Saveur: Second time's not quite a charm

First time round, Saveur at Far East Plaza was an absolute sweet talker. (you can read about it here). With humble beginnings from a coffee shop in Ali Baba eating house, the boys from Shatec have pushed their earnest attempts at serving up fashionably austere cuisine to a new level, with their recent opening of Saveur Art located at Ion Orchard. Since crowds were diverted to the new establishment, the partner and I took the opportunity to visit the original branch, the fears of being greeted by obscene queues significantly lowered.

For starters, we got the Saveur's Pasta ($4.90): chilli oil, finely chopped kombu, minced pork sauce, chives and sakura ebi. Having had all of a forkful on my first visit, I was instantly smitten by the different dimension of flavors presented; this time round, not so much - the strands of pasta congealed and starchy, perhaps from pre-cooked pasta taking a dip in not so hot water. This dish got a lukewarm reception from the both of us. If not for the minimal price tag, this would probably have induced some angst over the table.

My Sea Bass ($14.90) came with a haphazard curtain of limp french beans overhead. The fish cooked to perfection within, lacked the desired crisp crust that it's skin-on presentation suggests. The pan seared potatoes could have benefited from some browned crusty edges, the savoury mix of crab meat it is tossed with pleasing my jaded taste buds. 

The partner's Duck Confit ($12.90) translates in such a way that you get what you pay for. Results would be more felicitous if the chefs paid more attention to the rendering of fats on the duck. The sight of a smashing thick layer of white fat trimmings on the side of the bird sending shivers down my spine. The orange scented confetti of citrus segments and sauteed shitake elevates this humble dish and was an excellent accompaniment to the succulent flesh.

Saveur's noble attempt to make usually 'atas' fare more approachable to the general public is commendable. However, with lack of attention of detail paid to execution, the eminent fear of a case of cuisine 'lost in translation' surfaces. 

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Saveur @ Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road
t: 6736 1121

Operating Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11 30am - 9 30pm
Sun: 11 30am - 9.15pm

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