December 20, 2014

The Naked Finn @ Gillman Barracks ~ Go Go Go For Their Lobster Roll & Prawn Noodles Soup!

If you ask me, "Where do I find the BEST Lobster Roll in Singapore?", it's a difficult question for me to answer because I do not profess to have eaten all the renditions available to give a fair verdict of any kind. But I will tell you without hesitation that The Naked Finn serves such an awesomerrific lobster roll, it was the most memorable I've ever eaten to date.

The Naked Finn is not as kinky than it sounds, so don't be disappointed worry, you wouldn't get your lobster roll served on a bared torso. It really represents the casual joint's minimalist approach to the preparation of their food, where less is more, where more is no good. The menu is kept concise, with a focus on quality seafood just lightly seasoned and grilled for a more unadulterated taste.

Even the small standalone "shack" The Naked Finn is housed in is pared down to match their "simplicity is good" philosophy. The clear plastic-like panels held by black metal poles exposed us to the lush greenary of Gillman Barracks (near Telok Blangah Hills), a bit of the city skyline, and unfortunately the merciless UV rays of the afternoon sun as well. Still, I like the relaxing, makeshift feel to it. If only it's located next to the beach with beach hunks an oceanic view instead.

Dinner Set is available at $168 (for 2 pax) and $368 (for 4 pax) on top of the ala-carte offerings ($8 to $85).

We were there specially for Lunch, which features items not included in the dinner menu, and that includes the Lobster Roll ($29) and Hae Mee Tng ($25). Ouch, the wallet hurts! It's kinda pricey for sandwich and prawn noodle soup, but these dishes brought me intense gustatory gratification, so still okay lah.

Love love love the warm Connecticut-style Lobster Roll ($29), from all its 900g chunks of exceeding fresh and succulent Maine lobster meat which was grilled on a cast iron plate, to the pillowy soft bun it was sandwiched between. The bun, supplied by an old-school bakery, is first buttered before being toasted to bring out the aroma. Homemade mayonnaise is then applied directly onto the bun, getting it ready to give the lobster a creamy hug. Bites of happiness were delivered into our mouths. To say the entire combination is sublime makes it an understatement.

Broth of Hae Mee Tng ($25) is prepared using wild-caught spot prawn from Alaska, dried sakura shrimp and simmered in pork stock for 7 hours without any sugar and MSG. The resulting soup was surprising light in body, yet robusting with a highly pronounced crustacean flavor.

Crunchy whole prawns, tender Kurobuta pork belly and "soft like mee sua" Japanese somen almost completed this "angmoh" fancified version of prawn noodles soup, but wait, it also came with a condiment of Iberico pork lard in olive oil! This is completely in a league of its own, and would be extremely unfair to compare it to what you can get for a fraction of its price at hawker centres. The hae mee tng is a very slurpilicious treat worth splurging on.

The Secreto Ibérico Pork ($18), paired with invigorating chilled vermicelli, uses the "armpit" part (不见天) of the pig located between the shoulder and belly, an area where "the meat does not see daylight", hence the name. It was grilled to tenderness, yet retaining a delightful bouncy bite, and just needed a light drizzle of red wine thyme juice to enhance its flavor. Very yummy!

I wondered if the inclusion of Fish & Chips ($25) came as an afterthought to provide a safe and boring familiar choice to please the masses. To be fair, the vodka, beer and honey battered lingcod fillet wasn't that bad, sufficiently crispy but perhaps needs a heavier hand in seasoning. For sides, we enjoyed the wonderfully smoky Grilled Baby Indian Squid ($8) in sea salt and olive oil.

The Madagascan Vanilla Ice Cream with Guinness Draught ($20) packed an exceedingly strong alcoholic punch, and is unduly overpriced for a dessert which can be easily assembled together in our own kitchen if not for its homemade ice cream. Chendol ($13) with refreshing coconut sorbet, pandan jelly and subtle sweetness of gula melaka (palm sugar) was a much better choice in any sense.

Service was efficient and friendly, with a pretty female staff who was knowledgeable about the food served. She was able to answer all our questions in details!

Would I come to The Naked Finn for their dinner which is comparatively more exorbitant costly than lunch? Maybe.

Would I be back to experience the scrumptious lobster roll and hae mee tng during lunch all over again? Definitely yes!

The Naked Finn
Address: 41 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109454
Contact: +65 6694 0807
Opening Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm / Brunch Sat 12pm-3pm / Dinner Mon-Thu 6pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-8pm (1st seating) & 8.15pm-10.15pm (2nd seating) / Closed on Sun

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