>$60

Xperience, Sofitel: 50 Shades of Puree

xperience restaurant reviewFood in hotels is different from restaurants’ because hotel food is often like a factory production line, churning out products for hotel guests to satisfy their stomachs, not their tastebuds. Food is subsidiary to a good bed in a hotel. When I visit celebrated hotel chefs’ restaurants, be it in hotels or their own when they venture out, I go through the meals with furrowed forehead. Not the best thing for wrinkles.

But Chef Anne-Cécile Degenne is something of an anomaly. Her meteorite rise from a culinary graduate to an executive chef within 10 years isn’t by sheer luck. She makes the best out of ordinary ingredients. And as a fashionista will tell you not to mix more than 2 or 3 colors when dressing up, Degenne uses only 2 or 3 ingredients in each dish, presenting them in different textures and variations and shades.

xperience sofitel singapore For instance, the best dish that night, a vegetarian cauliflower and mushroom texture ($23), comprises 2 ingredients, both done 3 ways. The cauliflower is pureed with cream, and served fresh, and also grilled with burnt ends, producing a taste as if drizzled with salmon oil. The mushrooms consist bunashimeiji mushrooms, dehydrated king oyster mushrooms, and crispy Vietnamese rice paper dusted with mushroom salt which tastes like wonton skin. Umami max.

xperience sofitel menuAnother example of Degenne’s wonderful play of textures is the white chocolate and yuzu cremeux ($16). The extremely sour yuzu sorbet–I like it very sour, because it shows character–sits between different shades of white chocolate: white chocolate mousse, white chocolate tuile, white chocolate powder, all of which uplifted by mint. A refreshing, memorable end to a full meal.

xperience raffles place xperience restaurant priceBut there is room for improvement for other dishes. Done in a perfect medium-rare, the Black Angus grass-fed tenderloin (180g-200g, $36) with asparagus, grilled and pureed, is only ok although it comes at a good price. Both the foie gras with lentils ($21, above) and truffle-infused pao with short ribs stuffing (3 pcs, $25, below) taste good but they are derivative of other restaurants’: the former is made famous by Saveur, the latter by Anti:dote. Foie gras and steak can be fresher, pao stuffing can be moister.

xperience singapore

But on the whole, the modern European food with Asian influences is Xcellent and Xceptional, and, without Xaggeration, has Xceeded my Xpectations. Xcuse my Xcruciating puns. I shall Xeunt.

Xperience Restaurant & Bar

35 Robinson Road, Sofitel So Singapore Hotel, Singapore 068876
T: +65 6701 6800
chope-reservations

Value: 6.5/10
Food: 6.75/10
Ambience: 8.25/10
Service: NA (tasting)
Rating: 3.583/5

Written by 

This is an invited tasting.

Advertisements

4 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s