Singapore: Bistro Soori

12 Mar

Before I got to Bistro Soori, my lunch date texted me saying we were the only ones there. I was puzzled as my friend and I both heard good things about the place. Maybe it was a slow weekday? Or they do more business during dinnertime? Or diners only flocked there for Chef Jimmy Cheok who has now left? After our meal, I was determined to write a review about Bistro Soori to spread the word. Why? It was one of the best and most value for money set Western lunches I had in Singapore.  I’m afraid it will close down because of lack of patrons, as it’s unjust how many restaurants that serve much more lacklustre food get so many more customers.

Bistro Soori is housed in a beautiful space, as it’s owned and designed by Soo Chan, principal architect of SCDA who is also responsible for the gorgeous and luxurious Alila Villas Soori Bali resort (go google it). Open kitchen with a view of the chef cooking – check, bar counter seats – check, sleek shiny kitchen equipment – check, lush greenery outdoors – check, dark timber – check. I am liking this place very much already. Chef Benjamin McBride may hail from the states, but is competent with Contemporary Asian Fusion-European cuisine.

We both ordered the 3 course set lunch at $39++. Check out the gorgeous cutlery too, every design detail isn’t spared.

Bread served with anchovy butter – me likey!

The amuse bouche of espresso cup of pumpkin soup with bacon bits was delicious to ever drop. Comforting, sweet and savoury. Quite a big portion too.

For starters, this was the fine de claires oysters with red wine mignonette served on a bed of rock salt. I was afraid it won’t be fresh – given the low turnover – but it was. Delicious. And it’s seldom you see raw oysters on a set lunch, do you?

The scallops with truffle, arugula, pistachio, pear gelee were good too. The scallops were plump, flavourful and nicely seared. We felt the pear gelee tasted a bit like sour plum though, so that was strange but you didn’t really need it anyway.

For my main, I went with the fish of the day with fennel, tamarind and Thai basil. If I’m not wrong, it was threadfin. The fish was very fime, and was perfectly cooked with a slightly pink centre which suited me just fine. And I’m loving the light, spicy Asian broth here. Very Jean Georges, yes?

My friend had the cured pork tenderloin, braised red cabbage, grain mustard, golden raisin, pear. I tried a bit, it was quite tender but I think it could do with more sauce.

Dessert course was a key highlight for me. How pretty does the pandan souffle and strawberries look? For non-Singaporeans, if you’re wondering, pandan (or screwpine in English) is a leaf that is popular in South East Asian cooking. It has a slightly piney, vanilla flavour that is very versatile. The souffle that looked perfect, was totally moist and bursting with pandan + eggy flavour on the inside. It was like a pandan cake gone upmarket. Loved it. Even the macerated strawberries and butter sables were so yums.

The chef’s selection of cheese platter was also to die for. There was a selection of 5 cheeses, served with crusty slices of bread, blackberries and honey. We were instructed to eat them in order with the mild ones first, and the more pungent blue cheese last. From top the bottom, they were aged gruyure, morbier, brin d’amour, epoisse, and blue d’avergne. EVERYTHING WAS SO GOOD. If you’re wondering how I managed to get the names, that’s because I practically harassed our sweet waitress at least 3 times to list/spell it for me. I’ve always been a cheese lover but till this cheese platter, I haven’t hit cheese-varna. Now I know how a really good cheese platter can truly elevate a meal, and what’s more amazing is that there was no supplement cost for the cheese course which is pretty standard in fine dining restaurants.

The epoisse served a spoon as it’s a soft cheese

Service was also very good (then again we were the only ones…) but our waitress was really sweet, knowledgeable and patient with my cheese questions (yes I’m a food nerd like that). After our meal the young and cute-in-a-grungy-way chef also came out to ask us how our meal was but all I could do was gush about the cheese. Oops :P But I really did enjoy everything! I’ve gotten so hungry writing this review that I’m planning to go back for perhaps the omakase. A la carte prices are also very reasonable. What are you waiting for?

Price: $$-$$$
Location: No. 2 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088385
T. +65 6438 3802
Website: http://www.bistrosoori.com/

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