29 Questions With Benjamin Halat

The chef de cuisine at CURATE at Resorts World Sentosa shows us his fermentation corner and shares what his favourite German swear word is.

By Joyce Huang | 24 July, 2017 | People, Profiles
2017-07-24 14:45:05 2017-10-10 14:52:11

CURATE chef de cuisine Benjamin Halat

Though he’s only joined CURATE at Resorts World Sentosa earlier this year in March, Munich native Benjamin Halat is no stranger to the flavours and cultures of our region here in Southeast Asia. He comes to our shores after a stint at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur as its chef de cuisine and from that experience, is as comfortable with Southeast Asian flavours and ingredients as he is ending his sentences with ‘lah’s.

Boston Lobster in a Tomato, Ginger and Coconut Broth
Boston Lobster in a Tomato, Ginger, and Coconut Broth

Having trained under and collaborated with many celebrated chefs throughout his time in the kitchens across Germany, Switzerland and Malaysia, Halat has developed a penchant for experimenting with and mixing together influences and ingredients from both East and West. Take for example, a signature dish from Halat’s five-course dinner menu ($158): the Boston Lobster in a Tomato, Ginger and Coconut Broth. Halat shares that he’s taken cues from the popular Thai Tom Kha Gai to create a deeply aromatic dish that is Western in it sensibilities but also rich with Southeast Asian flavours.

The 31-year-old chef’s fascination for umami has also seen him deploying Japanese ingredients such as miso, nori, nukazuke, and mirin in his dishes to bring forth this “fifth taste”. In another of his standout main courses, the Wagyu Tenderloin showcases his own in-house technique of dry-ageing beef using kombu seaweed, to produce impeccable tenderness and depth of flavour in the meat.

Taking it a step further, Halat has even gone on to fermenting his own miso in preparation for a Japanese-inspired menu he’s looking to introduce in CURATE next year. Other items you’ll find in the fermentation corner he’s set up include a sourdough starter that the restaurant makes fresh bread off daily, as well as ham curing in anticipation for the upcoming Christmas.

CURATE at Resorts World Sentosa. 6 Sentosa Gateway, #01-231 & 232 Forum. Tel: +65 6577 7288

Brought up on a diet of books and family dinner parties, it’s hard to ascertain which came first, Joyce’s love for words or her infatuation with food. A writing career that started at a local food magazine meant she didn’t have to choose between either – because her heart, and nose, became fixed on vino. Ever since the job opened her up to the wonderful world of wine, she’s been #alwaysthirsty.