Bistro Soori: The Silent Treatment

I was sore and defeated. "It's not going to happen" were the cataclysmic words that escaped her lips, with that, we shy-ed away from the doors of Burnt Ends; frowning in resentment at our failure to snag a coveted seat at the tiny eatery. 

Bistro Soori was just a few doors down. My stomach called the shots with it's undignified rumblings and we quickly made a scoot for the bar seats that offered an unobstructed view of the open kitchen.

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; the starters, mains and desserts section each extending over 7 choices each. 

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.

The kitchen revs into its own gear. A bustle of service with the occasional awkward clang of plates thrown into the cavernous sink. 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.

His: Roasted Pork Belly, Spicy Sausage, Corn Relish, Mustard Cream Sauce 

This was received well apart from the corn relish that bordered on the overly sweet side. The pork belly could have used just a tad more time roasting as well.

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. Always stumbling on dishes that look the part, but taste as though it was the after thought of a mad chef's crummy menu planning. Bistro Soori made an addition to that list.

Pandan SoufflĂ©, 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.

That being said. Bistro Soori charms by straddling Modern European culinary borders, reminiscing Asian inspired flavors and serving them up to their diners on a constantly rotating menu. Like an experimental kitchen, there are bound to be hits and misses which I've fully come to accept. The next time I return, I'll make a beeline for that Wagyu Beef Burger.

Bistro Soori
No. 2 Teck Lim Road
Singapore 088385
Tel: 6438 3802


SG Food On Foot said...

Thanks for introducing this place. It will be in my to check out list. The food looks good and I like the open kitchen concept not to mention the value for money lunch set.

Sihan said...

No worries Derrick! Always a pleasure.