I have written about Racines in Sofitel Singapore City Centre a number of times and frequented the restaurant even more. I have always loved how the restaurant is able to keep two distinct cuisines without being regarded as a fusion restaurant. The French and Chinese dishes are equally good and if it weren’t for the relatively high end dining proposition, I would be there more often.
Racines has not been around for a year yet but it recently launched a new menu with some refreshing changes. First of all, there are now more affordable options (seems like my wish has been answered) with a S$28++ lunch set for two courses. Also, you’ll now observe that many dishes in the new menu are lower in price. This is because some of the newer dishes have been made deliberately smaller to cater to individual portions. I was recently invited to check out the new menu at Racines. I can’t recall any restaurant revisits I’ve done recently that I was as excited about as this one.
I started the meal with a number of appetizers. First was the visually appealing Hamachi (S$24) which is served Japanese style. The raw and succulent slices of hamachi are dressed in white shoyu to give what is otherwise fresh sashimi an added sourness in flavor. Think of it as a palate teaser.
A heavier starter is the Eggplant (S$18) which was quite creatively done. The vegetable is chopped into smaller bits and deep-fried into a shape that looks like chicken poppers. It is then drenched with curried aioli and meat floss. Think of it like a crunchy, addictive snack. I just couldn’t stop myself. When did veggies ever taste so good?
The French dishes were no less intriguing. The Crabe (S$34) is a cannelloni that’s been generously stuffed with gratinated spanner crab. I was able to appreciate the fine seafood, lightly marinated with summer truffles and mornay sauce, even upon first bite. The pasta tubes were quite tender and easily collapsed as I scooped up a piece. For added complexity, it also comes sprinkled with some ikura but I thought it was able to stand well without.
Next came the Turbot (S$42), a signature dish of Chef Jean Charles Dubois and his culinary team. This species of flatfish is pan-seared as a fillet and comes with braised salsify on the side. The dish is supposed to come with ikura as well though I didn’t see any on my plate. The fish was tender and possessed a juicy texture that almost bordered on creamy, a great option for those seeking a classic French course.
Don’t be fooled by the plain-sounding name. A pleasant surprise was Chef Andrew’s Beancurd (S$34) which is done yong tau foo style. The tofu was notably smooth and it came topped with lobster mousse and a few pieces of pork patties. A nice take on a classic local dish, you’d also want to slather the accompanying sauce for an extra kick.
I ended the meal with two desserts, the Chendol (S$16) and the Banana et Noisette (S$16). Of the two, I particularly loved the chendol – again a creative interpretation – with its terrarium-like presentation. The chendol here is essentially solidified into a coconut pudding and comes with pandan gelee, azuki bean and a delicious scoop of gula melaka ice cream to finish it off. Like Racines’ own version of the mango sticky rice which I particularly love, dishes like the chendol further reinforces Racines’ versatility when it comes to the precarious balancing of French and Asian favorites.
Racines’ new menu is available daily during lunch and dinner except for Sunday lunch when it serves its Sunday brunch buffet
Sofitel Singapore City Centre
9 Wallich Street, (Enter via Peck Seah Street), 078885
+65 6428 5000