! A clever, clever dish.This is how you should eat it. Half the egg to reveal a quail egg, and have one half on its own – that is the scotch egg. While for the other half, pile your spoon with ginger and vinegar, tell me if this dish is still a scotch egg or a ter kar chor. Haha! Actually, we thought that the plain half tasted just like the vinegared pork knuckle without the vinegar, because of the flavors of the pork beneath the breaded crust, so it was pretty much a give away. But still, a great play with this dish and definitely a fun dish to enjoy!
A dish that would excite because it keeps letting you guess what’s next, and how would the next item taste like. The paper roll had the same issue as the dumpling with the thick wrap, but as usual, flavorful. While the buah keluak lost its distinctiveness in this wanton, the haebehiam cookie made up for it with its oh-so-familiar flavors and hint of sweetness.
6. ‘Pen Cai’ Parcel
At this point, my belly was a little exploding, and my buttons were almost bursting, yet I kept looking forward to the next dish and wished it will not end, because everything was such a pleasant surprise so far! This pen cai did not disappoint as well. Abalone, scallop, shitake mushroom in a vegetable parcel, just like what you’d find in a pen cai during Chinese New Year. Yet this dish has a twist in its soup base, and you got to try it to figure it out! You’d be very, very, very surprised.
7. Kaffir Tomato Capellini Pasta and Catonese Har Jeong Soft Shell Crab
A great twist with the unique combination of soft shell crab with pasta. The fusion of the 2 cultures. However, we thought that this was the most unsurprising dish of the entire degustation menu, and taste wise, was rather expected because of the combination. This was the only dish without a wow factor in it, because our expectations have been raised SO HIGH for the past 6 dishes. BUT, this is not saying that the dish was not nice tasting, it just fell short in terms of the play in the ingredients. Nevertheless, a hearty italian dish with the well seasoned harjeong soft shell crab!
8. Seafood En Papillote
Our jaws dropped when this was served to us, because WA SO MUCH FOOD AH – a generous medley of seafood, served in an extremely flavorful broth! I wanted the whole baguette to myself so I could dip and soak up every goodness in this broth!
This chendol panna cotta sounds like a unique match made in heaven. But I can’t tell you if this tasted as good as it looked and sounds, because fate has acceded to my belly’s request in this one, we didn’t get to try this dessert eventually. So you guys got to try this for me and tell me HOW GOOD THIS IS! I can’t wait to hear it from you all!
Yes, I’m sad that this dinner experience has come to an end because I never once had such an enjoyable dinner, with my tastebuds being surprised every now and then. It was quite amazing to see how ingredients that you never thought would go together, went so well together, and this is what I call a stroke of genius coming from the chef, Tat Hon.
This was my first time trying out so many dishes at once, and not having any misses because I was just too intrigued by the offerings and I just kept looking forward for the next dish. Although I’ve seen reviews talking about how some of these dishes are seen as “trying too hard”, in my humble opinion, I don’t see how they are because if it tastes good, it tastes good, and there’s no need to go into the details and scrutinize on how each component may be compatible or not.
For an average diner like me, I thought this experience was priceless, and if I had someone that I need to impress on a dinner date, Snack Culture’s Omakase Degustation Dinner, will be the top of my list.
How to get there?
Kallang Ave 2
Degustation Dinner Hours
Available only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights
By reservation ONLY (64432006, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chef Tat Hon’s website: www.whatscookingdoc.sg