Just a couple days ago, I wrote about Chef Jeremy Nguee and the amazing meal he cooked at my place. Well, this week, I wanted to let y’all know what he’s been up to most recently, which is helming a pretty awesome weekend pop-up laksa bar at The U Factory in Gillman Barracks.
Rakusaba, which is Jeremy’s cheeky interpretation of how a Japanese chef would pronounce “laksa bar” is very, very cool. It shares a cute, small space with two other local F&B entrepreneurs and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. At Rakusaba, there is only one thing on the menu, which is Jeremy’s inventive take on a high-end tsukemen style laksa.
Tsukemen is a style of ramen noodles in which the noodles are served naked and dry, along side an intense broth reduction into which you dip the noodles. Jeremy serves his noodles, along with a fried dough stick, with a very intense laksa sauce, that has been made with a prawn and pork stock. This is in turn plated with a beautiful minced fish cake (his version of otah), a half egg topped with homemade sambal, gorgeous slow-cooked pork belly that is blow-torched before service, and some homemade pickles. Once you’ve eaten up your noodles, you are given what Jeremy calls his “finishing broth” to leave you truly satiated and satisfied.
Jeremy’s laksa runs $22, which isn’t cheap, but once you consider the quality of ingredients he’s using — plus the prices many Japanese ramen chains charge for their (often inferior) offerings — you’ll realise his pricing is extremely fair. And having eaten there, I believe well worth the money. Plus, I’d rather support a well-intentioned, inventive, talented, young local chef than Japanese imports offering less for more.
Word on the street is that Jeremy has been invited to present his Rakusaba concept at next year’s Monocle Country Fayre. So before he gets world famous and Rakusabas start popping up all over the globe, don’t you want to give it a try? And be able to say you had it before the rest of the world did?
Rakusaba is open on weekends through December and January. See here for more details.