Monday, July 20, 2015

Restaurant Ember @ Hotel 1929 Keong Saik Road

Restaurant Ember is located at Hotel 1929, which is about some 10 minutes walk from the Chinatown MRT. First impression of Ember? Feels rather cosy, expensive looking but not as big a space as initially thought. Was greeted by the friendly staff as soon as I showed up at its door. Nice.

Was led to a more private corner of the restaurant which could accommodate up to six diners. The teal coloured chairs were indeed a splash of colour in a serious looking restaurant.

nice colour
you know it's fine dining when...
bread service
focaccia bread
The bread was pretty yummy tasting but had to refrain for the other dishes.

For the first appetiser, the Flan was served. Steamed egg custard with spanner crab, asparagus, tobiko and aonori. The smooth egg custard contrasted well with the "crunch" from the diced asparagus and tobiko. Pleasant and warmed the tummy.

Flan @$18++
egg custard, tobiko, asparagus, spanner crab, aonori seaweed
Next, was the Consomme. Concentrated mushroom stock of earthy flavour and dark coloured. It had a comforting flavour.

mushroom consomme, shimeji mushrooms, chicken & foie gras tortellini @$16++
pate-like fillings

For mains, we shared the Bouillabaisse, Duck, Lamb, Barramundi and Cod. First up, was the Bouillabaissse which traditionally uses fish as its main ingredient. The Bouillabaise soup was poured at the table and after which, we could start. This dish had a chockful of ingredients. Not sure if I had chanced upon any scampi but the scallops were utterly delicious. Had quite a few bites of fish too. Ingredients were enjoyably sweet and fresh but I just could not get used to the bouillabaise soup.

Bouillabaisse @$32++
scampi, clams, Hokkaido scallops, seabass and aioli

Next, was the simple looking but tasted utterly delicious plate of Cod with whipped potato and bell peppers. Not in the menu though.

Pan Seared Cod

Not to worry, as the Barramundi was equally as nice. Pan-roasted barramundi with firm flesh, vine ripped cherry tomato, fine beans, clams and topped with such a generous dollop of caviar. Was surprised by the milky taste in the jus but am liking it. Had an added natural sweetness and milkiness to it.

Barramundi @$28++

The pan-seared Welsh Lamb Rack was such a beauty to look at. The meat was cooked to a beautiful pink and was rightfully tender. Chef kept the flavours of the meat simple and natural. The ratatouille and cous cous underneath the lamb racks were rather strong in flavour though.

Welsh Lamb Rack @$45++
Last of the meats, was the Duo of Duck. Duck cooked two styles. One was a confit wrapped in filo while the other was simply pan-seared duck breast. Liked the confit in filo pastry as it was so tasty! The duck breast was firmer and milder in taste. The accompanying braised red cabbage, carrot puree and 5 spice jus were just brilliant. Major love for the carrot puree and 5 spice jus!

Duo of Duck @$32++
duck confit in filo

For desserts, we shared the Champagne, Figs, Chocolate, Pistachio and Mango. That was like everything in its desserts menu saved for the cheeses.

Figs - deconstructed fig cheesecake, crumble and tahiti vanilla ice-cream @$12++
Chocolate - Valrhona chocolate brownie, banana and peanut butter parfait @$18++
Pistachio - texture of pistachio, sponge, crumble, ice-cream and ginger milk foam @$15++
Mango - vanilla panna cotta, mango, coconut sorbet @$16++
Champagne - champagne jelly, macerated strawberries & yoghurt sorbet @$16++

The desserts were decent, and enjoyed the panna cotta more, though it was a bit too wobbly/soft. Tasted good and not too sweet. While the ginger foam was fun, am still not able to interpret on what is a texture of pistachio. It ought to be the green coloured sponge cake, but it still feels like I'm missing a point here...

Felt that Chef Sufian does bring with him a certain subtleness in his cooking. Enjoyed most of the dishes and having browsed through its set menus, I'd say that the Lunch Set looked rather attractive for one could get a three-course meal for $45++.

Special thanks to Chef Sufian and Restaurant Ember for hosting the tasting session. Thank you HGW for the invite. It was always a pleasure dining with friends; The Arctic Star, The Hungry Bunny and The Running Man.

Restaurant Ember @ Hotel 1029

Location: 50 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089158
Contact: 6347 1928


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