The Freshest Fish in Town
When we opened Bacchanalia we thought it must be possible to get local fish that would exceed the quality of imported fish. It took some time, but finally we found the right farmer. We met Raymond Sng through a mutual chef friend. It was an exciting introduction for us; to find a fish farmer who’s priorities and beliefs were so in line with ours – maintaining premium quality while always respecting nature and the impact he has on it.
We get several fish from Raymond and serve them in a variety of ways; the incredible freshness allows us the flexibility to age it, serve it raw, gently poached or even steamed. Because of his fish bleeding technique the texture lends itself very well to ceviche. We serve ours with fermented yacon, nutmeg and beetroot from our farm in the Cameron highland Malaysia.
When we first started Tiberias Harvest, the prospect of stress-free work in a pleasant sea spot seemed attractive. Little did we know what lay ahead for our family-owned fish farm in the waters north-east of Pulau Ubin.
We have crammed many hard-earned lessons about fish farming into the past few years. We also learnt to deal with – and at times surrender to – the forces of nature.
As farmers, we take great pleasure in having our produce appreciated for its quality. But since our first harvest, Tiberias Harvest became preoccupied with one question: how to ensure a consistent quality for our fish in terms of freshness, taste and texture.
With fish, it is always tricky. Fish meat is delicate and loses quality easily when mishandled. Degradation can occur at every stage - grow-out, harvest, post-harvest, storage and distribution.
We decided to leave nothing to chance. We now take charge of the entire process chain from farm to kitchen. We harvest only what customers order and we deliver all fish within hours of harvest from the sea.
Our harvesting methods are adapted from traditional techniques. These, and attention to detail on every pre- and post-harvest process, are the keys to freshness and quality.
The way we have chosen to farm can be described as “minimalistic and naturalistic”. We came to realise that we need to work with, not fight against, the nature of the sea around us. We do not use any antibiotics or chemicals in growing our fish. We manage fish health through the sourcing of quality fingerlings and fish feed, careful husbandry and less intensive stocking of fish. Our farm location is also blessed with fast-flowing waters essential to producing clean-tasting, healthy fish.
The test of our product quality is in the taste, texture and shelf-life of the fish. We enjoy working with chefs who can immediately appreciate the difference. It’s heartening too, when they are inspired to turn our humble produce into inventive, amazing dishes.
See more photos from our trip to Tiberias Harvest here.