A Lot to taste

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 May, 2009, 12:00am

David Lai, who has worked at local restaurants Zuma, The Annexx, Tribute and Spoon by Alain Ducasse (at the InterContinental), as well as the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco and Ducasse's Michelin three-star establishment in Monaco, has finally opened his own place: On Lot 10 (below) on Gough Street.

The University of California, Berkeley graduate (he majored in art history and fine art) describes his cuisine as 'rustic, family-style French food', and says, to keep things fresh, he goes to wet markets at least once a day.

Lai likes to work with fish and the menu states, 'We try to bring you same-day harvested local catches when possible ... availability and selection depend on the season, weather, our fishermen's feelings and your luck.'

The fish can be prepared au plat (roasted with fennel branches and tomato); or stuffed with sea kelp and baked in a dough and sea-salt crust, then finished with olive oil (Lai says this is the best way to showcase pristine fish because 'you really get the true flavour').

Another of his favourite menu items is the foie gras confit. 'The foie gras is poached in duck fat then kept in fat for 21 days so the flavour matures.' With advance notice, guests can feast on whole roasted foie gras.

Other pre-order dishes include stuffed garoupa and roasted whole chicken with truffled foie gras stuffing. For this, Lai says, he uses local farmed chicken.

On Lot 10 is very basic - white walls, tables and chairs, with banquettes running along the wall - and small, seating a maximum of 20, eight of them on rickety seats in a little outside area. It's at 34 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2155 9210.