This two-floor restaurant offers modern French cuisine, fine wines and great value for money. Tras Street is now a place that rivals Club Street nearby for its choice of French cafes and restaurants.
Violet Herbs is the first restaurant project for local husband and wife team, Executive Chef Edward Hoe and Danni Lim. Chef Hoe has worked in several respected kitchens on the island, including Restaurant Ember at Hotel 1929 in Chinatown and The American Club. At Violet Herbs, he has free reign to experiment with his love for reinventing traditional European dishes using modern techniques and different ingredients.
Spread over both floors, Violet Herb’s main dining area on the ground floor is a pretty space heavily inspired by the restaurant’s name – think bright violet seating, counter and bar area, contrasting with white walls and light wood flooring. Upstairs, a more neutral beige colour scheme provides an alternative and a private dining room, which seats up to 14 guests.
Chef’s Hoe’s menu offers a selection of a la carte options and the choice of a six- or eight-course degustation menu. There is also a competitively priced three-course set lunch menu ($32+) and a four-course dinner menu ($48+).
Standout dishes on the a la carte menu include the Pistachio and Herb Crusted Hokkaido Scallops, served with a sweet butternut purée, chocolate soil and unique potato Parma ham crisps. Another starter worth mentioning is the rich and creamy Lobster Cappuccino with Brandy, served with juniper-infused milk foam. Presented with panache – with lobster shell atop the foam and broth – this hearty but not overwhelming dish will leave you licking the bowl clean. For mains, the Marinated Red Miso Cod, served with roasted pumpkin purée and aubergine, dusted with a fine almond herb crumble, is excellent. The cod is first marinated, then roasted and finished under the salamander to caramelise.
Beef fans should try the Sous-Vide 48-Hour Wagyu Beef Cheek, presented on a bed of fregola sarda with courgette and squash medallions. Prepared with a rich red wine and port reduction, the meat is wonderfully tender, and is brilliantly matched with the minute pasta shells and accompanying raspberry vinaigrette. Alternatively, the Roasted Lamb Rump, served on a bed of sweet corn (with a delightful Madeira and port jus in a test tube), is also well recommended.
Portions for all mains are generous but spare some space for dessert temptations like the Frozen Nougat with Mixed Fruit, Lychee Sorbet and Raspberry Sauce or the Textures of Strawberry, which offers the fruit prepared as a coulis, macaron and yoghurt mousse.
With a good choice of wines priced under $100 and a selection of premium French wines, there is something for everyone on the wine list. We advise starting the meal with one of the restaurant’s violet-inspired cocktails and taking it from there.
Violet Herbs, 81 Tras Street, tel: 6221 3988, violetherbs.com.sg
By Luke Finn | Images courtesy of Violet Herbs
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