Located at Teck Lim Road, Bistro Soori serves an affordable 3-Course Set Brunch at $39 ($79 for free flow of Prosecco / House Red / House White).
The menu kicks off with a Confit of Portobello Mushroom, Spinach, Semi-Dried Tomato Mozzarella (ala carte $14) – a delicate and refined update from Caprese. Drizzled with balsamic vinegar, I taste the richness of the mushrooms as well as each of the subtly complementing elements.
A Brunch essential is this beautiful plate of poached egg atop of jumbo lump crab, english muffin, tomato, mesclun salad and doused with hollandaise sauce (ala carte $24 for 2). The blandness of the jumbo lump crab is relieved with the creamy hollandaise sauce.
I preferred the Pulled Pork Sandwich, Multigrain Toast, Arugula, Fries ($24) which served an umami-rich pork that enhances the flavour of this brunch dish.
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On a weekday basis, Bistro Soori offers up a 3 course set lunch for an unparallelled price of $39.90. A real steal in my opinion. Further inspection revealed a menu that aims to please as many palates as possible.
I started with the Sauteed Garlic Prawns, Mixed Greens, Red Wine Vinaigrette. Coming to appreciate it's smaller portions and hefty anchoring of greens only later in the meal when the three courses started to weigh me down. The sweet and bitter mix of greens together with the vinaigrette giving the dish unexpected depth of flavor. The prawns - politely seasoned with a wonderful sear on it's exterior.
There was one shortfall: the lack of showmanship you would expect from an open kitchen. There was neither the casual interaction between chef and diner nor the heated exchanges between fellow chefs. All that existed was a heat-load of bodies moving gracefully around each other, no words exchanged, a well-oiled machine. Befitting of it's pristine, cool and chic surroundings perhaps; but I would have loved to see a little bit of life injected.
An espresso cup of Tomato soup followed soon after the starters were cleared. Perfumed with absolutely no spices whatsoever; I gently nudged away the bowl of piping hot soup (burnt the roof of my mouth a little). Yes, there were the clean flavors of the tomatoes predominantly but the kitchen put zero effort into it's flavor profile. I might as well be biting into a tomato straight up.
My Duck confit was perfectly cooked, sided by a Asian influenced spinach and mushroom salad dressed to the nines in a Balsamic Reduction. I tasted a hint of Chinese rice wine amidst the dressing that added a considerable layer of flavor complexity. And one could also comment on the slightly overwhelming splash of dressing, but in the grand scheme of things and the dish's near perfect execution, that would be tantamount to splitting hairs.
Lately, I haven't had much luck with desserts at restaurants. Bistro Soori made an addition to that list.
Pandan Soufflé, Cookie, Strawberry Compote. This created stirs around the table every time a perfectly puffed version gets summoned from the heated enclaves of the oven. Yet what we got was a wet mess of eggy flavoured innards underneath that green sheath that suggested either an improper incorporation of the creme patisserie with the eggs whites or egg whites that were beaten way past their prime. My Caramelized Banana Puff, Rum Syrup, Vanilla Ice Cream didn't fare much better with over macerated bananas that looked clumpy and unappetising. (I spied rather whole looking banana slices on my neighbours table previously.. CONSISTENCY.. they probably scraped the bottom of the barrel on this order). To make matters worse, my puff pastry was raw. A slight tearing apart of the layers revealing a pastry chef's worse nightmare.
I could have done without the desserts.