MIDDLE EASTERN FLAVORS IN SINGAPORE
HN chats with award-winning chef, Bjorn Shen, owner of Middle Eastern restaurant, Artichoke, in Singapore during his last visit to Dubai.
1. Do you think there is a resemblance between Middle Eastern and Singaporean cuisine? While Singaporean and Middle Eastern cuisines taste different, they still have several things in common. I first discovered this when I was living in Australia, where my Lebanese colleague prepared a dish called ‘rezz a djeij’ for me. The dish featured chicken and rice, served with minced lamb and almonds on top and tasted delicious. I discovered that the approach in cooking this dish is similar to that used in our famous Singaporean chicken rice, which is poached chicken with flavorful rice. I can say that both cultures are fond of bold flavors and spicy dishes.
2. Which Middle Eastern countries inspire your cooking? Cuisines from Lebanon and Turkey have greatly influenced my approach and style.