Housed in a black-and-white colonial house on Scotts Road, Iru Den’s brand new five-course menu showcases the best seasonal produce procured from small scale producers and friends in Taiwan and Japan, making it a rare, value-for-money fine dining proposition. Seemingly simple Amuse Bouche of twin snacks, featuring the Aichi Amela Tomato Tart and Taiwan Sakura Ebi Gunkan with tamagoyaki, are brilliant examples of how the quality of fine produce speaks for itself, as diners enjoy the natural flavors of the ingredients with minimum embellishments and fuss.
Singaporean chef-owner Javier Low’s distinctive style of progressive cooking, melding tradition with innovation, is inspired by his take on modern European and Japanese cuisines. Diners can expect a menu shaped by a global perspective from his formative years spent in Singapore and Japan, reflecting a deep respect for produce and seasonality. Low spent several years at one Michelin-starred Iggy's, and later earned his stripes at the Michelin-starred Cenci in Kyoto in 2016, where he learnt how to master the art of Kyoto-European cuisine, an experience that has instilled a commitment to perfection for the craft in him.
In 2018, Low returned to Singapore to open the (now defunct) intimate, 12-seater Il Den; and now, as chef-owner of Iru Den, he continues to push the boundaries of progressive cooking, drawing inspiration from his travels and time spent meeting with producers, and from visiting farms and working in different kitchens around the region. Low also helms Kumi Den, Duxton Road’s latest no-frills wine bar, offering Southeast Asian shared plates and minimal intervention wines from artisanal small batch producers.
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Iru Den’s first course is Low’s signature Persimmon, a multi-colored raw garden course that celebrates fresh Japanese seasonal bounty, once again, with minimal fuss and treatment. Featuring fresh Japanese kaki persimmon, zucchini, and watermelon radish, paired with Amberjack sashimi and a light, bright dressing of Dekopon oranges (a sweet variety of satsuma orange), the dish is light and refreshing on the palate.
The next course showcases local Japanese Jerusalem artichokes with a dish aptly titled Kiku Imo, where Low elevates chawanmushi with dashi and a homemade 72-hour poultry jus, finished with artichoke pureé, snow crab, pine nuts, and smoked caviar.
For a fried course, fresh Hotate (scallops) are butterflied and stuffed with Tai fish mousseline before being steamed, and pan fried in a nest of kataifi, before being finished with a spiced beurre blanc sauce, and torch ginger flowers.
Diners can also supplement the five-course menu with Iru Den signatures of Uni Somen (+$38) and the seasonal Donabe (+$24), with the latter being a seafood-heavy hybrid of Singapore claypot rice and Japanese Donabe.
A main of dry-aged, reverse-seared, smoked and grilled Irish Silver Hill Duck follows, served with gobo (burdock) chips and maqaw pepper; and the meal concludes on Cereal, a sublime dessert of caramelised pears, toasted cereal ice cream, miso namelaka, and a caramelized tuile.
The 5-course and 9-course dinner tasting menus are offered at $128++ and $258++ per person respectively, with a beverage paired flight of sake, wine, and non-alcoholic tipples available at $80++ for four glasses and $120++ for six glasses.
Visit Iru Den at 27 Scotts Road, Tel: 8923 1127