With a visually arresting brick feature wall, set against an industrial floor, Sprigs looks minimalist chic, but plate-wise, it could not be more different. At a recent tasting session at the two-month old contemporary bistro, the plates were hearty tapestries of colours in the form of sprigs of herbs and greens artistically strewn around. The menu, crafted by Chef Shubri (formerly from French restaurant, Gunther’s – which is a few doors down), is herb-heavy, which aims to enhance the flavour of food.
The 44-seater oozes with a sleek contemporary charm; the décor boasts a strong play of lines, from the accordion-shaped celling, hexagonal tiles, and three 1.8m postmodern artwork depicting different takes on everyday objects from a fork, fusilli, and yarn and scissors.
The epicurean journey opened with a chilled bowl of Green Pea Soup($15). Recommended for veggie fans, as the soup has a marshy-and-milky flavour. The green pool forms a moat around a mound of blue swimmer crabmeat salad. The fresh crab morsels are drizzled with Ardoino olive oil, which seemed to be overshadowed by the pea flavour.
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I’d heard some good things about the quality of food at Sprigs and really wanted to try it out for myself. At the invitation of founder/manager Titus, we had a wonderful sampling of some delectable modern European flavours at a classy but comfortable restaurant tucked away on Purvis Street on Saturday.
Being an interior designer by training, Titus had the place decorated well. It may be trivial to some, but I appreciated that the tables (and hence dishes) were well-lit, the decorative plants were not artificial, and they used real tea light candles for a soft glow. Also, the water was infused with cucumber and mint. Plus points for attention to detail.
But of course, it’s really all about the food so let’s get right to it! Their Dinner Set ($68++) allows you to choose from their list of Starters, Mains and Desserts but I’ve listed a la carte prices for reference because the portion sizes are the same. So here are our picks:
For starters, we went with the Roasted Veal Carpaccio ($22) with Egg Confit, capers and a Tonnato Sauce. While the veal was tender, lightly-smoked and flavourful, it was actually the egg confit that stole the show! The texture of the yolk was speadable like a soft, melted butter and the tonnato (a creamy tuna-flavoured sauce) really brought the whole dish together.
Our second starter was the Flame Torched Hokkaido Scallops ($22) with Padron Peppers, Miso and Cress.I adored the sauce which was a wonderful balance of the saltiness of miso with the very subtle spice of the Padron peppers.
Then came our mains. First, the Dry Aged, Australian Grass-Fed Ribeye (270g) ($44) with Potato, Asparagus and Cafe de Paris Butter.
You can’t really go wrong with meat swimming in some quality French butter. And this one, although slightly overcooked, was infused with mixed herbs with a chunk of butter left to melt over the meat was quite an explosion of flavours in the mouth.
But it was the next main that I really loved. The Chilean Seabass ($40) with Shaved Squid, Lomo Iberia and Sauce Vierge.The Seabass was cooked to flaky, juicy, tender perfection and this was set in a pool of a beautifully subtle Sauce Vierge and topped with shavings of soft squid and salty iberico.
But as they always say, one is never too full for desserts and that prove true with these two picks.
The Frozen Mandarin Souffle ($12) with Citrus Compote and the Chocolate Mi-Cuit ($12) with Yuzu and Pomelo.
I highly-recommend the Frozen Mandarin Souffle. It’s not like any souffle you’ve ever had before being a texture like a mixture of an ice-cream and a light souffle. The flavours were extraordinary. Light, refreshing on the palate but yet indulgent with a smooth vanilla and topped with berries.
A truly delightful meal with wonderful service and a beautiful ambience perfect for anything from a date to time spent with loved ones over a quiet dinner. But I do recommend going for the set dinner. It’s worth every cent. Enjoy!
I hate to ruin a perfectly good 100% rating, but I have to be honest.
I've read all the reviews and everyone seems to suggest the tray-baked miso cod and the Australian Grass Fed Porterhouse Steak. However, we tried the other things on the menu, and um... well, here's how it went down.
2 stars seems pretty harsh, I know, but it's got to be tagged to the price on the dish. Notably, service was extremely courteous and attentive and deserving of a 5.
Both the highly recommended try baked miso cod and aussie porterhouse steak were fantastic.
Service was also superb.
The place was done up nicely and had a great ambience .
Will definitely go back again.
(For more reviews and photos here, visit http://mediumrareandothers.blogspot.com !)
Situated along the stretch of Purvis Street (where the more popular Saveur resides), this restaurant's... slightly too quiet on a weekday. We were slightly hesitant on walking in as we caught some of the staff's hopeful faces peering into ours, somehow willing us to go in... and we did. We liked the elegant decor, and how the menu is being designed- simple and straightforward. Plus, the dinner set is quite wallet-friendly, at only $48.90 for a 3 course set that has quite a lot of the main dishes in.
We were handed the menu promptly and given glasses of ice water. The server then told us about the specials of the day. One of them caught my attention, though abit pricey at $16- Loster Bisque.
Tray Baked Cod Fish ($36)
White Miso Marinated Cod, Sauteed Shimeiji, Greens, Potato Puree & Bonito Essence
Australian Grain Fed Ribeye Steak (220gm) & Frites ($35)
Grilled Ribeye Steak, Black Pepper Sauce, Pomme Frites, Grilled Roma Tomato & Salad
Sprigs came highly recommended by a foodie friend of ours, so we decided to go check it out. It's really conveniently located along Purvis Street, making it a good location to drop in after shopping in town, and the great service and ambience will definitely make you want to stay. The foodwas very good on the whole - we ordered a 3-course dinner set (salmon carpaccio, beef carbonnade and lemon meringue pie) and an a la carte pan roasted pork tenderloin, and all the dishes were fantastic. Portions were slightly on the small side though, but we were very hungry! Will definitely be back to try the other items on their menu :)