There has been a deluge of new degustation/omakase- type places in Singapore, and Sorrel, part of the Unlisted Collection that has produced brands like Jing, Cocotte, Pollen, Wanderlust, Hotel 1929 – was definitely one I was looking forward to trying this year.
I am a big fan of most of the projects that the Unlisted Collection has produced. The food concepts have always been solid, and the hotels have always been quirky. So perhaps I went in with exceedingly high expectations when I visited back in April.
So let me first start with the plus points. Prices are reasonable all things considered. Especially for the quality of the ingredients used.
$88+++ for 5 courses, add $78 for wine pairing.
$118+++ for 7 courses, add $98 for wine pairing.
(Even better for business lunches – 2 courses, $38 and 3 courses $45.)
Not too bad if it’s a fine dining place. But this is where I was confused, because.. prices and food portions aside, I was not quite sure where to position this restaurant. As it’s website says, it’s “Fine dining in a casual setting”.
Food quality was definitely above average. Plating I would say was close to excellent. Taste was.. well. Ok.
My friend and I had both the five course menu and the seven course menu, because I wanted to try all the offerings the restaurant had to serve. I have to say that the amuse bouche – where we were started off with a risotto ball and a deep fried lotus chip – featured a delicate whip of curry sauce in a spuma that teased my tastebuds and primed them with high expectations for the meal to come.
Out of the 12 dishes, there were three standouts.
First – the Algae Cappelini. Also described on the menu as a seafood medley – it was a pasta dish that was surprisingly light despite its size, and conveyed the freshness of the ocean in my mouth. The green, algae-infused cappelini strands done perfectly al dente, added to the briny freshness captured in the dish.
Another one that definitely deserved praise was the Hand-Dived Scallop. It was seared so perfectly, and the juiciness of the scallop left my tongue dancing with joy. What confused me a little was the generous chunk of foie gras fighting for attention on the plate. While done well, it seemed rather gratuitous and challenged the plates main star. Certainly a decadent dish, though slightly over the top.
Last but not least was the Langoustine. Sitting in a bed of Thai Basil and cauliflower sauce, the langoustine tasted like the lovechild of a boston lobster that mated with the most luscious prawn alive to give birth the to succulent lick of seafood curled on my plate. The sauce itself was also a divine complement. Creamy enough to enhance the flavor of the pink and white flesh, and yet not overly so lest it overwhelmed the natural sweetness of the crustacean. The real pity was because I was taking so many photos, I only managed to get one snap of this dish before my phone battery died, and the whole dish was devoured. I literally licked this plate so clean, the kitchen probably thought it had already been washed!
Dessert game also runs pretty strong in this establishment, and you can tell just from the palate cleansers alone. But my favourites are always chocolate based, and while I consider mixing chocolate with fruit of any kind (orange/banana etc) sacrilege, I have to admit that their rendition of Banana, with a dark chocolate ganache with rum was a winner.
Summary: The meal was.. ok. In today’s competitive F & B market in Singapore, this is considered rather value for money. And while presentation of each plate definitely showed mindfulness of textures and flavours and freshness of ingredients, with so many new restaurants popping up everywhere, I’m not entirely sure if I will return again of my own accord, as nothing really floored me.
I would say this place is good if you want to splash out a bit on a first date after work. Probably also good for a birthday dinner with friends if you want to indulge a little, without the hassle of dress codes and don’t want somewhere everyone else is at.
Plus, don’t take my word for it. The menu changes pretty often, so you might get a completely different experience from me.
Price: $$$ +$ (depends on what you go for)
Ambience: Suitably dim lighting, and casual enough for first dates, with nice/fancy enough menu to impress. Great value for business lunches. Probably good for bigger parties.
ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN. WE PAID FOR OUR OWN MEAL. AND THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. #JUSTSAYING. #OKTHXBAI
21 Boon Tat Street
#01-00 (S) 069620
Telephone: +65 6221 1911
— opening hours
Lunch: 12.00pm — 2.00pm
Dinner: 7.00pm — 10.00pm
Closed on Sundays
Open on Saturdays (Dinner Only)