Violet Herbs calls itself a new age semi-formal fine dining restaurant helmed serving Modern European cuisines with Asian influences. It has long been on my to-visit list as the menu looks good (and was value-for-money before its revamp) and I had heard good things about it, including from my foodie sister.
I was excited to see it participating in Restaurant Week and promptly signed up. When we arrived, a queue was forming, though there were quite a few empty tables. After a wait, we were led to our table. The first floor is garishly decorated in purple and the lights kept fluctuating in brightness throughout our meal. Also, the tables were placed close to each other so it was noisy and there was no sense of privacy. It felt like a cheap diner.
To start, there was focaccia with balsamic vinegar and a mix of cod and mashed potatoes (above). The focaccia was cold, dry and hard. I love to eat bread – from Gardenia white bread to sourdough from bakeries or the ones I bake – but would not have a second bite of this. The least Violet Herbs could do was to serve warm bread. The cod and potato mix was bland and cold as well.
For appetisers, we had the Parma Scallops and Mushroom Cappuccino.
My dining companion found the scallops (above) average, and he loves eating the mollusk.
I found my soup (above) just average too, and there was no hint of truffle.
For mains, we had the Duck Confit and Char Grilled Tenderloin (top up $10).
The duck (above) was unappetisingly plated, a brown slab covering the potatoes and spinach. Instead of soft and tender meat falling off the bone, it was dry. You can find much better duck confit at Immanuel French Kitchen in a coffee shop.
My companion found the tenderloin (above) average. On the bright side, it was cooked to the right doneness.
For desserts, we had the Valrhona Chocolate Tart and Banana Chocolate Mousse (which replaced the Lavender Creme Brulee in the online menu I was looking forward to).
We were told that the chocolate tart (above) was made with 75% chocolate. Instead of a rich and dark chocolate, it was overly sweet.
The Banana Chocolate Mousse (above) left a weird taste reminiscent of banana extract. My companion cringed after a bite and pronounced it as having a strange cough syrup taste.
The best tasting things that night were the unadorned fruit and the wine, which says a lot. And our bill arrived, uncalled for, while we were having our desserts. Talk about a way to end the meal.
81 Tras St