Along sleepy Portsdown Road is semi-fine dining restaurant, Ce Soir. It's themed after all things floral and botanical, with bohemian interiors. Think dried and preserved flowers framing the scene and Beni Ourain rugs laid across the entrance, cushioning every step – Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin would totally approve. The ethereal ambience is further amplified by Haute French cuisine by Chef Koh Han Jie, the former Junior Sous Chef of two-Michelin starred Les Amis.
You won’t have to fuss over what to eat as there are only two menus available: the four-course Lustre ($98) and the nine-course Iridescent ($198). The former is a much more approachable prelude with floral flair while the latter is a show-hand display of the culinary flair and finesse of the kitchen. One thing remains constant: seasonality. Koh’s ever-changing menus feature premium ingredients from different parts of the globe, from Rawaru blue cod from New Zealand to a Challandais duck from France.
Starters take on fresh and vibrant expressions. There are dainty roses of cured hamachi rolled with tart black radish, vivacious with each bite. It's followed by an elegant Norwegian hand-dived scallop paired with briny sea grapes, textures of purple and green seaweed from Osaka, and finishings of rich seaweed butter.
But it was the Mozambique langoustine (pictured above) that was most memorable. This is beautifully poached to reflect a rose quartz-like sheen with a pillowy tenderness. Rounded off with a silky vin jaune sauce made from Jura region red wine, it is nothing short of a masterful display of Koh’s culinary prowess.
The mains sweep you up shore and carry you inland. The exquisite Yukimuro Snow-aged A4 Full Blood Wagyu (pictured above) is proudly brandished for your cameras in its raw form before it performs its final combusting act on the binchotan grill. The result is, of course, melt-in-your-mouth beefy goodness complemented by a nutty-sweet artichoke puree, charred baby artichokes and earthy-savoury cordyceps mushrooms.
To end, desserts are deftly crafted by Head Pastry Chef Suanne Eng – formerly of three-Michelin starred Joël Robuchon – who seamlessly incorporates floral elements into her sweet treats. After the awakening palate cleanser of shiso sorbet, the sweet and zesty combination of white peach granita, prickly pear, macerated strawberries and almond textures concludes the course on a high note.
While the location isn't the most convenient, being away from the bustling city has its perks. If you haven't already got a clue about where to spend a romantic evening with your significant other – or perhaps the once-in-a-lifetime rambunctious hen's gathering – Ce Soir might just be the spot.
Anju is a Korean restaurant with Michelin quality food at approachable prices
Aussie-inspired brunch café Forty Hands will be closing down both Tiong Bahru and East Coast branches
Ken Japanese Restaurant in Novena has a new Hokkaido hairy crab bento lunch set