Flame has always been a stage for Discovery Primea’s chefs to innovate. Led by Discovery Primea’s executive Chef, Luis Chikiamco, Flame’s latest exciting chapter sees the move from European cuisine to a more playful yet sophisticated modern Asian menu.
Moving away from his French culinary pedigree, Chef Luis draws from his childhood memories and creature comforts to create flavors that evoke wonder or nostalgia, and sometimes, both.
Since the new menu’s launch last May, immediately guests have claimed their fast favorites. Here are the top 10 dishes from Flame’s new menu.
TUNA YUKHOE TACOS (pronounced Yuk-hwe)
Yukhoe is a Korean version of Steak Tartare with beef, but at Flame, Chef Luis uses plump, fresh chunks of tuna cured in Gochujang and soy-honey vinaigrette, stuffs it in delightful little crispy homemade taco shells, and tops it with an Asian slaw. You won’t want to share.
GRILLED HALIBUT JAW
Lightly salted and dressed with crispy garlic, scallions and miso, the simplicity of this dish with keep you coming back for more, and wanting to dig in with your fingers.
CHAR KWAY TEOW
A fresh take on a Malay-Singaporean classic, the addition of Bay scallops and mussels elevates this humble but beloved noodle dish. The aromas from the sweet soy has nostalgic, transporting properties.
FOIE GRAS CHAWANMUSHI
A carry-over from the original menu, this egg custard dish has a cult following of its own. This is not a novel approach to the humble chawanmushi, we agree. Other Chef’s versions of this dish include garnishes and colors and textures galore. But Chef Luis’ simple take on it – a generous slab of seared foie gras seemingly floating on a shallow puddle of dashi and shanton broth, then a firm egg custard underneath – is delightful in its modesty.
WAGYU BISTRO STEAK AND EGGS
The new lunch menu feature easy fixes for quick meals, but Flame’s version of a rice bowl isn’t quite what one would expect. A generous serving of tender wagyu beef nestles on a bed of just-the-right-side-of-spicy kimchi rice and topped with a sous vide egg and wilted spinach. The surprising texture is the crunch from a pile of bean sprouts, for a nice, subtle crunch to every bite.
STEAMED CHICKEN AND LOBSTER XO
If there were a dish that best represents the new playfulness and almost manic enthusiasm of Flame’s chefs, this dish would be it. A behemoth of a meal all in one steaming pot: sticky rice and mushroom cooked in three types of soy, homemade sweet and savory Chinese sausage, chicken steamed with ginger and garlic, and a whole lobster steamed to perfection and topped with Flame’s own take on X.O. sauce with crab meat and sausage
It looks nothing like your usual old-fashioned cake, and yet it’s been described over and over as nostalgic in flavor and texture. The condensada cremeux is reminiscent of the classic Crema de Fruta, and the Quezo de Bola and old-fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream transports you to Sunday lunches at your grandparents.
Taking humble food and turning it on its head is a Flame specialty. Chef Luis takes the rainy day staple of congee and turns it into a silky, ginger-rich potage, then tops it with a sous vide egg and slice of perfectly cooked duck breast. A visual treat for sure, but it transports you to childhood with the first delicate bite.
You can’t have an Asian menu without a Filipino barbecue platter. Chef Luis takes a little-known cut from the prized Iberian pigs – hence Iberian Secreto – and slathers it with salty, sweet and sticky sauce before grilling it to perfection. The smell alone is enough to transport you to summer barbecues by the beach.
TAKE-OUT LOBSTER FRIED RICE
One of the few dishes that transitioned from Flame’s old menu to the new, the Take-Out Lobster Fried Rice is perhaps the most iconic dish of the restaurant. A glorious mess of fried rice with homemade cured Chinese sausage spilling out of a take-out box and on to the plate, with a whole grilled lobster seemingly haphazardly plopped on, and yet, it’s nothing short of a thing of beauty once you pierce the yolk of the runny egg on top. It will always represent what Flame is about: excellent food that doesn’t take itself too seriously.