Dining has not been the same for me ever since one of my all- time favourite restaurants, Dozo, closed its doors. Since then, I have not patronised any restaurant with such a concept, which is to pay a certain amount for a fix number of courses with different choices for each course. (Yes, many would recommend The Clan, but I have always felt and still feel that it is a copycat of Dozo.)
So, I was pleased to read that there is a restaurant in town which offers something similar. SET offers cheaper sets compared to Dozo (about $10 lesser), and instead of Japanese fusion, the food here has more of a Chinese twist to it.
The interior of the restaurant is modern and spacious. It is good for gatherings and even private parties, as it has a few private rooms available. In addition, you will be offered a warm welcome from the moment you step into the restaurant, for me it was a little too enthusiastic.
The menu is very clear cut, stating that a 5-course set lunch costs $28.80++ and the various options for the courses. My family tried to order all the choices for the different courses, so that we could sample everything.
Course 1: Chef Starter
What impressed me the most throughout my meal was actually the first course, which is the Chef Starter. Imagine mushroom, ham and stringy cheese with warm toasted bread on the side! Super delicious combination!
Course 2: Cold Dishes
Following that we had the Cold Dishes.
Huai San Carpaccio. Tasted like thinly sliced crunchy apples. Quite interesting, I must say.
Tomato Caprese. Loved the sauce for this.
Smoked Duck Breast. My family thoroughly enjoyed this! A surprisingly refreshing citrus sauce.
Prawn Roll, a new cold dish which is not on the menu yet but was presented to us. Also another hit among my family.
Salmon Garvlax. A popular item here, which is essentially salmon with herbs and sour cream.
Course 3: Soups
Next, we move on to the Soups. We only ordered two types of soups, both of which were major disappointments. Should they improve on their menu, the first thing they should look at is definitely this course.
Roasted Pumpkin with Truffle. Truffle taste was so faint I could hardly taste it and the soup was not thick enough.
Mushroom Veloute with Peanut Butter. Sounds like something unique but this is a clash of flavours. The fragrance of the mushroom was totally overpowered by the peanut butter.
Course 4: Main Courses
We ordered everything except the Marinated Rack of Lamb.
Roasted Beef Tenderloin. Nice cut of meat.
Grilled Snapper with Salsa. Loved the piquancy of the salsa!
Baby Back Pork Ribs. This reminded me of the pork you find in ba chang (dumplings)! Big enough for two people!
Roasted Chicken Pullet. Did not expect to find something in the middle! The chicken was tender but tasteless. Fortunately, the sauce helped.
Course 5: Desserts
Finally, it is time for desserts!
Poached Pear with Gelato. This was something special, a tad sour, akin to sour plums.
Espresso Creme Brulee. Nothing can go wrong with this combo. However, I felt that the serving was to little. The dessert only reached a third of the cup.
Pistachio Panna Cotta.
Huai San Jello.
I was rather appalled by how dirty the glasses were for the last two desserts. I had to twist and turn, and find different angles so the stains and fingerprints were not visible.
Definitely worth your money, seeing that you get so many courses for only $28.80++. Good for gatherings as well, as splitting the bill is really easy here. However, in terms of quality of food? This cannot compare to Dozo.
Just in case you are interested in Dozo, I heard they have opened a new restaurant at Orchard Central called Joie by Dozo.
1 Selegie Road, POMO #02-01
Tel: 6337 7644
Opens daily from 1130 to 2200 hrs.