Bistro Soori

We’ll readily admit that we’re more than a little skeptical when it comes to fusion food. As adventurous as we are and as much as we enjoy new gastronomic experiences, the F word often evokes some unpleasant memories. Fortunately, Bistro Soori is a delight. Helmed by chef Jimmy Chok and designed by SCDA’s principal Soo Chan, the 30-seater establishment occupies an unassuming shophouse in the dining enclave of Chinatown. The minimalist, refined décor parallels chef Chok’s culinary sensibility. There were no overly-fussed-over plates strewn with various garnishes and layers upon layers of sauce.

Rather, we found each dish to be understated in presentation, but not so in flavor. A real triumph was our starter of foie gras. Unlike the usual pan-seared or terrine renditions (yawn), this appeared as a mountain of shaved foie gras snow and concealed white wine jelly and apple compote. The shaved foie was so fluffy it melted upon contact in our mouths, while the sweetness of the jelly played off the just-tart-enough fruit compote to showcase the richness of the liver, without it becoming overpowering.

Our medium-rare helping of beef tenderloin was well-executed and served with incredibly fresh asparagus, carrots, vine ripened tomatoes and zucchini slivers. The natural sweetness of the carrots complemented the succulent meat beautifully, although we found the accompanying szechuan pepper sauce lacked the heat and spice we were expecting, though the truffle oil in the sauce was a pleasant surprise. The rack of lamb with long bean spears and orange and garlic hoisin sauce was certainly tasty, but the mash needed to be smoother in texture.

With only two options for dessert, we decided on the pinenut lemon tart, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It offered a real zing that was wholly welcome after a substantial meal. Maybe fusion’s not so bad ater all.

Have you tried the foie gras duo? It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2011). Or the short rib hash is what we crave when we wake up, and is on our list of 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2012).