Coming from a family of butchers, chef Sam Aisbett pursued cooking as a career since the age of 16 and worked at two of the most vaunted restaurants in Sydney: Quay and Tetsuya’s.
In our ‘Three Stars on a Plate’ series, we take a closer look at the restaurants who won three stars in our House of Stars category. These seven winners received the highest scores among 300 restaurants surveyed. Get to know each of them, and the one dish they consider their most iconic.
Chef Aisbett opened Whitegrass, his first restaurant at CHIJMES, here in early 2016. Less than two years later, he has earned one Michelin star, and is among a group of Aussie chefs in Singapore bringing modern Australian cuisine to our shores. His cuisine incorporates local ingredients like century eggs, jackfruit and longan, and showcases native Australian ingredients like muntries, desert lime and Tasmanian mountain berries. In presentation, his love for layers and textures is highly evident.
A dish he considers very special is his Australian jade tiger abalone with three treasures.
Inspired by a scallop dumpling he ate at a dim sum restaurant in Singapore, chef Aisbett reinvents the dish using abalone from Victoria, and ‘three treasures’ of shiitake, long eggplant and green peppercorns. “We believe that this balanced and texturally exciting dish enhances the beauty of the prized sea treasure and reaffirms why abalone is one of the finest ingredients in Chinese cuisine,” says chef Aisbett.
The abalone is baked in wakame and salt crust, then sliced thinly; in between are sandwiched slivers of Japanese shiitake and eggplant, whose earthy and sweet flavours add balance to the savouriness of the abalone. This is served on an eggplant and white miso purée with a kombu consommé with green peppercorns and chopped lettuce, and topped off with gold leaves and a drizzle of roasted chicken fat.
#01-26/27 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street. Tel: 6837 0402
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s September 2017 issue – Singapore’s Top Restaurants, ‘Three Stars on a Plate’