If you’re staying at home at this point in time, you might find yourself tapping into your favourite restaurants’ delivery services.
Other eateries have also found different ways to step up and still serve us amidst the COVID-19 situation. In Singapore, for example, Spice Brasserie at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road – which is known for its Asian-style buffet spreads – has come up with a seasonal A la Carte Menu, where you get single-serve portions of their Asian street food offerings for takeaway, self-collection and drive-through.
But if you’d rather cook something yourself, make sure you have the right ingredients on hand. And that includes a range of seasonings.
Speaking of Spice Brasserie, we asked Executive Chef Robert Chan of PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road to share the seasonings he can’t do without.
Two come to mind: Sea salt and premium quality soy sauce. “These two seasonings are overused and overlooked on the effect of their essence,” he states.
Indeed, you might think they’re simple and obvious choices. But let Chef Robert remind you just why they’re kitchen must-haves – and why sometimes they’re enough to elevate your dishes.
In the process, he gives us a few ideas for our next meals too. (Steamed crab, anyone?)
#1 Sea salt
And other natural salts.
“You can never go wrong with sea salt,” says Chef Robert.
“Salt is the most important element of any dish. It brings the flavour to a new dimension. It brings life to food. We can live without sugar but we cannot live without salt.”
He’s known this since he was a child, thanks in part to his mum’s cooking. “She would steam crabs with salt, and I loved eating them,” he recalls.
“The crabs went best with her homemade ‘shallot oil and salt’ as a dip.”
Furthermore, “Salt enhances flavours, and doesn’t overwhelm nor destroy the natural flavour of the dish,” he maintains.
“Brining, seasoning, finishing – there are different applications for different types of salt, like for brine or curing, where I will use French sea salt, and generic seasoning, where I will use Maldon sea salt.”
#2 Premium quality soy sauce
“(Making) this is an art, and it started with salt and beans. Premium soy sauce has a clean, robust flavour, some with sweetness that adds a distinctive character to a dish,” Chef Robert explains.
“Many folks will relate to how we can have rice with soy sauce. The truth is, even the popular scallion noodles at Spice Brasserie is made with, simply, shallot oil and premium soy sauce.”
Chef Robert’s tip: “When cooking soups or stews, seasoning twice will ensure best results.”
Here’s a cooking challenge: Which dishes (and how many) can you make with the above two seasonings with just a limited number of ingredients? They might help us save time and money without sacrificing on taste – which can be a good thing during times like these. 🙂
The Asian Street Food A la Carte Menu will be available from 11am to 9.30pm until 04 May 2020, starting at S$5.80 per dish. Order here and through email or phone at +65 6428 3160. Also visit the Spice Brasserie website for more information.