Naked Finn sure looks and feels different from the first time I had visited it nearly 10 years ago. When it first opened, the space and seating plan gave it more of a buzzy hotspot feel. I recall sitting counter-side, tables packed tight, chatting with the chefs as they dished out plates of their seafood-driven cuisine.
This time round, there is a lot more space, made all the more inviting by the lovely greenery inside the restaurant. It was a Friday night dinner with friends, and we had an early seating, which could explain the relative calm that I had walked into.
Previously I recall only a degustation menu being available, but we could order a la carte this time, which suited us fine, as we were in the mood to share.
A science lesson at Naked Finn?
“It’s interesting that they use the scientific names of each produce,” commented my friend, who proceeded to be well-entertained by words such as Zaprora Silenus (Prowfish) and Mizuhopecten Yessoensis (Yesso Scallop from Japan).
Well, even without the scientific names, I found many unfamiliar items on the menu which is perfect. I was thrilled to move beyond snapper, seabass and cod.
Samegarei, Alfonsino, Prowfish – yes! You have got to love a place that focuses on non-mainstream species from smaller fisheries, leaving room for all the overfished common species a chance to recover.
Naked Finn is definitely all about the seafood, so if meat is what you’re craving, this isn’t the place for you. And with that, let’s see what went down last Friday night!
Petit wine list but some gems in there.
After placing our orders, I was tasked with selecting a bottle and decided on the 2019 Moric Blaufrankisch which looked like a good match with its tasting notes. It was a good choice, the pinot-loving producer showcasing his mettle with a wine that resembled a young Burgundy.
Later, I studied the wine and realised that this was a very good tipple indeed and the 2019 being a good year for it. In fact, it appears on Decanter’s Wines of the Year 2021.
I also read that it was quite rare to find it at restaurants, so, good on you, Naked Finn for procuring this wine.
Naked Finn and its bounty of uncommon seafood.
First, oysters ($8/piece). Boy, were these a beauty. Large, fleshy in a rugged cup, they looked so inviting with the pink guava mignonette, lifted by the fermented red chilli.
I normally find artichokes such a bother to eat, too much scraping each leaf before reaching the heart, but friend wanted to order it, and I am glad he did. Well, we realised later that this was Jerusalem artichoke, so no effort needed with its consumption. It is twice-fried and came with a smoked batang roe emulsion.
If I see Octopus ($42) though, I’m most likely going to order it. Naked Finn calls it a “Gloomy Octopus”, you can imagine the fun we had with that name. Well, gloomy for you Mr Octopus but delightful for us!
The sous-vide preparation ensured tender tentacles, with the binchotan grilling adding that lovely smokiness and keluak pesto rounding off the dish.
Cep and mussel broth for a chawanmushi? Yes, please! That was the highlight of the Blue Mussel Chawanmushi ($18) – easy to share one bowl between two.
Do not fear the fish bones at Naked Finn.
“What is special about this dish is that after you are done eating it, we will take the dish away to deep fry the leftover bones,” said the waitress about our next dish, the wild-caught Samegarei ($20/100g).
The fish is simply grilled over binchotan with juniper berry vinegar, brown butter and preserved lemon adding a light flavour to the dish. As promised, it was whisked away and returned with the bones which we happily munched on while awaiting the final dish of carbs.
It was an off-menu special of fermented mushroom rice featuring ankimo (monkfish liver) and morels – it had a nice charred claypot rice taste to it, as well.
We decided to skip the dessert options in favour of ice cream and waffles at the nearby ice cream shop.
I’m glad to have revisited Naked Finn and next time round, it will not be 10 years later!
Address: Block 39 Malan Road #01-08, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109442
Contact: +65 6694 0807 or reserve here
Tuesdays to Saturdays:
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm (Last order @ 2pm)
Dinner: 6pm – 10:30pm (Last order @ 9:30pm)
Closed on Sundays & Mondays