(THE NEW PAPER) - Those in the Central Business District will know the SPRMRKT brand - its McCallum Street outlet is one of the busiest restaurants in the area.
The brand has ventured into Robertson Quay, giving us one of the most attractive dining spaces there.
SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar is tucked away on the second storey, above SPRMRKT Daily.
The former serves European bistro dishes, a move away from casual dining. The dishes are elegantly executed and plated.
An example is the Malbec Oxtail Pasta ($32). The oxtail is divine. It is braised in Malbec, mirepoix and tomato paste for eight hours, resulting in tender, mellow and flavourful meat.
It is served with smoked Scamorza cheese and handmade pappardelle.
Another stellar dish is the Twice Cooked Chicken Roulade ($28).
A lot of work goes into it - the chicken thigh is brined overnight, dried, rolled with spinach and mushroom before it is given the sous vide treatment. Then, it is fried until the skin is crisp. It is worth the chefs' hard work.
The Smoked Lobster Tail ($42) has novelty going for it - it is the luxe version of the macaroni and cheese.
A piece of beautifully smoked Maine lobster - with a cheese sauce made with emmental, aged parmesan and mozzarella - is served on a bed of mashed roasted pumpkin.
The lobster and cheese sauce are complex with flavours, but the macaroni is subtle. Perhaps that is the restaurant's way of helping you cut down on your carbohydrate intake.
Amid all the bold flavours on the menu, the Fjord Trout ($19) comes across as almost timid. It is delicate and pristine - it works if you are looking for something light.
The Stockyard Cote de Boeuf ($94, good for two) is impressive. It is difficult to go wrong with a plate of meat.
The 200-day grain-fed 600g Australian bone-in beef ribs are coated with a housemade creole spice rub.
Perhaps customers do not want too much innovation when it comes to meats - while it is tasty, it is, for me, a little boring.
There are many interesting choices here. Unless you must have beef, it is time to be a tad adventurous.The Stockyard Cote de Boeuf for two people is impressive.