GALLERY: Banana Mafia’s inaugural Asian Street Market party
Last night was the first gathering of the Banana Mafia crew at the Amsterdam Brewery. This alliance of chefs was brought together by the team behind the upcoming GwaiLo, and is made up of Nick Liu (GwaiLo), Robbie Hojilla (Ursa), Jeff Claudio (Yours Truly), Jonathan Poon (Chantecler) and Leemo Han (Swish by Han, Oddseoul). The idea behind the Banana Mafia started with Liu, who wanted to do a Singapore hawker-style event by bringing together some of the city’s brightest Asian chefs.
At this inaugural night, coordinated by Kristina Chau of Not Your Average Party, a $60 ticket bought you a five-course meal and an Amsterdam beer, with cocktails created by Christina Kuypers and Josh Lindley and served by Sarah Parniak (star of our most recent cocktail video). And, yes, there was plenty of Sriracha on the hawker food-court tables, as well as red plastic solo cups. Highlights included Han’s sweet soy Beretta Farms steak tartare with garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, Korean pear, pine nut and quail yolk; Hojilla’s grilled pork belly in coconut crepe; Claudio’s Szechuan bang bang chicken; Liu’s sambal trout with crispy black bean fiddleheads; and, to finish, almond tofu with Asian pear, osmanthus syrup and tapioca by Poon. At the bar, there was the Foreign Devil (Devil’s Cut bourbon, 416 wheat beer, cilantro, red pepper and lime) and the City of Glass (Citadel Gin with lychee shrub and sauvignon blanc). The next Banana Mafia event will likely take place later this summer (stay tuned on GwaiLo’s Twitter account). As for when we can expect GwaiLo itself to open, Liu is still not ready to divulge.