tasty modern dining at the in-house restaurant of the new sofitel so, the boutique arm of the chain. located in the central business district, it makes sense that the restaurant does this sort of european-fusionish cooking – the clientele looks primarily business-type travelites, and it is located next to lau pa sat, which has the local thing covered.
and the cooking and flavors are pretty fantastic, though the tasting portions we were given ran a little small – it felt even smaller when I realised I actually wanted more of what was on the plate.
yes, the name of the place belongs (rather aggravatingly) to the start of the 00’s, as does the decorated artsyness served up here. it’s not the sort of thing I veer toward these days – but when it’s good, there’s no turning it down.
we started with a grey bun served in individual steamers, stuffed with shredded short rib, perfumed with truffle. I thought the buns could be a little tender-er and served hotter, but it made for a decent start – even if a mild one.
it got interesting with the al dente, chewy beluga lentils, which aren’t a common ingredient. substantial and nutty, they played well against the creamy, seared foie gras, crispy nut tuile and just-sour-enough pickled onions.
but my favorite dish was definitely the cauliflower and mushroom “texture” (their word choice, not mine). an odd name, but apt – grilled and shaved cauliflower florets sat above a bed of creamy cauli-puree, covered with mushrooms both dehydrated and sauteed-just-right.
it was fantastic, fantastic.
it’s not an easy meal in which every dish comes out literally remarkable – and they did it. I might begrudge the small portions, but the food was rich and flavorful and textured – which really helps satisfy the mind more than the belly would ordinarily be.
the tenderloin was next, plate slathered with green puree and cooked veg. the exotic sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade atop was too sour on its own, but was a bright, shining counterpoint when eaten with everything else (good beef regardless, if sour isn’t your thing).
even dessert was surprisingly good – the fussiness brings back the memory of a too-complicated-but-why dessert, but this was really quite compelling. sour yuzu sorbet, a dense white chocolate cremeux (pudding-mousse), and sheets of caramelised white chocolate (the new darling of the patisserie scene, and maillard+chocolate is undeniably intriguing and DELICIOUS) – quite a lot more luxuriant than its dainty bearing entails.
the place (hotel included) is done up all noir and velvety, and even includes a set of very bed-like sofas (supposedly for a breakfast-in-bed (e)xperience). it’s a good choice if you’re doing a business-type dinner, or want a special meal without any untoward heft – well-executed compositions, and quite an exemplar of modern eating.
Xperience Restaurant and Bar
35 Robinson Road
tel +65 6701 6800
thank you, michelle and the sofitel, for the invite!