This refreshing starter is Quek’s version of yu sheng
(not the Chinese New Year rendition that we are familiar with). “It is similar to the ceviche served at Sky on 57. This dish showcases a slice of Singapore,” says Quek who as a young boy used to hang out in his maternal grandmother’s kitchen and enjoy her homecooked Teochew dishes.
“I am the youngest of 12 children, and when I finished secondary school, I helped my mother run a fruit stall on Queen Street. I would always eat at the hawker there and I loved the porridge served with fish flavoured with sesame oil, chilli, calamansi, and a sprinkling of deep-fried beehoon,” he remembers. “I like this kind of old taste, and wanted to revive it here. I like to keep things simple.”
At JUSTIN, salmon from Norway is laced with a light soy and ginger flower dressing, and topped with crispy ginger and garlic and crowned with organic greens. At Chinoiserie, Quek gets more creative with this dish by using Japanese hamachi from Kagoshima, dressed with truffle vinaigrette.
“I like to keep the flavours clean and light so I use a vinaigrette—this way, the natural flavours of the premium fish, and the subtle fragrance of the ginger flower can shine through to create a nuanced dish,” he adds.