Restaurant Week is a foodie's delight; scores of Singaporean restaurants serve an exclusive 'Restaurant Week' menu for an affordable price. It's a great way to dine out and discover restaurants that you may not normally consider. Here are my thoughts on the three that I went to. Enjoy.
Sofitel So Singapore, 35 Robinson Road, 068876, Singapore
"A symphony of taste"
Located on the ground floor lobby of the Sofitel, the ambience wasn't exactly ideal but thankfully the wonderful food and service offset this. The starter and mains were extremely enjoyable, with the steak, a particular delight.
The tuna was succulent with a zestful ‘bite’ to it . The steak was tender as well as flavourful but what really lifted this dish from an ordinary steak was the delightful salsa - it just kicked the steak on to a whole other level and made the dish something truly special. The sweet potato mash balanced the flavours from the salsa and a bite of all three (the steak, salsa and mash) was a symphony of taste which was highly enjoyable. The dessert was an Infinity Chocolate and Passionfruit which was a lovely end to the meal. Efficient and discrete, the service was on point and practically flawless.
Xperience has left me with a lasting impression with their delightful food and service. Although an open plan restaurant to the side of the hotel lobby isn't perfect; with food this great, you won't notice. I'm not sure what their a la carte menu is like, but based on their restaurant week menu, I'm curious to find out.
What We Ordered
Truffle Tuna Tartar, Edamame Coulis
Spiced Seared Duck Carpaccio with Mango
Grilled Wagyu Hanger Steak, Sweet Potato, Avocado and Salsa Verde
Seared Market Fish, Lentil, Clams and Crispy Ham
Infinity Chocolate and Passion Fruit
Rosemary Creme Brûlée and Grapefruit Sorbet
331 New Bridge Road, #01-03 Dorsett Residences, 088764, Singapore
"Not enough wow"
I was quite interested in Candlenut due to the fact that it specialises in Peranakan food (Click here for more info), which I quite enjoy. Instead of traditional Peranakan food, Candlenut attempted a subtle twist on typical dishes, adding quail for example, and overall, they largely succeeded. Particular praise should go to the sambal which packed a delicious punch.
Unfortunately, the portions, whilst tasty, were small and did not present good value. Service was average and sometimes lacked initiative. They also seemed slightly overwhelmed at the number of patrons. The meal was overall pleasant, but did not "wow" us enough to warrant a return visit.
What We Ordered
Platter to Share - Warm Relish of Minced Pork, Banana Chillis, Laksa Leaf
Salad of Grilled Beef, Mint, Betel Leaf, Lemongrass, Chincalok Palm Sugar Dressing
Stir Fried Jicama, Shredded Cuttlefish, Shitake Mushroom, Coriander
Grilled Aromatic King Prawns, Dry Red Curry, Thai Basil, Green Peppercorn, Tempura of Moringa Leaf
Coconut Charcoal Grilled Red Lion Snapper Fillet, Dried Shrimp Sambal, Red Onion Relish
Gully of Spiced Lamb Ribs, Slow Cooked in Coconut Milk & Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime Leaf
Roasted Spiced Quail, Kicap Manis Sauce, Mustard, Begedil, Quail Egg
Corn Hoon Kueh - Caramelised Baby Corn, Caramel Corn Crumble, Nitro Poached Corn Ice Cream
Candlenut's Signature Chendol Cream, Gula Melaka, Pandan Jelly
46 Bukit Pasoh Road, 089859, Singapore
"An enjoyable restaurant when at restaurant week prices"
The last restaurant on our tour, Hashi, is a Japanese Kaiseki restaurant (Click here for more info). The menu for restaurant week comprised of not the elaborate Kaiseki spread but more of a set course of 4 items.
The starter was a cabbage dish that was simple and tasty with its natural flavours coming through. The seafood had an unusual blend of flavours and the mix of sesame seeds, fish, sweet sauce and shredded shisou leaves complimented each other nicely.
The star of the meal was the perfectly cooked and seasoned beef which melted in the mouth. The richness in the accompanying sauce would have been perfect with some rice. Oddly, the menu had highlighted a pepper taste but there was none to be found. The Donburi, was gentle on the palate and the flavours were subtle. Dessert was ordinary. The entire experience was enjoyable with prompt service and good timing of the dishes being served. However, one thing to note was that the tea was extremely watered down and diluted, which, for an establishment of this class, is pretty shocking.
The food at the restaurant week price made the dining experience good. However, with a Kaiseki menu that goes for about S$128++ and other somewhat steep a la carte prices, I would think twice about going there.
What We Ordered
Long Cabbage, Mushroom with Dashi Stock
Hotate & Yellow Tail Japanese Carpaccio Style
Beef Cheek with Red Miso Japanese Pepper Flavour
Akitakomachi Rice With Teriyaki Salmon Flake, Radish Sprouts & Seasme
Seasonal Fruits & Special Japanese Sweet "Wagashi" from Shizuoka