The menu says it all.
At Racines restaurant in Sofitel Singapore City Centre, diners are presented with a hardcover coffee table book – which is actually the newly revamped menu. Inside are whimsical visuals of the dishes available, and recipes of popular items.
The jewel-toned “editorial fashion-style” images not only communicate the bold, creative, and exciting flavours of the new menu but also challenge the conventional expectations of a typical hotel restaurant. (The noodles in Hokkien Mee appear to flow from a tap, while the porcini and cremini mushrooms in Mushroom Velouté sit on a “cheese” (chess) board.)
The French and Asian menu is presented by Isaac Henry, Sofitel’s new director of culinary and beverage. If he looks familiar, that’s because he was the host of CNA’s Zero Waste Kitchen, a series that focuses on the efficient use of kitchen resources.
Henry draws on his years of culinary exploration and experience in diverse kitchens, from two-Michelin-starred LeGrand Restaurant in Paris, to Whitegrass, 1-Atico, and 67 Pall Mall in Singapore, to create Racines’ a la carte menu.
In particular, his early years working in South Africa (where he witnessed food scarcity first-hand) has influenced the new signature dishes that will not only tantalise taste buds, but also reflect sustainable dining.
New signature dishes
The Chicken & Duck Foie Gras Mousse ($28) on the starters list, for instance, comprises chicken and duck liver as an eco-responsible alternative to classic goose liver. Its velvety richness is enhanced with black vinegar and crispy Lao Gan Ma chilli sauce that pairs surprisingly well.
As the dish that most embodies the nose-to-tail concept, the Crispy Scale Red Snapper ($42) in beurre blanc sauce with soft, wilted spinach cooked in squid ink and pumpkin puree on the side, takes centre stage. Locally sourced and humanely slaughtered, the clean, tender fillet is deep-fried at a high temperature, with the scales crisped up so they’re crunchy to the bite.
The Prawn Biryani ($36) is a non-traditional version inspired by the Middle East and various parts of India. Argentinian prawns are sustainably caught during mating season after spawning, rather than being caught all year round and disrupting their natural cycle. Take spoonfuls from top to bottom to enjoy the biryani fully. Add a dollop of salty yoghurt for a burst of flavour and texture.
A meal at Racines usually concludes with a dessert. Our pick: Pavlova ($22), a delicate masterpiece composed of house-made strawberry jam with black pepper and basil blended seamlessly with luscious cream. Meringue layers surround the medley, resulting in a contrast of airy crispiness and creamy richness.
Skillet Baked Dark Chocolate Cookie ($23) served with salted Hokkaido milk ice cream is a decadent chocolate treat. The 67 percent dark chocolate chunks create the perfect balance of bittersweet flavours. In addition, skillet baking assures a tantalising contrast between crispy, caramelised edges and an oozy centre.
Of course, we could go on and on, but you’d need to enjoy these delights first-hand.
For enquiries and reservations, call 6428 5000 or visit sofitel-singapore-citycentre.com/gastronomy/racines.