I’ve heard about this restaurant before but never really thought of checking it out because, well, the location isn’t the most convenient. I actually wanted to try Portico tonight, but they seemed to be having an event when I got there. In search of something better, I suggested walking up to Gillman Barracks to hunt for something else.
This is not my area and I’ve never been here before. My first impression was that it looks a lot like Dempsey, but a less crowded one. It took Google search to tell me what restaurants they have and there were only 3 choices. The more interesting sounding one was The Naked Finn, so here I was for dinner.
The restaurant was very small and looked more make shift than I imagined. It does look unique and reminds me a lot of a restaurant in Barcelona that I did not get to try because they were full. Coincidentally, the Barcelona restaurant specialised in seafood too. I was lucky to get a seat without reservations. I would say reservations is definitely necessary because this place is small and popular.
Their menu is almost entirely seafood, with one Iberico pork option only. Clearly they take pride in seafood and even list the scientific names of the species they serve. The setup of the place was not towards classy or romantic but more simple and casual with character (this is different from casual by using IKEA furniture). It looks Barcelona.
Wild-caught sword razor shell (Ensis siliqua) – $12.00+
Blanched, drizzled with fish sauce and fried shallot olive oil
I always liked razor clams. This one did not disappoint and did not have any fishy smell.
Piquant vermicelli – $8.00+
Blanched, tossed in special sauces, chilled
This plate of bee hoon looks plain but the taste was legendary. I do not like bee hoon but bee hoon is a good noodle to soak up flavours and for this one, their “special sauces” did work magic on it! The texture was springy too, probably because it is chilled (most other bee hoons we have are warm and tends to be soggy from steam).
In fact, just bee hoon and a few of those razor clams would make a good meal.
Diver-caught great Atlantic scallop (Pecten maximus) ceviche – $26.00+
Cured in freshly-squeezed lemon juice, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil
The scallop was big and juicy but not the best ceviche I’ve tried.
Kang kong – $10.00+
Blanched, tossed in kalamansi juice and fried shallot olive oil, chilled
This kang kong is different from the kang kong we are familiar with because it is chilled, not spicy and just sweet-sour. However, you can just add some balachan and salt provided and it becomes somewhat like the “normal” type. This was not as outstanding as the bee hoon if you are going to just choose one side dish.
Wild-caught lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) fillet – $32.00+
Grilled and oven-baked, finished with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
The fish itself had good springy texture. If any sauce is required there’s always the balachan which goes with anything.
Wild-caught American lobster (Homarus americanus) – $58.00+
Grilled on cast iron griddle with unsalted butter
This restaurant is a good choice if you want grilled lobster.
Naked chendol with freshly-made coconut sorbet & gula Melaka – $13.00+
Freshly made coconut sorbet = I must order it. There’s also an option of just the sorbet. It was nice but probably not life changing. I’ve had better coconut ice creams. Still, it is a good dessert to end this wonderful meal.
I would definitely return to try other things on their menu next time!
Tel: 6694 0807
Monday – Friday : 12:00 – 2:00pm (last order at 1:30pm)
Saturday : 12:00 – 3:00pm (last order at 2:15pm)
Monday – Thursday : 6:00pm – 10:00pm (last order at 9:15pm)
Friday – Saturday : 6:00pm – 8:00pm (1st seating)
Friday – Saturday : 8:15pm – 10:15pm (2nd seating)