Patrick Tan

Maybe you read about him in Today, which made a feature of him as the head of Mad Fleming’s Kitchen for his special Irish Style Fish and Chips served with Balsamic Vinegar? Presently, his delicious specialty was available at Fluid for a modest $13. Indeed, I couldn’t resist but try some of Patrick’s Recipes. The Irish Style fish and chips were a wonder with its ultra-thin wafer-like layer of beer batter.

The fish had a very good texture and combined with a dash of balsamic vinegar (which wasn’t heavy handed at all, being aged) and tartare sauce provided a curious tang that livened the dish to a new plateau… and mind you, I’ve eaten fresh fish and chips off the harbour in Fremantle in Western Australia… and this topped it.

Patrick remarked that malt should be the appropriate sauce, being Irish tradition, but he ‘tried a different angle’ and is constantly creating more interesting variations of his signature.

Amazingly, the batter remained both delicate and crispy despite spending ten minutes on the table after the interview as well! “The batter itself is a special mix.” Patrick commented. “you have to treat the dish like a girl and give it lots of tender loving care.” I was particularly impressed with its consistency and the fact that it didn’t get soggy. The included thick cut chips were tasty and the Garden Salad did indeed have the refreshing effect intended.

The second meal I tasted was the Spice Blackened Norwegian Salmon which was so tender that it could be cut without a knife. All the oil was glazed and I was surprised not to find the pool of oil that commonly follows a salmon steak.

It tasted rich in all its juiciness and was paired with a subtle flavoured amount of pasta. Patrick used Paprika and other spices to season it in a manner that there was no ‘fishy’ smell. He credited this method to his training at Hyatt but commented that he removed cheese from the equation, which was part of their recipe.

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Last but not least, I was served a delightfully fluffy bread and butter pudding for desert, that was mouth watering with its vanilla custard and topped with blueberries and raspberries. Rather ironically, I found out later that Patrick’s wife works at Haagen Dazs, his own personal desert I must say. Patrick doesn’t cook at home though, “nobody is there to wash for me, so I won’t cook!” He exclaimed gleefully. Patrick intends to eventually teach his 2-year-old daughter Charyse how to become a master chef and ultimately groom her into the F&B industry.

Patrick indeed has worked from the lowest niches to the highest Echelons of the food and beverage industry in Singapore – at the age of 28, he owned his own Coffeeshop outlet ‘Concept Western’ which he recounted with much nostalgia. Patrick was even engaged in commercial catering with Stamfles Catering and further work with McCraic Holdings.

Prior to his stint in Fluid, Patrick stated that he had an ‘all-rounded’ role with his personal touch, doing PR and Marketing in addition to his kitchen responsibilities. His achievements have netted him no few loyal customers such as a Japanese Media Correspondent, which Patrick laughingly recalled, was a “petite woman, but she ate three dishes! I couldn’t believe my eyes!”.

Patrick’s magnetic personality has also retained faithful staff: Jacky Low, 27, has been following Patrick through all his culinary adventures for the last 5 years as his assistant.

“We call him the Picasso Magician” Jacky said laughingly, “because he can turn a kitchen disaster into art!” Truly, Patrick finds that newer chefs in Singapore can’t seem to cope with missing ingredients. “Its all about flexibility and adaptability in the kitchen that makes you great,” he said.

Patrick Tan sadly passed away before his prime.

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