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Tate Dining Room Ode to Soy Sauce
Photograph: Courtesy Tate Dining Room

Tate Dining Room honours a humble Chinese condiment in new lunch menu

I'm soy into you
Written by
Fontaine Cheng

A staple in every Chinese kitchen, soy sauce has defined the very flavour of Asian cuisine for over 1,000 years. Who knew that fermented soybeans and wheat would become what it is today – one of the most well-known and well-used soy products in the world. Used to enhance soups, stews, sauces, and much more, soy sauce, be it light, dark, sweet, seasoned, or even mushroom-flavoured, is an incredibly versatile ingredient to bring salty flavour and umami to any dish; a worthy ingredient to star on the newest lunch menu at one-Michelin-starred French-Chinese restaurant Tate Dining Room.

From now until March 27, the new single-ingredient 'Ode to Soy Sauce' menu is available as a six-course lunch ($880), with optional wine pairing, on Fridays and Saturdays only from 12-2.30pm.

Amuse bouche

Highlights from the menu include an amuse-bouche trio made up of a red mullet tartlet, Japanese sweet shrimp, and their homemade sourdough served with fermented soybean paste butter and shio-koji (salted and fermented rice) which has been aged in-house for two years.

Steamed fish soy sauce

This is followed by a take on the traditional Chinese steamed fish, which is recreated with chicken oil soy sauce with local mandarin fish stuffed with shrimp mousse; a supreme master sauce, or 'lo-shui' of foie gras and soy with homemade tagliolini, shiitake mushroom, and Chinese scallions; and a rendition on Japanese sukiyaki in a broth of beef and soy which uses Mayura wagyu beef in a savoury soy broth, paired with a deep-fried pigeon egg.

Caramelised soy sauce with coffee

More surprisingly, dessert also features soy sauce in the form of a caramelised soy sauce with coffee dessert which also features sweet apple caramel and chocolate ice cream in a crispy puff pastry. The digestif, a dark soy sauce martini, is also likely to stun with its blend of gin, vermouth, figs, Japanese soy sauce and dark soy sauce.

The Ode to Soy Sauce follows a whole line of other popular 'Odes' and guests can now enjoy lunch (from Tuesday to Thursday) with a menu featuring "All The Odes" including one for the scallop, lobster, kumquat, cheese and more, for $1,180 at Tate Dining Room. Visit their website here, for more info on menus and bookings.

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