I met up with andmorefood for dinner. We started out being avid readers of the others' food blogs, regularly commenting on the others' posts. But our friendship only blossomed after we met at the Chilli Padi Nonya tasting. Some people have asked me why I attend food tastings. And this is why. It's great to put a face to some of the food blogs I read (and thus reassuring that they're not duds or trolls who hide behind the safe veil of anonymity).
So anyway, The Naked Finn marked our inaugural dinner meet-up. The beautiful glass-housed restaurant is flanked by lush forestry, making for a tranquil setting. Its off-the-beaten-path locale is a pain to get to if you don't drive, but parking is a breeze,
because so few people come here.
While the bill teetered on the pricey end of the scale, the food was good enough to make the meal somewhat value-for-money. Especially if you order the set meals. To be honest, I was a little skeptical about dinner here, because who wants to pay good money for plain grilled seafood, no sauce, no gravy, right?!? But, the seafood here is truly fresh, and homage is paid to its natural flavours with the barest touch of the grill, and adornments are kept to a minimum for the spotlight to shine squarely on the premium-grade seafood.
That said, my only gripe about this place was the staggered seating system; we got the earlier dinner slot at 6pm but had to vacate by 8pm for the next seating. I suppose it's a necessary evil, seeing as the restaurant is teeny tiny, and they need the turnover to stay afloat.
We kicked off our 7-course Set Dinner ($168++ for 2 pax) with a light Mesclun Salad, tossed in sesame oil and piquant balsamic vinegar dressing and laden with juicy orange slices.
The Soup of Flambeed New Zealand littleneck Clams was just brimming with the sweetness of the clams. Even if I don't quite appreciate clams, I lapped up every last drop of the full-bodied broth.
The Chilled Vermicelli noodles, simply seasoned with sesame oil, fried garlic mince and chives was deceptively addictive. We're both carb-averse, but this had such a refreshingly clean and clear taste that was so alluring.
The Pan-Fried Barramundi Fillets, locally farmed, were fragrant with the aroma of olive oil and sea salt. I loved the contrast of the paper-crisp, golden hued skin against the moist flaky flesh.
I usually balk at the sight of baby squids (unless they're those cze char crispy black ones) but the Grilled Baby Indian Squids were just so yummy. Chewy but never rubbery, these had a lovely caramelized char.
The duo of Lightly Grilled Diver-Caught Great Atlantic Scallops, plump and succulent, were accentuated by fried garlic crisps and a quick swipe of olive oil.
The Grilled Mozambique Lobsters were sweet with the smoky scent of the grill imbued into the bouncy, tender flesh.
The quartet of accompaniments, which were wasted on us. We were happy enough with the seafood that these were rendered redundant. Clockwise from top: kecap manis with onions and sliced chilli, house-made sambal belachan with lime, lime and cilantro mix, sea salt & pepper with lime.
The Naked Finn
41 Malan Road
Gillman Barracks #01-13
Open for lunches Mondays to Fridays from 12noon to 2pm;
Dinners Mondays to Saturdays from 6pm to 10pm;
Closed on Sundays