Diners are now spoilt for choice with so many new restaurants opened or about to open. In fact, according to official records, from January to June this year, 359 new restaurants have opened compared with 252 closures. Competition to attract loyal patrons has been intense and looks set to become tougher. This is bad news for restaurateurs but good news for diners – food quality, service standard and value (to customer) look set to increase.
The Clan Restaurant, which opened on 1 June, is located within the conservation area of Bukit Pasoh in the Gan Clan Association building. The team behind this restaurant comes from Dozo which was a modern Japanese restaurant at Valley Point.
The first level of the restaurant features an open-concept kitchen where diners can see the busy chefs at work. Although the second level is a common dining area, it has partitioned sections which provide privacy. The total seating capacity of the restaurant is 110, and it is an ideal venue to have a romantic dinner or to entertain business clients.
On the whole, the lighting is a bit dim – possibly to complement the modernist décor that has high-backed chairs as one of its centrepieces. The Clan Restaurant offers a 5 course set lunch at $42.80++ and a 6 course set dinner at $62.80++, which opens up a choice of cold dishes like sashimi.
The set lunch started with a trio of salmon mousse cone, pan seared scallop and truffle asparagus, and truffle foam and foie gras terrine with cranberry sauce and pistachio cranberry crumbs. These may seem like a mouthful to name, but each bite was a sensation to the palate. Little wonder as the dishes are cooked using contemporary methods such as sous vide and dehydration, which help to bring out and intensify the flavor of the food.
Next, we were served with one shot of green apple sorbet each. It was served on a bowl of crushed ice. The sorbet was very refreshing and a good prelude to the meal proper. When we remarked that we liked the sorbet, the serving staff gave us a second helping. This set the mood for an enjoyable dining experience.
For the first course, we tried the herb encrusted mushroom escargot. Unlike most restaurants which cook escargots using garlic and melted butter, here the escargot was coated with herbs and garlic together with diced mushrooms. The result was exceptionally good.
The other 2 side dishes were the steamed razor clam with salmon trout roe drizzles with Japanese sauce, and the Kurobuta pork belly confit with pork crackers and passion fruit sauce. The salmon trout roe paired well with the razor clam, while the Kurobuta pork belly was outstanding. The pork belly was fork- tender and flavourful, with the pork crackers having wonderful crispiness.
On to the soup course. We opted for the cepes mushroom with truffle paste, and the crab bisque cappuccino with truffle foam and prawn twister. The mushroom soup was thick and well-infused with scent and flavour by the truffle paste. The crab bisque, on the other hand, was foamy and served in a wine glass. It was robust in taste and complemented the prawn spring roll well.
We tried three of the main courses available. The first was beef short ribs on hoba leaf with mandeira sauce served on lava stone. The 8 slices of beef were cooked medium rare and placed on hoba leaf. To have the beef cooked to your desired level of doneness, simply leave it to sit longer on the hoba leaf on top of the hot lava stone. Turn the beef slices occasionally for better results. The meat was succulent and tasty, with its essence brought out through the slow cooking technique that drew heat from the lava stone.
The serving staff recommended the spiced and braised lamb shank with potato panko and extra virgin olive powder. The serving of lamb shank was a substantial portion; it was well-marinated and the meat was soft. Somehow the potato panko had a ‘gassy’ smell when we ate it; otherwise, it was a well-executed dish.
The other main course we had was the Kurobuta pork jowl in pistachio puree with pickled zucchini and 64-degree (cooked) egg yolk. We should not have opted for this dish as we already had the Kurobuta pork belly confit as one of our side dishes. Taste-wise it was excellent, but similar to the side dish.
There are five desserts to choose from. The serving staff recommended the madeira cheese panna cotta, green tea tiramisu, and the Clan-signature chocolate fudge. All three desserts surpassed our expectations. The panna cotta had a smooth texture and did not have an overpoweringly ‘cheesy’ taste. The green tea tiramisu was a welcome change from the original recipe that is coffee-based. The green tea taste was robust and added oomph to the dessert. What we liked best was the chocolate fudge, with its rich slab of chocolate ganache. A pity, though, that it came as a dainty portion that measured three-bites in length. Overall, the three desserts were a perfect end to a most satisfying meal.
The Clan Restaurant serves modern European and Japanese fusion food and it shows great promise in the quality of food it serves. The presentation is dainty with light touches of modernity.
The serving staff was chatty, warm and friendly. As we had dined at Dozo before, the serving staff recognised us when we entered the restaurant and went all out to please, leaving a good impression. Great service combined with good food, at a decent price, are essential qualities for the long term survival of a restaurant; we think that The Clan has these and look forward to dining there again in the future.
18/20 Bukit Pasoh Road
Lunch: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Dinner: 6 pm to 11 pm