I've heard of the Naked Finn from a couple of sources (mainly from friends / acquaintances on Instagram)- all of whom have told me that the place serves really good seafood at affordable prices. On a lonesome Monday night, I decided to check out the scene. I made my way down to Gilman Village and found myself in the middle of a secluded forest-land, a lonely road lighted up by some flickering lamps. Naked Finn in its awesome isolation rose, timidly, on the right side of the road, where cars would park illegally, to heck with the police. It was like a little shed, a little hut - reminiscent of those 'ghost houses' at university. Thankfully, the inside was done very well - very modern, as you can see in the photo to the left. High bar stools and all. However there were only two tables indoors - and a couple of others outdoors, as guests sipped cocktails amidst the cool windy January breeze.
As this place started out as a cocktail bar, I decided that I had to try the cocktails. So I did, ordering a Rock Melon and Hendricks, which went surprisingly well. My friend had a very refreshing cocktail as well although I can't for the life of me remember what it is now.
We ordered the Estrella set for two - which was SGD120++. It started off with some bamboo clams - these were not-overdone, with good texture, and helped by some chopped fried shallots. Not much depth of flavour here, although competently done. Maybe some garlic might help. (6.25/10)
Next up was a twist on one of Singapore's best-loved zhi char dishes, sambal kangkong. This was done almost Thai style - with lime juice, and again the fried shallots. Not bad, pretty refreshing. (6.5/10)
We were then served some cold vermicelli - which was paired with some lime for a rather interesting mix. The vermicelli was pretty tasty in and of itself, with the addition of the lime, and of some savoury ingredients. (7/10)
Tiger prawns were up next, grilled. The owner, who spoke to us later on, told us that tiger prawns have very little flavour - that's why they have to do so much with it. That's actually very true - the flavour isn't as nice as some of the other sea prawns. As tiger prawns go though, it wasn't bad. (7/10)
Razor clams in broth came next, and this was not bad. Very hearty broth, with a very homemade feel to it. As though it's something that your mother would cook for you in bad health (save for the clams of course). The broth was delicate and infused with the sweetness of clams, although it could have been more salty. (7/10)
The dishes got better from here. Pan fried barramundi was done quite well - never overcooked, with an interesting seasoning of thick sweet sauce to highlight the flavour (a bit like kicam manis). (7.5/10)
Char-grilled baby squid was just delicious - with a tad of sea salt, the flavours were deep and complex, a mixture of smokiness, tenderness, and the requisite tinge of sea salt. (8/10)
And finally, the piece de resistance - the grilled African lobster. My word this was nothing short of amazing - the lobster, it was revealed, comes from Mozambique / Africa, and it's simply grilled without any seasoning save for some butter that they put on the grill. The end taste is unbelievable - creamy, sweet, smoky, with that char-grilled flavour, umami, delicious, with lots of depth of flavour - tasty - I could go on describing. The head / roe was particularly delicious to eat - and I really love chewing on the bits as they absorb the flavours.. Delicious! (9/10)
Naked Finn's definitely a recommended place. Go soon before the crowds come!