From four hands to eight hands and the many hands that provide help in between, collaboration meals between chefs from different restaurants have become par for the course in recent years. In upscale establishments, they encapsulate the new-generation modus for networking amongst potential restaurant awards nominees.
But a swish Michelin-starred restaurant collaborating with an age-old institution of cheap and cheerful late-night dim sum? That, like many things in this new, pandemic-driven age, is unprecedented.
Come this weekend, restaurant Nouri—they of the softly lit marbled dining room and precisely rendered “crossroads cuisine”—will team up with Jalan Besar stalwart Swee Choon Tim Sum—all bright lights and convivial cacophony—to offer a dim sum set like never before.
On the menu, available only for takeaway or delivery, are pau stuffed with sweetcorn and jalapeno chutney kissed with the earthy depth of black truffles from Manjimup in Western Australia; charcoal-dyed har gao (prawn dumplings) flavoured with Nouri’s popular Tahitian vanilla black pepper sauce; and “extra crispy” mee sua with a deeply savoury chilli and sweet potato mayo.
“Collaboration has been key to Nouri's practice since we opened three years ago. It has also been one of our defining features during this Circuit Breaker,” shares chef-owner Ivan Brehm, referring to partnerships with the likes of pasta maker Lee Yum Hwa of Benfatto95 and Jonathan Tam of Relae in Copenhagen for recent takeaway menus. “We were constantly looking at partnerships that are really out of the box and Swee Choon came up. And we thought, ‘why not?’”