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Maison Shuko Omakase Dining Theatre
Photograph: Maison Shuko

Why is this mod-Asian omakase experience the talk of town?

Maison Shuko showcases local produce through modern French–Japanese cuisine with stunning visuals

Dawson Tan
Written by
Dawson Tan

The launch of Maison Shuko summed up the holy trinity of Japanese F&B concepts by the Zouk Group – possibly the most exciting venture for the brand’s portfolio in the post-pandemic era after Sushi Ichizuke. Here, diners can look forward to “Asiatique cuisine” coined by celebrity chef Justin Foo. The eight-course omakase menu is designed around French and Japanese gastronomy with a strong emphasis on evoking a sense of place. As puzzling as it sounds, it certainly ain’t all fluff.

Behind the eight-seater omakase dining theatre is a grand showcase of three local chefs with blinding resumes and accolades; chef Angus Chow (middle, below) from World Gourmet Summit Chef of The Year (2018 and 2020) fame, celebrity chef Justin Foo (right, below) from Restaurant Par Andre, Le Saint Julien and Senso Ristorante fame, and Jeremmy Chiam (left, below) from Iggy’s and former Le Binchotan fame.

Maison Shuko Chefs
Photograph: Maison Shuko

Right from the get-go, the amalgamation of these three contrasting culinary figures set the tone for the evening; those who know chef Angus would be used to his “big brother” colloquial yet witty energy while chef Justin showcases his artistic side and chef Jeremmy stringing it together with his professional hospitality – though it is their culinary flair that does most of the heavy lifting. The multi-sensory meal is complemented by tailored visuals and sounds – reflecting each main ingredient’s sourcing journey shot by chef Justin – designed to resonate with each dish.

Quite literally farm to table

In hopes to honour local producers, the bite-sized films present a different lens of how the trio got inspired and the purpose behind serving up each dish. “We have so many amazing producers in Singapore that we take for granted and through Maison Shūko, we want to honour them,” says chef Justin. From familiar names like Ah Hua Kelong and Hay Dairies Farm to lesser-known unsung heroes such as the Jurong Frog Farm and BluCurrent – many of whom are second-generation owners and friends of the chefs.

 Maison Shuko Crocodile Laab
Photograph: Maison Shuko

Leave any expectations at the door, this won’t be your usual rodeo. The ingredients are featured in an antithetical way – very much going against the grain if you may. Most of us who’ve had crocodiles probably had it in the form of boiled soups with a traditional Chinese medicine influence. But not at Maison Shuko. Here, lean crocodile tail meat from seven-year-old crocs of the Long Kuang Hung farm is interpreted as a hearty Thai-inspired crocodile laab. Cheekily plated to resemble the marshy natural habitat, crisp charcoal rice crackers are added for a contrasting textural crunch. 

So are the bullfrog legs on steroids – I kid you not, they were the size of chicken wings – from Jurong Frog Farm. Here, chef Justin rests the subtly sweet protein in a heady fermented shrimp paste for two days before popping it into the deep fryer till it is crisp and aromatic. A play on varying temperatures, the piping hot adapted shrimp paste fried chicken dish is paired with a refreshingly fiery papaya sambal sorbet. Well, Singaporeans do love their stir-fried claypot frog legs so it isn’t surprising that this dish is already a hit amongst regulars.

 Maison Shuko Au Japon
Photograph: Maison Shuko

Then came luxuries like foie gras. A dish that told a "rags to riches" tale of chef Jeremmy’s personal journeys. Inspired by his days as a flight attendant where he worked with famed Japanese chefs during his time in France. While he was there, convenience-store oden was his sure-fire way of a quick and comforting meal. Reimagining that into the Au Japon, with bincho-grilled foie gras, dashi-rice boiled daikon and a light clear broth. Gradually, oils from the foie gras seep into the broth, resulting in a distinct richness while crisp nashi pear strips add a little acidity and sweetness to the mix. 

A learning journey so to speak

“At Maison Shūko, we want to connect with today’s global diners who increasingly want to know where their food really comes from,” shares chef Jeremmy. “Within this space, we aim to take you on a delicious journey that explores what food truly means to us today,” he concludes. All in all, an evening spent here is without a doubt a treat for the senses. But for what it is worth, it is the intimacy, conviviality, and sincerity that makes one think of ever returning. Then again, the menu does refresh every six months so that's just another reason to return.

Book here.

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