Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sprigs - Upping the Culinary Ante Along Purvis Street

Purvis street has had its fair share of restaurants and bistros, but one that does not normally pop into mind is Sprigs. A recent menu revamp and a move towards more streamlined and modern based cuisine is just the tonic.

The food has come off looking more hip but not overly so, and a rethink of cooking philosophies means that diners will get a more laser focused set of plates to savour.

The place itself is modern chic, with a nod to fine dining elegance. Its rather elongated space is typical of gentrified shophouses along the area.

Service is also exemplary, especially with the owner himself taking the effort to service his diners. That level of commitment is much admired, and rare in today's food industry.

Baby Squid A La Pancha

The hearty baby squid dish sets the right direction for this new menu. Representative of the current trend of going back to basics and ditching the pretentious route, a hearty brunch like dish served appropriately in a cast iron pan will leave you satisfied with its combination of flavours, colours and textures.

This Spanish inspiration leaves no doubt with its tender squid texture, the savoury goodness of the lomo iberico and the perfectly cooked egg with its creamy egg yolk doubling up as a comforting sauce to drench everything in.

Roasted Veal Carpaccio

An Italian favourite, the veal carpaccio with the tuna flavoured mayonnaise is appealing with its saucy combination. Its simplicity in its construction betrays an unexpected success of flavours and notes. Its slight unorthodox appearance for a carpaccio dish is perhaps the right way to fool you into thinking that it is less than what it actually is.

Duck Leg Confit

The highlight of the night belongs to this even more spartan looking Duck Leg Confit plate. Looking more like a roast spring chicken, the skin is crusted to a tee and the concealed meat far more moist and tender than its competitors out there.

It is the copious amount of heavenly duck fat that will leave you swimming with culinary joy. Burst after burst of duck fat juices exploding with abandoned gastronomic ecstasy with make you forget the surrounding garnishes, and even your dining companions no matter how attractive or charming they may be.

Chilean Seabass

After being disappointed with a recent number of Chilean Seabass dishes recently, I am happy to report that Sprig's version more than meets the mark. More shaved squid and lomo iberio to luxuriate the fish dish with a heavier savoury punch.

The sauce vierge has a delicate nature with its mix of olive oil, tomatoes and lemon oil to formulate the base of the protein, and allow everything to bind together in one harmonious mouthful. Subtle yet distinct in all its different plays on the dish.

Tete de Moine Cheese

The beautiful and intricate looking flower shaped cheese is from a Swiss origin where a special cheese grater is used to churn out the loverly cheese blossoms.

As a dessert, it's heavier slant towards the umami and dairy bursts might surprise the regular diner, but give it some time and you will be won over just like I was. A well made brioche and some walnuts are all that is required to finish this plate, and finish off dinner on a great note.

Sprigs with is classy looks and food is now well poised to take on its more illustrious neighbours along the street. For my money, I think it bests the lot at Purvis and with its refined fare and buoyant charm, the up the ante approach may just leave the rest now playing catch up along this road.

12 Purvis Street

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