“Dinner is at a HDB flat in Potong Pasir, so you can dress down,” our friend informs us. This was a year ago, when neither of us had yet been to private home diner, The Mustard Seed. So we went with few expectations and little more than shorts and a T-shirt. We've never set foot in Potong Pasir prior to this.

Time seems to stand still in this sleepy estate, with its wider spaces and old-fashioned ski slope roof flats. There's an air of serenity here that's kinda charming. The block in which 29-year-old chef Gan Ming Kiat lives with his parents and sister is mature but spotless and spacious. Strolling down the grey corridor leading to his corner maisonette unit, we prepare to step into a similarly clean, nondescript HDB flat.  

However, the chef’s home is anything but bland. We feel under-dressed as soon as we enter it. Behind the door: a wooden walkway not unlike that of a Balinese spa's leads to a sleek, tasteful dining room beside an open kitchen. The lighting is warm, there are soft cloth napkins, impeccably polished wine glasses, and elegant Japanese dinnerware set at the table. “Dad’s a contractor with a keen interest in interior design,” says Ming simply. And the chef himself is as professional as the setup here.

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