Festive season is always stressful and Christmas present shopping is one of the hardest things to contend with whilst still keeping up with the holiday scheduling. Whilst we were out doing our end of year shopping though, nothing beats a quick rest stop for lunch to catch your breath and appreciate that you are in fact on holidays, which is why we opted for a nice relaxing lunch at Soho Gardens amid the shopping frenzy.
Situated in Fairfield Gardens, it was quite spacious and had both indoors and outdoors seating. Of course we opted for indoors seating to avoid the heat of the sun and bathe in the cool respite of air conditioning.
The menu was quite innovative with a fair amount of share plates, grilled dishes as well as an option of a lazy banquet for the indecisive.
With the drinks menu being quite extensive there was an interesting selection of cocktails as well as gin and tonic.
For once, I didn't opt for the Espresso Martini, but Adam couldn't resist the Bombay Chai, being the massive fan that he is of Fonzie Abbott espresso. Tasting a bit, I liked the subtle spices. Wanting to go the refreshing rather than creamy route, I tried both the blood and water gin and tonics. Both were refreshingly bitter and really hit the spot, I especially liked the refreshing citrus tang of orange.
Kicking off our shared starters, this was the Salmon Tartare. It was an interesting change from the standard steak tartare that we normally get. Although the seasoning was largely similar with capers and vinegar, it was definitely lighter and more refreshing compared to beef. To the side was wasabi kewpie. I didn't taste too much wasabi, but the kewpie added creaminess and texture to the dish. Rather than bread, it was served with some deep fried crispy wanton puffs, which added to the lighter elements of the dish. We really enjoyed it.
Our other shared starter was the Seared Beef Carpaccio. Whilst it didn't have the vibrancy of salmon tartare, I loved how tender and lean the cuts of beef were. Served with a sprout salad and topped with crunchy sesame, it had an abundance of textures and tastes. Topped with sweet Thai Nam Jim sauce, it definitely wasn't something you could find elsewhere.
Mains came before long. Letting him decide both for the day, this was the Herbed Spatchcock, which came with salad, salsa, mustard and herbed turmeric butter. Not a frequent consumer of spatchcock, I really enjoyed how it had a smooth texture similar to that of quail, but roughly the size of a pigeon. It had a wonderfully grilled charcoal flavour to it, and with the slow sous vide method of cooking, moisture was thoroughly maintained throughout the meat, it went especially well with the herb butter.
Our other main was the BBQ Beef Ribs. For the price, the quantity was very generous. The meat was wonderfully tender and fell off the bone, and I loved the thick sweet bbq sauce on the ribs. I really enjoyed the smokey meaty texture to the meat, but found it to be an odd combination with the same sides as the spatchcock dish.
Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Soho Gardens, but as always, our opinions are solely our own.
Price Range: $30 - $50pp