A New Look and Menu at Restaurant Ember
Restaurant Ember opens its doors in September after undergoing a facelift after 12 delicious years. Taking helm at the restaurant since May this year is Chef Sufian Bin Zain, who has strong fine dining background and previously held executive roles at Iggy’s and Waku Ghin. Focusing on creating refined comfort cuisine uncomplicated, honest food with quality and freshness, Chef Sulfian’s interpretations lean towards a lighter, more ingredient-focused dishes.
At lunch, there is a $42 set, where you pick three courses from a separate menu, and some dishes are not available in the ala carte list. One of these is the steamed egg custard with mudcrab, asparagus and aonori. Being a huge chawanmushi fan, this is so good that I wished it will be in the ala carte menu. The smooth steamed egg custard pairs amazingly well with clean crabmeat, it is so comforting.
Colours and presentation are important, as seen from my plate of Burrata Cheese ($14) with cherry tomatoes, arugula and homemade pesto sauce. I am not a huge cheese fan, and I think I have had better Burrata elsewhere though.
The highlights from the new menu showcases modern European dishes cleverly with hint of Asian touches. With an intention to enhance the essence of premium ingredients, the menu is kept simple in regards to flavourings because Chef Sufian believes in letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
We started our mains with pan roasted Barramundi ($28) with tomatoes, fine beans, avruga caviar and clam jus. The crispy barramundi was done nicely, even if it didn’t wow. The tanginess of the tomatoes are perfectly balanced with a lightness from the fish and clam jus.
My favourite is Bouillabaisse ($32) with NZ Langoustine, Hokkaido Scallops, Barramundi, Garlic Aioli. It is a simple yet flavourful dish. The juicy, sweet flesh of scallops enhanced by a hearty bouillabaisse, when paired intelligently, only allows the sweetness of the seafood to emerge and dance with delicately flavoured stew, and highlights by garlic aioli that smoothly harmonises the symphony of this dish.
Despite a new chef with a new culinary direction, many of the menu’s old favourite stay. One of them is the Duck Leg Confit with mashed potatoes and caramelised onions. The skin comes perfectly roasted, the way a good confit should. It is twice cooked for 36 hours, hence the meat is fork tender and not very salty. It is only available on the lunch set menu but if you wish to order it during dinner a la carte, it’s $32 (let the kitchen know in advance).
Some other examples of the old classics that are kept on the menu, that Ember is best known for, are the cripsy tofu with foie gras, Slow-cooked pork belly, savoy cabbage, apple & natural jus, Pan-seared Chilean Seabass, mushroom ragout, bacon & yuzu-truffle butter and Coconut panna cotta, waterchestnuts & gula melaka. Honestly, the menu is not very extensive, I was expecting more new dishes from Chef Sulfian.
Ember’s desserts are decent but not outstanding. Deconstructed cheesecake figs ($12) with crumble and Tahiti vanilla ice cream is okay, but can’t really taste the figs. Three textures of Pistachio ($15) is quite unique, featuring an airy pistachio sponge with ginger milk foam.
From my lunch, it is clear that Chef Sufian’s style is on the lighter side, as compared to Chef Sebastian’s. He likes to use premium quality ingredients and let the natural flavours speak for themselves. They also offer three-course set lunch at $42 and four-course dinner at $88. Prices are pretty affordable with ala carte mains ranging from $28 to $45.
Address: 50 Keong Saik Road
Tel: 6347 1928
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 11.30am to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10pm. Open for dinner only on Sat. Closed on Sun.
Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Restaurant Ember. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!