Petite Menu deserves a queue longer than the one at Saveur for all these reasons and more:
1. Gorgeously plated food prepared with finesse and techniques as if from a fine dining kitchen… Espuma, emulsion, sous vide, confit, coulis, anyone?
2. Affordable price tags with the most expensive item on the menu being $20++ for a torched ribeye steak! Believe me.
3. Fabulous playlist (remember Joey McIntyre’s Stay the Same??), though I’ve been fairly warned that the songs they play depend on the mood of the staff haha.
fried baby shrimps, bak kut teh terrine, tempura softshell crab with salted egg sauce
By default, salted egg softshell crab fettuccini is one of the mains on the menu but when Chef Nixon knew that I’m not a fan of pastas, he threw in a pasta-less version as an appetiser. I’m already biased towards anything softshell crab, but when paired with a buttery and aromatic salted egg sauce? Pure unadulterated bliss. I had to forcibly stop myself from drinking the sinful sauce even after the softshell crab was long gone. Yes, it was that good a winning dish!
Lavender-Scented Pumpkin Soup ($8++)
puffed pumpkin seeds, wakame salad, granny smith apple balls
There was a lot going on in this soup. On its own, the wakame salad was too salty, the pumpkin soup too flowery sweet. Together, the taste was interesting, for want of a better word. I can’t say I’ll order it again, but you may?
Late Breakfast ($10++)
mesclun salad, sous vide chicken egg, truffle dressing, butter brioche
Two words: butter brioche.
Two more words: must eat.
Smoked Duck Salad ($11++)
mesclun salad, home-smoked duck breast, balsamic shallots, ume dressing, crème fraiche
Chicken Confit ($15++)
braised purple cabbage, sweet potato puree, spiced chicken jus
There’s plenty of duck confit around but a chicken version? 12 hour brined chicken leg slow-cooked in its own fat and shallow-fried, I’ve got feedback that this was tender and juicy.
Pan-Seared Seabass ($15++)
ratatouille, quinoa salad, lemon & kaffir lime confit, lapsang sauchong tea leaf emulsion
Stunning presentation right? It’s a shame that this is the only fish dish on the menu; hopefully Chef Nixon will introduce more main courses for pescetarians soon! I’ll be the first in line.
Yogurt Parfait ($8++ for full portion)
elderflower yogurt, granola, fresh berries, blackcurrant coulis
This is actually on the all-day breakfast menu but Chef Nixon cleverly served it as a lovely pre-dessert. I’m a yogurt fanatic (I make my own yogurt at home cuz with the amount I’m consuming, the grocery bill was getting more and more expensive) and I approve this!
belgian chocolate mousse, brandied cherries, hazelnut soil, caramel ice cream
No doubt, the piece de resistance of Petite Menu. I don’t even like blackforest to begin with but this deconstructed version was so sooooo good! Everything just clicks. And $8++ for such a fancy dessert?! Sold.
Kaya Toast Mille Feuille ($7++)
kaya cream, kopitiam toasts, attap seed tartare, fresh blueberries, mint espuma, warm kopi-C sauce
Ok, this was a tad too deconstructed and confusing for my palate. Definitely go for the blackforest!
Special thanks to Li-lin and Chef Nixon for the kind hospitality!
Level 1, Aqueen Lavender Hotel
139 Lavender Street