Monday, March 09, 2015

Saveur Art, ION Orchard

This place (2 Orchard Turn, #04-11, Ion Orchard, tel : +65 6634 1141) was brought to the world by the Saveur Group, the same people that did Saveur. The attribute that both restaurants have in common defines French styled quality cooking and affordability in the same sentence. What Saveur did for French bistro styled food, Saveur Art is doing for more progressive French/European styled cooking. In that respect, these guys are changing the game in the culinary field for us. Why so? It has redefined a new bar for entry level expectations for fine dining without the tablecloth and napkins.

The challenge of course is the juggle between affordability and quality. Which I think a good balance has been struck. YMMV.

There was even amuse bouche. Of a seaweed foam with rice crisps and potato broth which packed a rather respectable umami and nutty punch. Great start there.

This was the salmon confit starter which has the description 'marinated ikura, cauliflower, horseradish'. I'm generally not big on salmon, but I'm quite sold on this. The fish was sous-vide-ed into the state just between rare and cooked, tender yet firm and flaking nicely along the grains. The blob with leaves sticking out is the cauliflower. It's pureed of course.  

The other starter that left an impression was their 64 degree Celcius slow cooked egg and truffle. Featuring an ethereal truffle potato mousseline, roasted bits of hazel nuts for fragrance & texture along with browned butter. Hell this was nice. Yeah.  

Fish of the day. Braised red drum in a saffron broth and some ratatouille. And apparently also some charred octopus slices layered over the top which the menu didn't describe. Fish was excellent; tender and firm and flaky at the same time. I'm not good with describing the flavour, but I liked it. Almost licked the broth clean from the bowl. And this added encouragement towards something that I do not order very often.

And then some tender Mangalica pork belly with barley risotto. Pork belly was nicely done, but I think I liked the nutty tasting barley risotto much better with the mushroom and foie gras sauce Bordelaise.

This was some salted yolk cake. Rather dense, fairly flavoured with the egg. They had admitted that this was outsourced. Perhaps with the calibre that had created the rest of the food, they could consider sticking to just what they can make.

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