for all you resolution-makers, health-bunnies and aspiring yuppies, this place is for you. a modern, luxe restaurant that serves up balanced grain bowls at lunchtime and transforms into sexy bar at night – this place has been garnering more-than-decent reviews across the board (and I have finally visited something while it’s still very trendy).
AND, if you’re up for something sweet to balance all that healthfulness out, they’re known for their salted egg yolk donuts. there should be a law for so much overindulgence in a single form.
I like the decor of the restaurant: there’s a quiet luxury here in the marbled tables, copper finishes and wood – and the sunlight streams in through a strategic window during lunchtime.
it’s a great setting for a girls’ lunch-out: there’s just a certain dainty elegance to the place that would make a macho man seem a little like a bull in a china shop. the rice bowls come as a set complete with soft drink and salad, the latter a small bowl of crisp salads leaves lightly dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.
obviously I wouldn’t have the lunch set alone (though I assure you they are plenty satisfying on their own, if your appetite is average) – we also ordered squid and corn in a hoisin source. the tasty sauce maillards up quite nicely, with charred little bits here and there that add even more flavour.
the surprising component of corn actually plays quite a significant part: tender little ears that add a sweet, light-tasting contrast to that intense sauce.
it’s their lunch bowls that are the star of the show, however, with a few permutations of grain and meat: quinoa, brown and white rice under fatty pork, salmon or chicken (and some options I may have forgotten). your choice of meat is served over your choice of grain, alongside a (standard amongst the bowls) mix of fresh, seasoned, or pickled vegetables. we had crunchy lotus root slices, halved tomatoes, DELICIOUS shimeiji mushrooms and a bunch of super-spicy sprouts (be careful with these – they have the intensity of wasabi paste).
as to which meat you should choose, I liked the cod is perhaps most special of all – that milky fish can do no wrong. but the fatty pork and aubergine were plenty good too – flavorful, with enough umami to balance out the otherwise sweet and light flavors.
it’s certainly a decently-sized bowl – but there’s something about the cleanness of the flavors that just does not seem wholly satiating.
that’s probably where their renowned liu sha donuts come in, barely palm-sized buns filled with a paste of salted egg yolks and butter. there’s enough sauce in there to be satisfying – you don’t need much anyway, given its richness. the donuts were fluffy, the sauce was flowing: there’s really nothing to complain about.
I liked this place – it’s certainly a nice one for a light, healthy lunch that manages to be flavorful. definitely good for yuppies in the area.
65 Tras St
tel +65 6221 4698
$.5: approximately 20