What: Opened January this year, Violet Herbs—comfortably housed within a two-storey conservation shop house on Tras Street (just behind Orchid Hotel)—strives to impress with their unique, semi-fine dining experience at affordable prices.
What to expect: While not quite as fancy as Saveur Art or Sorrel, there’s just something inexplicably charming about the modern, yet ever-so-slightly homely, European fare by Executive Chef and owner Edward Hoe in this sea of soulless, contemporary dining establishments.
Price point: Starters and desserts begin at $12, with most mains staying in the $20-30s range—and then there’s the prized 300-grams Wagyu Striploin MBS 9 at $248, or $168 for 200-grams. Violet Herb also offers up a 6- and 8-course degustation menu at $98 and $128 respectively.
Deal: Turn up in outfits that are majority (>50%) violet and enjoy 50% off your total bill every Friday, 6pm-10pm, till 28 Aug 2015.
Short-form review: The convenient location, reasonable pricing and romantic, cozy ambiance (the restaurant is decked out in violet hues) makes it a perfect dating spot for young executives.
Must-tries: A definite highlight is the rich and tasty Lobster Cappuccino ($14). The velvety broth, made from a base of lobster shell and vegetables, is prepared red wine and cream before finished off with a dash of cognac. The luscious concoction is then served with lobster and an intriguing juniper-milk foam for complexity.
I also terribly enjoyed the meltingly succulent Sous Vide 48-hour Wagyu Beef Cheek ($32), matched with fregola and a tart raspberry reduction, and the Sri Lankan Crab Meat Pasta—the deliciously greased angel hair punctuated with generous bits of shiso leaf.
Needs fine-tuning: I’d say play it safe and skip the Pistachio & Herb-crusted Scallops ($18), teamed with a bitter chocolate soil, butternut puree and Parma ham-potato crisps. The precious nuggets, encrusted in an herb mix of crushed pistachio, thyme and juniper, have a tendency to arrive slightly overdone—though improved on our second visit to the establishment.
Address: 81 Tras Street, Singapore 079020
Tel: +65 6221 3988
Operating hours: Closed Sundays
Mondays to Saturdays 11.30am – 3pm 6pm – 10pm