Wednesday, 19 August 2015

[CLOSED] Violet Herbs, Modern European Restaurant - Tras Street

Violet Herbs is probably a hidden gem along Tras Street offering affordable and quality modern European cuisine. Opened back in January, Violet Herbs pride itself as a rare and unique find. The new age semi-formal fine dining restaurant features Chef & Owner Edward Hoe's finest masterpieces as well as set courses. 

To enjoy the most of Chef Hoe's creations, experience it through a 6-course Degustation Menu ($98+) or a larger and more comprehensive offering of seasonal picks through the 8-course Degustation Menu ($128+). There are also 3-course set lunch menu ($32+) and 4-course set dinner menu ($48+) to pick from. Each meal commences with a complimentary home-baked saffron roll and amuse bouche of the day.

Love the violet-purple themed ground floor, dining like a royal without being too classy. Violet Herbs houses a 2-storey, 70 seater restaurant where the interior design surrounds the theme of comfort and elegance.

The two levels of dining area, each focus on two different colors and vibes. While the second floor leans towards a nature themed convention, an ideal spot to unwind yourself in a more naturesque vibe.

Besides a list of wine to go along, there are 3 Violet Herb's signature cocktails as well - Violet desire, Violet sensation and Violet breeze ($14 each). We had the Violet Desire as seen above, Violet Herbs very own classic signature cocktail with Tahoon cress, pomegranate and tequila. Unique combination.

As mentioned previously, each meal commences with a complimentary home-baked saffron roll and amuse bouche of the day. On this day, we had the saffron roll paired with basil herbs while the amuse bouche is chicken salad with honey mustard sauce. Mad love the saffron roll, so fluffy!

We started off with appetizers - Pistachio and Herb Crusted Scallops ($18++). These plump Hokkaido scallops is lightly pan-seared and then encrusted in an herb mix consisting fine breadcrumbs seasoned with crushed pistachio, thyme and juniper. They are then served with a sweet butternut puree and a delicate, bitter chocolate soil which balances the flavour.

Totally exquisite I must say, especially with the butternut puree which makes the overall dish significant. Do note that this is a tasting portion which explains one. Usual plating comes in 3 plump scallops.

Next Chef Hoe also serves up a luscious Lobster Cappuccino & Brandy ($14+), that underscores his skill at French cooking. The extremely flavorful stock is rendered by simmering mirepoix; roughly chopped onions, carrots, celery and lobster shell for 6 hours. After that it is cooked again with red wine and cream, finishing off with a dash of cognac.

This is gaining attention among diners; the aromatic soup is also then served with generous pieces of lobster, topped with an ethereal juniper-infused milk foam. 
(Note that picture shown is tasting portion, normal serving is definitely more)

This dish is one of my table's favorite for the night, Ebi Pasta (Angel Hair) $32+. Angel hair pasta is used which is slightly thinner, mixed with bird's eye chilli, sakura ebi, rayu oil and lobster essence. Love the crispy sakura ebi which boost the overall aroma of this dish, being a fan of aglio olio - this similar dish works perfect for me. Being their signature, this is something you gonna try at Violet Herbs.

(Note that the pasta picture above is a tasting portion)

Before serving the main courses, you will be served a palette cleanser to get your taste bud refreshed. Flavor changes occasionally, here we have is passion fruit sorbet that is made in house.

For mains, we first started with Roast Lamb Rump ($32+). The lamb is first sous vide for about half an hour with olive oil, butter and rosemary which tenderizes the meat and infuses it with the perfume of the herb. It is then pan-seared till medium, sliced and served on a bed of creamy sweet corn.

The test-tube on the side of the plate is filled with lamb jus and you can choose to pour as little or much as you would like. Not a fan of lamb but this is tender and succulent, importantly the pungent smell isn't as strong.

This is probably one of my favorite dish for the night - Marinated Red Miso Cod ($33+), this is one of Chef Hoe's most sought-after menu items at Violet Herbs. The 160g of cod is first marinated for 24 hours in a black miso and beetroot puree which imparts a rich color to the fish.

It is then roasted till partially-cooked and put under the salamander to caramelize. It is also complemented with roasted pumpkin puree, a slice of fried purple aubergine and sprinkled with mixed crumbs consisting of fine almonds and herbs to obtain a textural contrast. Mad love the succulent and texture of the cod, so damn good.

Besides the lamb and code from the extensive selection of meats and seafood, beef fans will relish this Sous Vide 48-hour Wagyu beef Cheek ($32+). The 150g wagyu beef cheek cooked sous vide style with rosemary, parsnips and fennel for 48 hours.

The tender meat is then gently glazed in a red wine and port reduction and served with fregola sarda - Sardinia-style pasta shaped like tiny pearls for an extra crunch. Raspberry vinaigrette drizzled zucchini and squash to provide the final touch. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft yet tender the beef cheek is, well marinated and flavorful at every bite. Would highly recommend this.

We capped off the dinner on a high note with a luscious Frozen Nougat ($14+), with mixed fruit, lychee sorbet and raspberry sauce. The one that stands-out in this dish is the frozen nougat that is made in house. Interesting texture and consists nuts for that extra crunch. (Note that pic shown above is a tasting portion)

Executive Chef and owner Edward Hoe together with his wife, he has almost 20 years of experience under his belt. Edward has had several prominent postings including stints in the kitchens of Restaurant Amber, Keystone Restaurant and fine dining restaurant at The American Club.

Violet Herbs also provides two spacious private dining rooms for corporate, private events and large groups that can hold 14 guests. The room can also be segmented into two smaller dining areas for 8 guests each.

Attractive prices and a charming dining space makes for a distinctive dining experience at Violet Herbs. The main dining floor seats 28 and is elegantly dressed in violet hues. Herbs play a prominent role in Chef Hoe's menu and are also featured in a few cocktails specially fashion for the restaurant. Not forgetting a modest wine list which encompasses old and new world offerings.

PROMOTION: Come dressed up in your best violet colored clothing to enjoy a 50% off your total bill, on every Friday from 6pm-10pm. This is valid till 28th August and note that at least 50% shades of violet is put on, not accessories. This promotion is only valid for the degustation and ala carte menu. Fine wines are not included and reservations is needed. It's indeed the best deal in town.

UPDATE: Violet Herbs will be launching new set lunch and set dinner menus on 17th Aug 2015 at $32+ and $48+ per person respectively, to showcase more of chef’s special creations. Some of the new dishes includes Braised Rosemary Lamb Foreshank, Deep Fried Crab CakeTerrine de Truffle Foie GrasWild Mushroom Salad, Roasted Suckling Pig and Black Ash Pudding. 

Violet Herbs
81 Tras Street
Singapore 079020
Tel: 6221 3988
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat
Lunch: 1130am-3pm/ Dinner: 6pm-10pm
Closed Sundays

*This was an invited media tasting.


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