Sommer review: A new modern European restaurant at The Sail @ Marina Bay
One to watch
From enthralling cocktail bars like Miss Fitz to the latest fine dining entrant to our shores, it's safe to say that The Sail at Singapore's Marina Bay has been on quite the streak of late. Undoubtedly, Sommer's debut couldn't have come at a better time for restless gourmands hungry for the next eye-opening destination. The modern European restaurant first opened in late January, by Ebb & Flow Group in collaboration with Acquired Capital. The man of the hour, Lewis Barker (previously from the now-defunct Bacchanalia and Vianney Massot) too makes his debut as the head chef, in the stunning 28-seater restaurant marred by refined wood and a unifying stone hue.
While its central location grants convenient lunchtime access to the neighbouring business district at an affordable price-point S$68++ for the Discovery menu, it is during the dinner concession where the bay's evening glow puts on a grandious display. There's nothing quite like golden hour here at Sommer. The S$168++ 4-course Inspiration and the S$228++ 6-course Experience menu each offers an exceptional dining experience, with quality ingredients backed by chef Lewis' meticulous execution. In a charming attempt, the series of courses are all served atop of handcrafted ceramic pieces from Bali.
Our 4-course meal begun with a trio of canapés. And boy, were they a playful tease. Lewis' tiny recreation of Mackerel on "Toast" was a delightful take on the traditional English breakfast, this time featuring velvety smoked Japanese saba with caviar on a chewy homemade crumpet. Next up, was a delicate shell where a combination of botan ebi, ikura, and finger limes sat, layering our palates with a tangy burst. A creamy ball of glazed foie gras, topped with black truffle shavings and sweet onion jam, concluded the medley subtly.
By the time the next course arrived, the table was already giddy in anticipation of what was to come. Furthermore with the good view of Sommer's kitchen through its open window, where we got to witness chef Lewis and his team hard at work. Between the courses, a loaf of sourdough bread served with kombu butter filled in deftly during the wait.
The Majestic Oyster was surely our favourite of the entire meal. Resting in the middle of a wide ceramic plate was a juicy, plump oyster concealed within a generous dollop of oyster bavarois and kaluga caviar that added even more of a briny, umami ramp on the beloved delicacy. An assortment of greens, green chilli ponzu, and cool green apple sorbet with tiny crunchy cubes of the fruit flanked its sides, lending a refreshing sweetness to each bite.
In place of the usual Roasted Langoustine that follows, we were treated to a poached Brittany Turbot, which was firm yet tender and fell softly to each stroke of the knife onto a herby bed of sauce with green peas, strips of Bayonne ham, and asparagus. The Dry Aged Irish Duck was a welcomed heavier addition to the night. Lightly seasoned with Chinese five-spice and slow-roasted to a perfect pink, with each bite of the succulent duck breast best accompanied with the drizzle of natural jus made from duck bones and sweet sand carrot puree. An exquisite tartlet composed of duck liver, duck skin, and buckwheat further testified to chef Lewis' no-waste ethic to a brilliant point.
Those who know, would know. An ode to UK favourite caramel-flavoured bar, Caramac can be recognised in the dessert course, intertwined with chef Lewis' very own childhood memories. A whimsical creation, where a luscious roasted white chocolate cremeux was adorned with a variety of rich dark chocolates, Armagnac-soaked dates and caramelised Piedmont hazelnuts. A decadent finish to end the meal on, but if not, there's always petit fours to make sure of that.
Considering our saturated dining scene, Sommer might not be the first revolutionary modern European player, but something tells us chef Lewis' tenacity and culinary vision will prove its worth in time to come.
The Sail @ Marina Bay, 2 Marina Boulevard, #01-02, Tel: 6436 3668
Opening hours: (Tues-Sun) 12pm-2pm, 6pm-9.30pm