Helmed by Chef Mohammad Shahrom, who won first place in Tutto Italiano cooking competition and was given a scholarship to study culinary art in Italy, Sela (meaning “rock” in Hebrew) serves modern European cuisine with an Asian twist. The menu, kept short and concise deliberately, changes monthly. They have an excellent selection of sakes and Japanese craft beers–so exclusive that these beers are brewed by small families in Japan. The Niigata rice lager beer ($22), brewed from the best rice in Japan (Koshihikari rice), was clean and bright–worth every penny.
The menu is clearly segmented into tapas, starters, mains, and desserts. In general, the restaurant is great for its Japanese-styled charcoal-grilled items, like salmon skewers ($13) from the tapas section. It was served on a pinkish Himalayan sea salt slab, so the salt could diffuse into the fish. The miso squid ($10), again with its characteristic char aroma, was a tad chewy for me.
For starters, the grilled asparagus ($16.50) was simple with balanced flavors of poached egg and parma ham. I preferred the scallops carpaccio ($19.50), tingling with ginger and Thai fish sauce, although it arrived in a rather small portion.
Out of the four mains we tried, the specialty Kurobuta pork cheeks ($28) were least memorable–wasn’t bad, but just wasn’t special. The herb-crusted lamb rack ($32) was better: pink inside, tender, not gamy, and naturally sweet, although it was seasoned unevenly, some parts tastier than others.
Baked miso Chilean seabass, edamame, sweet peas ($28)
Order this: Though the baby Bouchot mussels in white wine sauce ($26) were classified under a seafood main, it could easier be beer grub or go with white wine. The mussels were smaller but sweeter than the usual-sized mussels; on weekends, they serve the normal-sized ones. I wish they had given big chunks of bread, instead of croutons, to dip in the addictive tasty sauce, tinged with blue cheese.
Tried 4 desserts. I highly recommend the wasabi ice cream ($10.50), which was the highlight of our meal. It was spicy, nasal-clearing, palate-cleansing, choking–and so good, everything you wanted in a wasabi ice cream. Must order.
32 Seah Street, Singapore 188388
T: +65 6337 6358
M-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-11pm
Rating: 3.017/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Thanks, Marie and Audrey, for the invited tasting.