Fusion Small Plates
Fusion food can walk a fine line – when the different cuisines enhance each other, the result can be mind-blowingly delicious, however, when they don’t, the dish can come across as gimmicky. That said, one of the chefs who blends different flavours, ingredients, and cooking techniques from different culinary traditions brilliantly is none other than Petrina Loh – chef-owner of popular small plates restaurant Morsels, which recently relocated from Mayo Street to Dempsey Hill.
Unpretentious and uncomplicated, chef Petrina’s experimental fusion cuisine defies boundaries and ignores attempts at pigeonholing.
She says, “I like to work with a variety of ingredients, teasing their natural flavours to release into the mouth a trained frenzy of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami, tempering the temperature and texture, all on one plate.”
After managing Morsels for four years within the bustling Little India neighbourhood – along Mayo Street, the popular fusion restaurant has now moved to Dempsey Hill, surrounded by plenty of lush greenery. The 40- seater rustic barnyard-style restaurant and bar serves wildly creative fusion dishes, which are ingredient- driven, paired with a specially curated list of wines, sake, craft beers and house-infused cocktails.
Sharing her thoughts on the must-try dishes for every visitor to Morsels, she says, “My favorite signature dish is the Steamed Venus Clams with Fig Broth and Kimchi. Also check out the new dishes including the wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawns with Daikon Cake and Tamarind Miso Sauce, Assam Laksa and Beef Noodles. The noodle dishes are only available during lunch.”
For those who prefer an even more unique and personalised dining experience, opt to dine at the four-seater by- reservation-only Chef’s Table, which features an open bar with a big book of drinks to please every whim and fancy.
How it all started
I’ve always loved to eat a variety of foods, but after living in the United States of America for some time, I’ve grown to really like western cuisine. However, I find that the portions in the US are really huge, so I often felt restricted from trying out more dishes from the menu, as I didn’t like idea of wasting food.
Therefore, when I started learning to cook professionally at the California Culinary Academy, and worked at a couple of fine dining restaurants and hip dining establishments like State Bird Provisions, I thought that the concept of offering small plates for sharing, was a great idea, and it is exactly how I would like to eat if I dined at a restaurant.
After moving back to Singapore in 2012, I was inspired to bring the “small-plates” concept here, and the dishes I offer at my restaurant are all very close to my heart, but I’ve put a modern twist to it.
What’s so unique about the offerings at Morsels?
At Morsels, expect interesting combinations of flavours not bounded by cuisine type. We stick by being artisanal, that is, making almost every single thing by hand instead of serving processed food. As much as we can, we grow our own herbs and greens for garnishes, and use local and regionally produced ingredients. Also, we employ pickling and lacto-fermentation processes to a variety of ingredients including pineapples, seaweed, watermelon and garlic.
Her thoughts on upcoming food trends
We observe that kitchen-to-doorstep delivery options will continue to do well, and more competitors will likely join in. Also, we find that there is a trend in local cuisine getting elevated in swanky restaurants.
Her thoughts on what makes customers return for more
It’s the whole experience that counts – from the little details in the décor, the service offered by the service crew, to the food presented on the table. And of course, the food is of utmost importance to us – ensuring that all the items on the menu are created consistently well. Everything matters.
In the near future, we hope to successfully sell guests our sauces and teas in our signature packaging, and perhaps even conduct cooking classes. Another idea in the pipeline is to look into the possibility of a quick service restaurant (QSR) concept for Morsels.
#01-04, 25 Dempsey Road.