SINGAPORE - (THE BUSINESS TIMES) The Naked Finn has always been the go-to place for reliably fresh seafood, served with few frou-frous but you always get a consistently cooked meal.
For the past year or so it's been operating out of a bigger space up the road from its original plastic shack in Gillman Barracks, which was turned into Nekkid - a cocktail-centric hangout with a few bites on the side.
After a spell of quirky local creations like sauteed squid guts that were a dead ringer for orh luak (oyster omelette), it now has a proper dining menu as Nekkid takes on a more serious approach to food.
With its big sister still the know-it-all of seafood, Nekkid leans towards beef, mainly from Japan.
Block 41 Malan Road,
Gillman BarracksTel: 6694 0940
Open for dinner only: 5pm to 12am (Mon to Thurs); 5pm to 2am (Fri & Sat). Closed on Sun.
The burger is a must-have (S$15 or S$25) for its "secret" ratio of Australian grass-fed beef neck to Toriyama wagyu A4 and Aomori rice beef that does wonders for the juiciness of the meat patty.
At 170g for the S$15 burger, the patty definitely leans Down Under, but the little bit of Nippon adds a depth of beefiness and tender mouth feel.
With just simple lettuce and tomato between a light, airy toasted bun, it's an elegant, unadulterated example of what a burger should taste like. And before raving about the bun as the product of some enlightened hipster baker, be prepared for a quick jolt to earth - it's just a simple toasted supermarket burger bun.
The hotdog version works just as well as a toasty, butter-dripping holder for 90g of bouncy European lobster meat (S$31) lightly seasoned and dressed in creme fraiche.
If you're going carb-free, the grilled octopus tentacle (S$18) is just a tad chewy but at least tastes like the real thing.
Air-fried chicken wings (S$7) with its intense satay-lemongrass marinade are pretty addictive and so would be the cubes of barramundi (S$8) deep fried in a thick crunchy armour if they weren't so heavy-going.
The wings come with a fragrant sweet chilli dip which goes better with the barramundi than its salty Thai dip.
If you're up for some serious Japanese beef tasting though, line up a Toriyama Umami Wagyu A4 tenderloin (S$78 for 150g) and an Aomori Rice Beef ribeye steak (S$20 per S$100g) for comparison.
For Japanese beef tasting, try the Toriyama Umami Wagyu A4 tenderloin (above).
The former is melt-in-the-mouth tender despite it being a lean cut of tenderloin, with an extra level of flavour (umami) that comes from the way the cattle are reared on the Toriyama farm in Gunma prefecture.
For a stronger beefy flavour without the marbling, the Aomori Rice Beef (don't mistake this as a beef rice bowl - it refers to rice-eating cattle) is drier and less enjoyable if you're used to wagyu, which the Aomori is not.
If you're big on beef - and it looks like more varieties are soon to be introduced - then this little Nekkid is a good spot to grow that knowledge.
WHAT OUR RATINGS MEAN
10: The ultimate dining experience
7-7.5: Good to very good
Our review policy: BT pays for all meals at restaurants reviewed on this page. Unless specified, the writer does not accept hosted meals prior to the review's publication.
This article was first published on August 15, 2016.
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