Sorrel is closed permanently.
“… [Johnston Teo, 24 year-old chef at Sorrel] should have spent a few more years mastering the art of the modern kitchen under Jaan’s chef Julien Royer and Tippling Club chef Ryan Clift [whom Teo had previously worked under].” – Wong Ah Yoke, Straits Times review dated 15 Feb 2015.
Hangry means “hungry” + “angry,” and it seems like Wong, who left the restaurant hungry on two occasions due to tiny portions, might have been hangry. The negative ST review came out around CNY. Poor Teo, he must not have a very pleasant New Year with his relatives reading the review. But the food wasn’t as bad as that, as sending Teo back to apprenticeship. On the contrary, I found the food pleasant, although hangry Huccalyly was unimpressed.
Lunch starts from $45++ (3 courses), or $88++ (5 courses). Dinner is at $88++ (5 courses), and $120++ (8 courses). Huccalyly and I were there for lunch, while BBF Paul went on a separate occasion for dinner. He commented that the food was simple, easy to understand and I concur.
The starters, foie gras (supplement +$10), and chilled cucumber soup, were ok; the desserts, Kiwi blue cheese and rhubarb sorbet with panna cotta, were ok; but the mains were tasty. The sirloin (100g, pictured below) by itself was competent like a little girl playing piano by the rules, but when eaten with the salty spinach, the saltiness brought out the beefy flavors. The half mashed, half chunky potato was broken with egg, that made it rustic and comforting.
The texture of the mushroom tagatalie was suitably crunchy, and the mushrooms, salted well, gave a layered contrast to the pasta. This at times tasted like pasta in potent mushroom soup and at times felt like atas bak chor mee.
What can be improved: (1) Most part of the service was able but when I arrived at noon, the male server was taking orders for a table while the maitre d’ was texting on her phone. I waited some time before I was seated. (2) Bread. We were curious why bread is given only for dinner, but not for lunch. The carbs could have assuaged the hangry-ness of patrons. (3) You have to admire the tenacity of Sorrel to persist in its small portions after Wong’s hangry review. I was, to my surprise, full–I don’t eat a lot in the day–but Huccalyly was still hungry after lunch and we went afterwards for quesadillas.
What I loved: The ambience. Dark and sexy. Played lounge music.
By the end of the meal, Huccalyly was bored. She said at the same price, she could get better food at Ember. Perhaps I was kinder and more patient. I definitely wasn’t as bored as when I was at Rhubarb Le Restaurant. I could see the direction that Chef Teo is heading: a clean, almost zen-like bite, without any complications. Sometimes simplicity is nice, and that day, I was in the mood for simple. We paid for our meals.
21 Boon Tat Street, #01-00 Singapore 069620
T: +65 6221 1911
Decor/ Ambience: 9/10
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.