Raffles Courtyard Collaborates with Local Food Hero Annette Tan Of Fatfuku Private Dining
Following the successful debut of its year-long Private Chef Series with the Pasirpanjangboy last month, Raffles Courtyard has announced its second instalment, featuring the inspired Peranakan fare that has made Annette Tan’s private dining outfit Fatfuku one of the most sought after since she started the business in 2017.
Tan has cooked in collaboration with several restaurants, where she showcased her unique spin on traditional Peranakan dishes to sell-out sessions. As it is with all the best purveyors of heritage cuisines, hers boasts a repertoire rooted in traditional family recipes but parsed in modern cooking techniques. This has allowed her to reimagine some of her signature dishes to suit the modern-day appetite and changing demands; the latter includes the need to cater to a much larger party daily.
Her signature crispy mee siam, for example, is served here as a “mee siam rosti”, which is essentially crisp and fluffy potato pancakes topped with prawns and quail egg sambal, served with a Nonya-style mee siam gravy (a treasured family recipe, of course) to drizzle over.
“I guess the food I cook is best described as the food I grew up with and the food I like,” Tan tells Tatler Dining. “Yes, it has its roots in Nonya cuisine, but it reflects what I like to eat. Obviously, like most people, I'm partial to crispy foods, hence the crispy mee siam. I also love fried potatoes, so why not a potato rosti to replace the dry mee siam component of the dish,” she adds.
While available a la carte, the dish pairs naturally well with her rather lavish nasi lemak buah keluak creation. Served atop jasmine rice cooked with a blend of coconut oil and coconut milk for a lighter alternative is the star of this deceptively simple dish—a generous serving of her buah keluak sambal. Based on the traditional pais buah keluak, Tan’s updated sambal is enriched with minced prawns and pork for added sweetness to balance the distinct earthy nuttiness of the buah keluak, complemented with the sweet-savoury tang of homemade achar on the side.
Of course, no Peranakan meal is complete without a serving of kueh and Tan has chosen to reward fans of one of her many published recipes with her “pandan koh swee”—a twist on the traditional gula melaka kueh koh swee that features tender squares of the tapioca kueh suffused with natural pandan juice and coconut.
To boot, diners can—and should—also indulge in Tan’s ode to the quintessential local snack of goreng pisang (banana fritters). Available in scoops (single, double or triple) her roasted banana ice cream is a rich and smooth celebration of caramelised bananas, first roasted with pure cane sugar, that is served in cones with a drizzle of gula melaka syrup. Better yet, have The FatFuku Bundle, which comprises all four dishes.
The collaborative menu will be available at the lush, alfresco setting of the Raffles Courtyard daily from May 12 to June 11, from 3pm to 9pm. Exclusively on Wednesdays and Thursdays, guests dining between 6pm and 8pm can also meet the widely respected Singapore-based writer and chef.
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Christian Westbeld, general manager of Raffles Hotel Singapore, adds: “Raffles Courtyard’s collaboration with home chefs is a celebration of Singapore, her dynamic food culture, delivered through passion, authenticity and experience, but presented in our own unique Raffles way. By bringing popular private dining concepts to Raffles Courtyard, we are able to spotlight our local food heroes, their stories of Singapore’s heritage, and their mastery of their chosen craft, while offering unprecedented access to these unique experiences that are typically fully booked due to high demand, to the local community.”
The line-up for the next few months also include self-taught cook Shen Tan of Ownself Make Chef’s exploratory menu of Singaporean and Southeast Asian flavours; and an innovative menu inspired by the regional sojourns by chef Sandra Sim of Lady Boss Dining Club.