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Born: A Culinary Journey with Chef Zor Tan

In the heart of Singapore's vibrant food scene, never miss this hot spot: Born by the talented Chef Zor Tan, brimming with flavors and stories that'll make your taste buds dance.

Chef Tan's journey reads like a foodie's fairy tale. He's cooked alongside the best, from rubbing shoulders with Taiwan's culinary legend Andre Chiang to dazzling diners at top-notch spots like Jaan and Restaurant André. And let's not forget clinching two Michelin stars at Sichuan Moon in Macau - talk about culinary stardom!

But like all good stories, Chef Tan's had a twist. When the pandemic hit, he found himself drawn back home to Singapore. And in June, he decided to make his mark with Born. Tucked away in the historic Jinrikisha Station, Born isn't just a restaurant; it's Chef Tan's culinary rebirth, a celebration of his roots and his journey.

For Chef Zor Tan, Born isn't just about food; it's about living in the moment. That's why he named it Born, which stands for "best of right now." Each dish is a masterpiece, weaving together flavors from his Chinese heritage and his French training. It's like a journey through time, with every bite telling a story of birth, roots, memories, and progress.

Memories are the secret ingredient in Chef Tan's dishes. Take his chicken skin mille feuille, for example - a nod to his mom's home cooking. It's a dish that'll transport you back to childhood, with flavors that hit you right in the feels.

But Chef Tan isn't stuck in the past. His dishes are a fusion of tradition and innovation, like his signature course, vicissitudes. It's a rollercoaster ride of flavors, reminding us that life's highs and lows are what make it beautiful.

So, if you're ready for a culinary journey like no other, head to Born. Chef Zor Tan is waiting to take you on an adventure you won't forget, one dish at a time.

What I experienced…

So, first bites are served. First one waa surprising blend of flavors in the Roasted Sawarak Pineapple Juice infused with Chilli Padi and Dried Liquorice Root, encased in a cocoa butter sphere. The combination of sweet pineapple, subtle liquorice, and a hint of chili provided a unique taste experience.

Next was some seafood on the clam shell - I tried the Hand-chopped, locally-farmed Prawns topped with Scallop Silk and Sakura Ebi, served with a Green Horn Chili Pepper Puree. The seafood medley was fresh and vibrant, with the chili pepper puree adding a refreshing kick.

Also, a tartlet. The Diced, char-grilled Beef Tongue tossed in Egg Yolk Marmalade and topped with pickled Daikon, served in a Five Spice Cracker. The dish offered a combination of savory beef flavors with hints of sweetness from the marmalade, all balanced on a crunchy cracker base.

After these delightful bites, I tasted the Rolled Potato Crisp filled with Potato Vanilla Crème Anglaise and topped with Oscietre Caviar. The dish featured contrasting textures and flavors, with the creamy potato filling and luxurious caviar providing a satisfying bite.

Then, the Deep-fried Chicken Wing stuffed with Pig Stomach and smoked with Sugarcane is served with a White Pepper Gel. The dish offered a creative combination of flavors, with the smoky chicken and savory pig stomach complemented by the subtle heat of the pepper gel.

Cold seafood appetizer followed. Kanpachi marinated with Pickled Green Chillis, topped with Watermelon Radish and Snow Pear, and finished off with a Pear Snow. The dish showcased a refreshing mix of flavors, with the tanginess of the pickled chili and the crispness of the radish enhancing the delicate fish.

Also I indulged in the decadent Mud Crab, accompanied by delicate Finger Lime and topped with fresh Asparagus, Olive Oil Pearls, and Oscietre Caviar. The dish was elevated with a light, airy Smoked Hollandaise foam, and a finishing touch of Crab Roe and Edible Flowers on a crisp Asparagus tip.

This was one of my favorite – I already had this twice, and it was my third bao, but I still loved it as I first ate this! The unique flavors of the Mala-Marinated Vintage Wagyu Beef Tartare nestled in a crispy Fried Bao, complemented by a seared Oyster emulsion and crunchy Bubu Arare. The combination of textures and tastes made each bite a super delightful surprise.

And next course was even better - the rich Custard topped with tender Sea Cucumber Muscles and delicate Black Balsamic Pearls, served with a luscious Foie Gras sauce and fragrant Spring Onion oil. The accompanying Planta Brioche Bread, glazed with Maple Syrup and adorned with toasted Buckwheat, added a delightful contrast of sweetness and crunch.

I relished the Char-grilled Monkfish, paired with exotic Yunnan Jade Fungus and drizzled with a velvety Chicken Fat emulsion. The combination of textures and flavors, including the crisp jade fungus and silky monkfish, created a harmonious dish that was both satisfying and adventurous.

Braised Sea Cucumber wrapped with delicate Rice Paper, deep-fried to perfection with puffed rice for a delightful crunch followed. Topped with Raw Chestnut and served with a flavorful Rice Sauce, each bite was so good.

The simplicity and freshness of Raw Squid Ribbons paired with finely-diced Celtuce, served with a warming Hot Cuttlefish Consommé. The dish showcased the natural flavors of the seafood, enhanced by the subtle earthiness of the celtuce and the rich depth of the consommé.

Main course was a 7-Day, Dry-aged French Pigeon Breast, tender and full of flavor, served alongside Fresh Szechuan Peppercorns. The dish was elevated with a Barley Risotto infused with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Corn, offering a delightful contrast of textures. The confit Pigeon leg, accompanied by a Garlic crumb and aioli, provided an additional depth of flavor, all brought together by a rich Pigeon jus made with fermented Black Beans.

Now it’s dessert time. I indulged in the luxurious Double-boiled Bird’s Nest, delicately served with cured Kumquat and a refreshing Elderflower sorbet. The dish was a symphony of delicate flavors and textures, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.

Named Doraemon, I enjoyed the comforting flavors of Sweet Potato Puree, Crisps, and Tater tots, accompanied by an indulgent Oolong Chantilly Cream and Sea Salt ice cream. The addition of Burnt Butter and Snow Salt provided a delightful depth of flavor, all complemented by a delicate Sweet Potato Tuille for the perfect finishing touch.

To finish, 4 kinds of Petite Four are served. Sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. First, ‘Sour’ was the Hawthorn Crisp topped with a burst of tangy Passionfruit Gummy Dinosaur, offering a playful twist on classic flavors. ‘Sweet’ was the deep-fried Taro with a luscious Brown Sugar center, a delightful combination of sweetness and earthiness. ‘Bitter’ was the Dark Chocolate bonbon filled with smooth Ginseng Puree and Ganache, offering a rich and complex flavor profile. And, ‘Spicy’ was the kick of the Madeleines made with Burnt Butter and house-made XO Sauce, a unique and savory treat that left a lingering warmth on the palate.

As I reflect on my third visit to Born, I am once again captivated by the artistry and passion that infuses every aspect of the dining experience. Chef Zor Tan's commitment to excellence, coupled with his profound philosophy of the circle of life, elevates each dish to a masterpiece, a testament to his journey and his culinary vision. With each visit, I find myself drawn deeper into the narrative of Born, savoring not just the flavors on my plate but the stories they tell. It's an experience that lingers long after the final course, leaving me eagerly anticipating my next visit. Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly recommend Born to anyone seeking an unforgettable culinary adventure, where tradition meets innovation in a celebration of life's rich tapestry!


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