We actually stumbled into Bistro Soori today after failing to get into Jason Atherton's insanely popular Esquina (our original destination) and Restaurant Ember (our backup choice) in the Keong Saik Road neighborhood. Okay, bad idea to attempt walk-ins at the earlier two eateries, but we honestly thought most Singaporeans are still abroad on their extended Chinese New Year holidays.
Very pleasantly surprised by the modern, clean-cut lines of Bistro Soori when we walked in - credit goes to award-winning Penang-born, UK-trained architect and part-owner of the restaurant, Chan Soo Khian.
Foodwise, another pleasant surprise - Benjamin McBride who uporooted from his native Austin, Texas (where he helmed Uchi) to come to Singapore. So, Nouvelle Americaine it is then. We had:
- Green apples, endive, caramelised pecan and blue cheese salad, which was crunchy and refreshing, the crisp pecans providing sweet bursts to counter the assertive blue cheese crumbs. The salad was slightly too sour for me, but enjoyable nonetheless;
- Sauteed scallops topped with pistachio pesto, served alongside arugula leaves & pear-vinegar gelee, with truffle oil-scented dressing. The scallops were pan-seared till slightly browned on the outside but translucently soft inside. Delish!
- 12-hour Braised Short Rib, served on a bed of creamy polenta, dotted with roasted shallots. The meat was meltingly-tender and delicious, but the polenta was too cloyingly rich and could do with more salt, whilst the shallots added nothing to the dish;
- Pan-roasted Hanger Steak with Greens, Tomatoes and Sherry Vinegar - a colorful pallette of beautiful colors and textures. The meat was a bit chewy and overcoooked (we asked for medium), but surprisingly lacked the smoky flavor we'd expect from a Texan-inspired creation. Still, loved the sharp flavors from the accompanying tomatoes & dressing.
- Almond Milk Panna Cotta with Blueberry & Lemongrass. We had a challenge identifying where the lemongrass component actually went - the sauce? the panna cotta itself? Couldn't detect any lemongrass scent, which is just as well - since I'm not too enamoured with lemongrass in desserts ... or drinks for that matter. The panna cotta itself lacked the creaminess and was one-dimensional.
- Pandan Souffle with Strawberries - this dessert fared better. The strong pandan scent wafted like a delicious cloud over our table the moment the oven door was opened at the showy open kitchen located near us. The souffle was light (a bit *too* light actually) and tasty. The accompanying strawberries contributed zero to the dish - maybe flavoring the strawberries with vanilla and caramellising them further "might" help.
All in all, a nice meal, if a tad unexciting. Definitely worth a try, though I'm not in a hurry to come back.
2 Teck Lim Road (off Keong Saik Road)
Tel: +65 6438 3802
2 Teck Lim Rd, Singapore 088380, SG