Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sage, The Restaurant



Had lunch at Sage, The Restaurant today with LiquidShadow or LS for short. Perched on the second storey of the picturesque Robertson Walk, Sage is dressed up in modern chic, with a small dining area that can only hold about 30-40 people. Run by the husband and wife team of Jusman and Kimberly, reservations are almost always necessary especially during dinner as the place can get quite packed. I'm sure you wouldn't want to be turned away do you? Set lunches go for $25++ (10% service charge and 1% cess) for a 3-course set (no dessert) or $28+++ for a 4-course set and the menu is changed once every fortnight. As always, the more the merrier, so both of us opted for the 4-course set. I had the Braised beef shortribs topped with marinated shallots, puree of butternut pumpkin and brunoise root vegetables for my main course while LS had the Pastilla of braised lamb shank with mascarpone cheese, provencal ratatouille and cassoulet of summer beans.

Appetiser was Seared yellow fin tuna topped with avocado mousseline, lumpfish roe and an aged balsamic glaze. The tuna was nicely done with a cooked exterior and raw interior. It was light on the taste buds with the overpoweringly raw fishy taste noticeably absent. Coupled with the avocado mousseline and the house special concoction of the balsamic glaze, it made for a truly appetising appetiser.

When I first set eyes on the Cappuccino of cauliflower veloute, it looked exactly like a cup of Cappuccino with its frothy top layer and creamy base. A rather interesting concept, but I didn't quite take to it. For one, I found the cream taste a little too overwhelming in the froth and in the soup itself. It tasted like a slightly better version of the Campbell soup, albeit a lot more creamy. If you love boiled milk, you might fancy this more than I do.

The mains followed and my Braised beef shortribs was very well done. The meat was first braised until fall off the bone tender (there's no bone by the way) then pan-fried till the outer layer was slightly charred and crispy. Atop the meat lay slices of marinated shallots which had a slightly sweet taste and melted cheese. Extremely fine chopped spring onions were drizzled over to give colour, smell and taste. Butternut pumpkin puree with cuscus came as a side for this dish and it was commendable as well. The sweet pumpkin taste blended in well with the cuscus. I had a bite of LS's lamb, but didn't quite fancy it because of its strong lamb taste.

Dessert was Vanilla panna cotta with Granny Smith apples and its own sorbet. The sorbet came with thinly sliced green apples (Granny Smith apples) that complemented it very well. However, I did find the texture a little lacking although I must complement it for its smoothness. I did like the panna cotta though. Wobbly, chilled and a little sweet, you can seldom go wrong with this dessert. Having said that, I still prefer the Panna Cotta at Pontini because the flavours are more robust with a nice slightly creamy aftertaste.

Our 1.5 hours lunch cost us $62.20/-, which is a tad expensive for such dainty portions. As LS puts it, fine dining is supposed to be fine in the quality sense, not portions wise. I can't help but agree. The dinner menu looks inviting, but can easily set you back by $60+/pax (after taxes) just for the basic 4-course set. Although the food is good, service faultless and ambience romantic, I rather take my money elsewhere for that kind of pricing - somewhere where I can at least fill my stomach. But if you are a small eater and crave for a romantic place for dinner, this might just be the place for you. If not, just go for the set lunches.



Exterior



Interior



The current set lunch menu



Bread



Seared yellow fin tuna topped with avocado mousseline, lumpfish roe and an aged balsamic glaze



Cappuccino of cauliflower veloute



Pastilla of braised lamb shank with mascarpone cheese, provencal ratatouille and cassoulet of summer beans



My main course - Braised beef shortribs topped with marinated shallots, puree of butternut pumpkin and brunoise root vegetables



My main course again



Vanilla panna cotta with Granny Smith apples and its own sorbet



Guess what this is?



The bill




Final Verdict:
Ambience:8/10
Service:8/10
Food:8/10
Value for money:6/10

Overall:7.5/10

Address: #02-12 Robertson Walk
Contact: 63338726

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