Chef Edward Hoe, previously from Restaurant Ember, with 19 years of experience, ventures out on his own, serving affordable set menus of modern European cuisine, starting from 3-course set lunch at $29.50++, 4-course set dinner at $42++, and degustation at $98++.
Beetroot Salad (with beetroot ice cream)
On their second day of opening, I passed by the violet-themed restaurant and thought it was cheesy. But a few weeks later, when I was accustomed to the idea and stepped into the interior for a tasting, the restaurant looked really pretty, unique from the ubiquitous industrial look everywhere.
The 6-course degustation we were served ranged from decent to good. The Jerusalem artichoke veloute (above) had hints of truffle oil, and strands of dessiciated duck to give a contrast in texture. Foie gras was admirably executed. We also enjoyed the 48-hour sous vide wagyu cheeks, whose texture was gelatinous, so there was still a nuanced and nice bite.
The cod (above) was nice too but the miso marinate eclipsed the delicate milky flavor of the fish.
Violet Herbs reminds me much of the Saveur Group. Saveur revolutionized Singapore’s food scene by bringing fine dining to the public, so that more people can enjoy finer things in life; good food is meant to be shared. I think Violet Herbs shares the same philosophy of serving the public.
But unfortunately, Violet Herbs needs some time to fine-tune its execution. The concept and space are incongruous with the service. It wasn’t bad service; it was clueless, inexperienced, unmindful, careless, tentative, shy service. If Violet Herbs wants to serve fine dining food with a fine dining experience, then this was not it. But if its concept is to serve fine dining food at casual setting like what Saveur does so well, then perhaps the peccadilloes are acceptable.
What Violet Herbs needs to do now is to rethink its concept and how it can be executed better and to whip its service into shape quickly. The food is good, and the space is pretty, and the restaurant would get better with time. But in the cutthroat world of F&B, especially along rent-high Tras Street, time is of the essence.
81 Tras Street, Singapore 079020
T: +65 6221 3988
M-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 6-10pm
Rating: 3.219/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
This is an invited tasting.
Categories: $20-$40, $40-$60, >$60, Dates, Families, Large Group, Tanjong Pagar, Western
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