The Place Tras Street at Tanjong Pagar is fast becoming the next food haven with the likes of May May, Violet Herbs and one of the lastest kid on the block, Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan. With previous stints around the world at renowned Michelin restaurants, the main draw at the restaurant is the set dinner course specially curated by Chef Stephan based on the season’s freshest ingredients. It does sound like Japanese omakase, I guess the selling factor is the element of surprise. On to the restaurant space, there is no fancy design but the place does exude a private home cooking vibe, especially with a large communal table just beside the open kitchen; which probably offers the best intimate experience with the chef while dining, at well, the Chef’s Table.
The Food Without a doubt, I believe the set dinner course (3 course @ $68/pax, 4 @ $88/pax, 6 course @ $128/pax, 8 course @ $158/pax) is the ultimate dining experience here, and probably the real deal. We decided to leave that for another day, so we went straight for the a la carte menu instead which shouldn’t be that far off in terms of standards. Made up of small plates and big plates, there is not much price difference between some of the small plates like the New York Nights ($16), think Reuben sandwich, and the 2015L Slider ($18) from the big plates section.
Without much hesitation, we decided on the 2015L Slider ($18) made up of lye bread bun, pulled pork shoulder, swiss cheese, pickles, crisp chicken skin, fermented grains and bbq sauce. I like the firm and dense texture of the lye bread for the slider, which made it easy to enjoy the full flavours and fillings of the slider without creating a mess. What was probably missing here is some sides to go along with the slider, maybe I should not expect too much from the price.
My next dish was far more exciting. I have never imagined having a doughnut as a main course, so I was bent on trying the Doughnut Pte Ltd ($18), which was basically made up of doughnut fried in duck fat, duck confit, thyme, poached egg, apple cider infused jus, braised shallots and rocket leaves. For once, doughnut did not taste like a sweet item, but savoury instead. I concluded it must be the duck fat which the doughnut was fried in, which lends it the savoury flavour. The poached egg atop the doughnut was another surprise, which went surprisingly well with the doughnut. And that shredded duck confit simply packed so much oomph to the dish as well.
In comparison, the Beef Tagliata ($22) was nothing short of ordinary. The short seared angus beef tenderloin was too thinly sliced, and too miserable in portions in comparison to the accompanying vine cherry tomatoes, aged parmesan cheese and rocket leaves. I thought this dish come across more like an appetiser than a main course.
The dessert, however was something I enjoyed very much. Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Tart, Fleur de Sel ($12) served with vanilla bourbon ice cream. Rich and bitter dark chocolate makes me happy, and I love how well-balanced the combination was. The vanilla ice-cream was infused with bourbon, not too much yet enough to make me feel high for awhile. It is always nice to pair tarts with ice-cream, which can get too dry for the palate without the latter.
Rants I was mildly dissatisfied with the service. Our bill came wrongly twice, which was not a big issue for me. I was more turned off by the nonchalant service attitude of the restaurant manager, for the lack of a better word.
Will I Return Again? Hits and misses in the a la crate menu, but I guess I should have gone for the full-fledged dinner set course experience instead. I may consider heading back if I do hear any positive experiences for its dinner set from reliable sources.
Make your reservation instantly at Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan here.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan
61 Tras Street
Tel: +65 6224 4188
Tuesday to Saturday: 5pm till midnight
Sunday & Monday: closed
Ranted by The Ranter