Industry Nights is a semi-regular column featuring the haunts of chefs, restaurant owners, F&B managers, and other marginally sane people with good eating recommendations.
You don’t have to know Brian Tan personally to see that he has a sweet side to him. If you’ve ever been to House of Flour, C, or either of the Hofs, you already know. And that’s why his list is so surprising. I fully expected to need an insulin shot after even reading it. But it turns out he’s got a savory side, too.
Yang Jia Hutong's Grilled Lamb Leg
Cheap and good is hard to find in this city. But these guys do an awesome grilled lamb leg. It’s well-seasoned with cumin and nice and crispy on the outside. Inside it’s moist and tender and the meat falls right off the bone. Not only that, they’re small enough that I can a bunch of them.
el Willy's Scallop Ceviche
This is a great dish, with beautifully balanced flavors. I love how Willy puts fried red shallots on top to give it a new dimension of flavor, too. In a strange way, it reminds me of the street food I eat when I'm back home in Malaysia.
Gourmet Café’s Crackajack Burger
They use quality ingredients: Great buns, great beef. And the Crackajack is just a kick-ass burger. They coat the patty with coarse-ground black peppercorns so each bite bursts with so much spiciness that I break out in a sweat.
Lost Heaven’s Cocktails
Or anywhere bar man George Nemec consults these days, for that matter. When he was at Chinatown, his Cuban Blazer was amazing. I loved his single malt Scotch Old Fashioned at Kee Club. And now at Lost Heaven he does a Yunnan Mule with passionfruit vodka, ginger beer, fresh lime juice and homemade tea bitters. The guy is a top-notch bartender.
Fulton Place's Rack of Lamb
It’s just a lamb rack sitting on top of a bed of braised lamb shoulder with a nice consomme. It’s so simple, yet so satisfying. I really love this one.
Mr & Mrs Bund's Lemon Lemon Tart
Of course, my list wouldn’t be complete without at least one dessert. And as a pastry chef, I know that this one is deceptively complex and difficult to make. Paul Pairet fills a fully-intact candied confit of lemon rind with lemon crème and sorbet. Great balance of flavors, great execution.