601 King Street W
Asian Fusion – Bar
With a lucky (luckee, heh) win on a reposting contest on Lee Restaurant’s Instagram, I was blessed with a Winterlicious dinner for two at the acclaimed restaurant of Sursur Lee. Amazing. Situated in the sweetest spot Stopping into the Forno Cultura Bakery next door to try out each of their Biscottis and into Home of the Brave just upstairs of the charming bakery to enjoy a bottle of The Poet’s Oatmeal Stout and a pint of Naughty Neighbour APA. Well-made treats and craft pints are always a swell start to the evening.
Warmly welcomed by Lee’s Social Media manager, our coats taken away, and we were seated for out 8PM reservation. The interior was definitely a sight. It was spacious upon entry, and the bar that aligned the first room had a hotel sort of feel, led into the further dining room, it was spotted with glass tables, high rustic brick walls and a floor to ceiling window along. Our server was friendly, speedy and efficient. Not once did I have to think of reaching for water, and I was very surprised wandering back every so often to find my napkin folded up and placed to the side.
A snicker from my dining acquaintance, commenting that the menu cover of their temporary menu displayed a catalogue advertising the quality of cotton, definitely amusing. They strictly had their Winterlicious menu available, along with a few highlighted a la carte items from their regular menu. Their highly praised Singapore Slaw was also on the list, this was one we noticed after receiving out dinner, it looked amazing! It was an item that we both agreed that we would come back for.
The Winterlicious menu is available for dinner with three courses at $45 per person.
Two of out choices for starters, the Carpaccio of Kimato Tomato with Sesame Crackers and Shrimp & Cod Cake
1. Carpaccio of Kimato Tomato (Vegetarian)
Japanese Vinaigrette, Smoked Chili, Fresh Basil, smoked Organic Olive Oil, baked Garlic Lavash and Tekka
Running over the Winterlicious options, the Carpaccio of Kimato Tomato was immediately what jumped out at us – then, the notice of it as a vegetarian option. Interested, we decided to go for it out of curiosity. We expected a hammered Tomato beautifully arranged with a drizzle of Oil. And, what arrived was exactly that: there were sliced Tomatoes arrange, but not at all lightly smashed, but it was drizzled with a very well suited smoked Organic Oil, there was a pleasant smokiness to each swipe and bite. We were also highlighted by our server of the Satay Oil “Smoked Chili” and Ponzu sauce. It was recommended to lay a slice on each cracker. This worked very well together. It was lightly tangy with the Japanese Vinaigrette and the very light spice of Smoked Chili.
2. Shrimp & Cod Cake
Vietnamese Calamansi Vinaigrette, Spiced Glazed Chorizo, Tapioca Pearls, Pickled Kumquat & Chrysanthemum Greens
This was a definite order. I love the way Asian chefs execute seafood dishes, especially one served up by Sursur Lee. The Cod Cake was perfect. It broke apart with great bites of cod, not as dense as you’d expect. The combination of the whole dish was a dream. We enjoyed everything about it… Chunky pieces of Shrimp balanced along with perfectly cooked tiny Tapioca Pearls and some savoury nibbles of Chorizo and tang of the Kumquat went along very well.
3. Braised Curry Beef
Parsnip & Potato Puree, Braised Red Cabbage & Wasabi Sour Cream
The Braised Curry Beef was a top recommendation by our server, the title was a no brainer anyway. Did you say Wasabi Sour Cream? Seriously. This was a genius assembly. The Braised Beef peeled apart so beautifully, the more-Parsnip than Potato Puree was a perfect balance and the light tinges of Sour Cream was an absolute delight – I only wished for more of that.
4. Thailandaise Ravioli (vegetarian)
Squash, Ginger, Spinach & Tofu, charred Pineapple Relish, fresh ground Coconut Green Curry sauce
These were two incredible sauces topping off this Thailandaise Ravioli. I love the play of this as a well-coated “Hollaindaise sauce”, but with Thai flavours. One sauce wsa a light depth of Coconut and the other, a Curry sauce. The pasta was cooked to perfection, very light and all so well balanced with the Pineapple Relish that it was topped off with.
And last but not least, dessert:
No selections were made here, their dessert arrived a a trio.
5. Apricot & Ginger Panna Cotta (vegetarian)
with Strawberry & Cranberry Compote
6. Apple Raspberry Tart (vegetarian)
With homemade Crème Fraiche
French & Chinese Tong Yuen (vegetarian)
With caramelized Red Bean & Banana, Dark Chocolate sauce
The main pickle was what to come first. Trios are always a pickle. It’s sort of like a beer flight, where you’re to indulge the light first, then to the dark. But, were weren’t provided any guidance here and went on our own way. I took half of the Tong Yuen, then devoured all of the Apricot & Ginger Bean Panna Cotta. The Panna Cotta was delicious, the combination and fresh Apricot & Ginger Bean mash was a delightful tang with the smooth, lightly sweetened Panna Cotta. And, onto finishing up the Tong Yuen – for those unfamiliar, this is, to be short, a Chinese mochi a stretchy glutinous and dusted wrapping in a sealed dumpling. The Tong Yuen is a typical Chinese dessert and is served warm and here, filled with definitely caramelized Red Bean with the texture of untoasted Coconut, there was also an ooze of Chocolate, very interesting. And lastly, to end off the trio, the Apple Raspberry Tart. This was not as interesting as the first two, it was a saltier mini pastry sandwich of Apple bits and tangy Raspberry.
Overall, we both pleasantly enjoyed our experience at Lee Restaurant. Each dish was very creatively executed and assembled. Beautiful, beautiful flavours. The space was beautiful and had the perfect ambiance for a celebratory night out. I can’t wait to go back for their slaw, hopefully on a warm summer night.
And, to end off, a shot of my favourite graffitied Money Man.