ST subscribers: Win a dinner catered by chef Chen Kentaro of Shisen Hanten

The winner of this giveaway will enjoy a seven-course dinner with seven friends or family members cooked by chef Chen Kentaro.
The winner of this giveaway will enjoy a seven-course dinner with seven friends or family members cooked by chef Chen Kentaro. PHOTO: MANDARIN ORCHARD

Stand a chance to win a seven-course dinner cooked by acclaimed Japanese chef Chen Kentaro

Chef Chen Kentaro is used to cooking in a 3,000 sq ft kitchen with 17 staff members at Shisen Hanten, his Sichuan restaurant at Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

But for the latest Star (Straits Times Appreciates Readers) treat, he will be working by himself in a small home kitchen, cooking an exclusive seven-course dinner for a lucky Straits Times subscriber and seven guests.

In a continuation of the campaign to engage and reward Straits Times subscribers, the Shisen Hanten contest is the first of this year's line-up of giveaways.

Past treats have included Taylor Swift and Elton John concert tickets, trips to the Maldives and Perth - and the top prize, a Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The Shisen Hanten contest is open only to Straits Times subscribers and runs from Monday to Jan 17.

The winner will enjoy a seven- course dinner with seven friends or family members on Jan 25 or 26, held at his or her home.

To enter, subscribers should go to 1845.straitstimes.com and answer a question about Shisen Hanten. The winner will be selected through a lucky draw on Jan 18 and will be notified on Jan 19.

Chef Chen tells The Straits Times: "I'm extremely excited at the chance of cooking in a private home in Singapore, especially since it will be my first time doing so here.

"With the kitchen located much closer to the dining table in a home, I can interact with the guests and get to know them better, while bringing a live cooking show to their kitchen."

Straits Times food critic Wong Ah Yoke will also be at the dinner, assisting the chef with the guests' queries that night.

Mr Wong says: "Initially, the idea was to host a dinner party at my place with chef Chen cooking for my friends and me. But I thought that it would be much better to offer this to our subscribers."

The dinner menu, worth $3,888, has been drawn up by chef Chen. Dishes include foie gras chawanmushi with crab roe soup and kegani crab meat, stirfried Miyazaki beef with green peppers and black truffle and stirfried lobster with chilli sauce. One of the highlights will be Chen's Mapo Doufu.

The chef says: "Chen's Mapo Doufu has been perfected using an original Chen family recipe that has been passed on through three generations. It is a must-try dish on our menu, which is why I included it."

Shisen Hanten, which is celebrating its second anniversary this year, is the Singapore outpost of a chain of restaurants in Japan that was started in the 1960s by his grandfather, Chen Kenmin, regarded as the father of Sichuan cuisine in Japan.

The younger chef's father, Chen Kenichi, is also one of the original Iron Chefs from the Japanese reality TV cooking competition.

"I hope to tell the story of my family legacy that has been passed down since my grandfather's time through my cooking and my dishes and I hope this will give a deeper satisfaction and meaning to the food the guests are tasting," says chef Chen.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, the restaurant here will run promotions until Feb 28.

Diners who spend a minimum of $500 in one bill (maximum four diners) from now until Feb 28 will also stand a chance to win an all- expenses paid dinner party cooked by chef Chen for themselves and a party of seven. Two winners will be picked.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'A live cooking show at home'. Print Edition | Subscribe