After almost 3 years at the charming Robertson Walk, Sage, The Restaurant is now located at one of the conservation shophouses along Mohamed Sultan Road.
Established in May 2005, it is the brainchild of husband and wife team of Jusman So and Kimberly Chew.
To ensure the consistent standards of food quality and service, the restaurant only hosts a maximum of 38 seating an evening and avoids multiple turnovers in an evening and tries to keep to just one seating a night.
One thing that impressed me particularly that evening is the unpretentious and simplistic décor of Sage that comes with a hint of contemporary modish atmosphere. Ambient lighting coupled with candlelight is perfectly made for a romantic night out (but regrettably bad for photo-taking).
The restaurants’ open-kitchen concept has also been applied to their new premises, so diners can have better view of the chefs at work. To add the icing on the cake, Chef Jusman So also walked away with the title of Rising Chef of the Year 2008 at this year’s World Gourmet Summit.
Opting for the 6 courses Menu Degustation priced at $118++, the dinner was set in motion by the complimentary Bread and Butter, which I think was nothing to shout about – but do leave some for mopping up the gravy of the other dishes later.
The complimentary Amuse Bouche, a shotglass full of finely what tasted like tangy Tomato Puree with Avocado topped with Caviar, and a hint of Tobasco in it was refreshing. Served cold with a sourish-spicy taste, this was a perfect starter to open up my one’s palate.
The Beechwood Smoked Duck Breast with Granny Smith Apple Puree, Sorbet of Red Beets and Aged Balsamic Reduction was the first of the six courses that night. The smoked duck breast meat was very flavoursome, but salty to consume on its own – that’s what the sorbet was for, although personally I do not like the taste of beetroot.
Pan-seared Duck Foie Gras on Pear and Walnut Chutney, Muscat Poached Fig with Spiced Port Wine Glaze was one of the highlights of the night. Having heard rave reviews of this dish, my expectations were high and it was indeed worth the buzz – the outside was seared perfectly to a crisp and the inside creamy smooth. Surprisingly, one also does not get the oily aftertaste. The pairing of the walnut furthermore gave it a delightful extra bite – perfectly executed!
A personal favourite of Kimberly, the Seared Hokkaido Scallop on Belgium Endive Au Gratin with Avruga Caviar, Sauce Normandy and Parmigiano Reggiano Lace was also well seared. The thick scallop was fresh and succulently sweet and goes well with the Normandy sauce - and if you heed my advice about the complimentary bread, this is the sauce where remnant bread dips in.
Pan Roasted Swordfish Belly topped with Garlic Sabayon, Fork Crushed Potatoes and Essence of Wild Mushrooms was another excellent dish. The flesh of the fish is firm yet smooth and retains the “flavour of the sea” without hint of fishiness taste. This dish contains another gravy for one to mop up with the bread.
Kimberly was kind enough to accede to our request of replacing the Veal with the Beef Cheek. Another one of their acclaimed dish, the Caramelized Black Angus Beef Cheek coupled with Mousseline of Butternut Pumpkin and Natural Jus was fabulously bravura! The intense flavour of the beef was nicely captured in this dish and the beef cheek was amazingly well simmered until tender rendering one speechless.
Kudos to Kimberly for also recommending the perfect red wine ($12/glass) to go with it, although I didn’t manage to get the name for it.
To end of the night, we had the Chocolate Soufflé with Amaretto Ice Cream and Vanilla Bean Custard. This is one of the best versions of soufflé I have ever tried, far exceeding Bakerzin’s. What’s more, the ice cream that came with it was excellent and truly satisfying. However, the soufflé was slightly burnt towards the end, which was a pity.
Although we chalked up a pricey $306.00 for 2 pax, the service and the culinary excellence more than made up for it. This dinner was truly satisfying and I would definitely be back for more!
Food: 4.75/5 (Food was excellent!)
Service: 4.75/5 (Service was quick & attentive, and Kimberly was a fantastic host)
Ambience: 4.25/5 (Chic yet unpretentious. Though tend to be noisy due to space constraint)
Price: 4.25/5 ($153 per pax seems pricey but truly a worthwhile experience)
Call 6333 8726 for reservation
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