SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) The first time I ate at Violet Herbs, I was confused. I thought that, perhaps, there would be a literal interpretation of its name on the menu.
But there is nothing particularly purple about the food. The herb element seems muted, too.
This restaurant at Tras Street, which opened in January, serves modern European cuisine with a touch of Asian. Some purists may not enjoy the marriage of European food and Asian accents. But why focus on labels and forget that it is about food? Eat and let live.
The restaurant was quiet on a Friday night when I turned up unannounced, but when I returned on a Monday night for a hosted dinner, business was better.
The quietude is great if you want a place to have a conversation at. Another plus - the service is friendly and unobtrusive and the servers give solid recommendations.
The food at Violet Herbs is good, though not excellent. But with wallet-friendly prices and great service, it is worth a visit.
Salty, Oily, Sweet
The Sri Lankan crab meat pasta ($32) was aromatic and tasty. But the first time I ordered it, it was salty and oily.
When I returned, those issues were resolved, although it tasted slightly sweet. It was not unpleasant, but I wish the flavours were consistent.
The Nutella bar served with Bailey's ice cream ($12) was recommended by the server.
I am not a fan of rich and dense cakes, but this seemed to make everyone happy. I would have preferred some tartness for balance.
Roasted & Poached
I liked the roasted & poached foie gras ($24), but it is hard to go wrong with foie gras.
The liver is first roasted, then simmered in a sweet mirin shoyu sauce. The star component is the tart raspberry reduction. With all the richness, you would need that kick.
The lobster cappuccino & brandy ($14) won me over with its beauty and strong flavours. The juniper milk foam added a touch of bitter, which took the rich soup to another level.
The first time I ate the pistachio & herb crusted scallops ($18), they were overcooked. The pistachio crust was dry and almost sandy.
But when I returned for the hosted dinner, it had improved tremendously. The scallop retained its plumpness and the crust did not overwhelm.
What: Violet Herbs
Where: 81 Tras Street
When: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm, Monday to Saturday
This article was first published on July 01, 2015.
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