Celebrity chef Justin Quek's new casual eatery offers delicious comfort food

Chef Justin's Signature Wok Fried Live Maine Lobster Hokkien Noodle.
Chef Justin's Signature Wok Fried Live Maine Lobster Hokkien Noodle.PHOTOS: YEOH WEE TECK

(THE NEW PAPER) - Justin Quek is one of the earliest celebrity chefs from Singapore, with restaurants all over the world in his 30-year-career.

He closed Sky on 57 at Marina Bay Sands in June last year, but has returned to the location a year later with two concepts.

Chinoiserie is his fine-dining restaurant that is classically him - a mix of classic French and Asian cooking techniques.

But it is his casual concept JustIN that got me excited. I'm all for the elegance and pomp of fine dining, but for me, a good night out is often at a place where you can let it all hang out.

The all-day diner is on the Marina Bay promenade and that view can melt the most jaded heart.

And while you're soaking up the scenery and reminding yourself how much you love Singapore, you can feast on a locally inspired menu.

The prices aren't cheap, but the quality makes it worth it.

The one dish I insist you try is Chef Justin's Signature Wok Fried Live Maine Lobster Hokkien Noodle ($38).

It has a deep umami that entices. The noodles are not soggy even though soaked in sauce, and the best bit is the generous amount of lard.

SIGNATURE ITEM

The Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao ($25, above) is a good example of Chef Quek's East-West blend. This is his signature item from a few restaurants and he brings it to JustIN's slim dim sum menu.

The creaminess of the foie gras does well in a dumpling, although it doesn't yield as much juice as the usual pork stuffing.

Many established Singapore restaurants have drool-worthy versions of satay, and while the Charcoal-Grilled New Zealand Lamb Leg Satay ($18, above) is delicious, it is more nostalgic than innovative.

The meat is more tender than it looks, aromatic and dense with flavour.

That was what I thought about the Wok Fried Kampot Black Pepper Beef ($30) too.

There is nothing thrilling about it but it is comforting and delicious.

There are so many versions of the ondeh-ondeh cake that it is beginning to get boring, but don't miss the House-Made Ondeh Ondeh Cake ($9, above) here. I dare say it is probably one of the top three in Singapore.

There is enough of that coconuty taste, with the creaminess of the kaya layers.

It is also so light that you'll probably finish that sliver of cake in moments.

I don't even think you should order coffee with this. Just take it neat, without distraction, because it is such a pleasure to eat it.

JustIN
L1-83, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Opens 10am to 11pm
Tel: 6688-7722