Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Sonder @ Henderson - Bakery Bistro by Day, Euro-Asian Restaurant by Night, by Chef Joe Leong

Sonder 1

Sonder, by Chef Joe Leong, is tucked in an industrial area in Henderson. It might be a little inaccessible to travel to, but it takes on a charming space and offers quite an exciting menu. It's a bakery-bistro by day and a Euro-Asian restaurant by night. Along with the Euro-Asian flavours are incorporated Thai, Chinese and local elements, which tie in with the Chef's cultural background.

If you are here for lunch, the 2-Course Menu is at $30/Pax, while the 3-Course Menu is at $45/Pax. A number of dishes are available a la carte as well.

For dinner, there are three menus to choose from. The Petit Menu of 4 Courses ($88/Pax), the Classic Menu of 7 Courses ($138/Pax) and the Gourmand Menu of 9 Courses ($188/Pax). We tried dishes from across these menus, with the majority of them focusing on local and Thai-inspired flavours.

Sonder 2
Fresh Bakes

Before diving into dinner proper, we got a taste of their bakery items with a bread basket of freshly baked Butter Croissant ($3.50), Rye Sourdough ($5 for Half, $8 for Full) and Focaccia ($9). On the side, we had three housemade butter - classic salted butter, kombu and garlic. Our favourite was the light yet crisp focaccia that came with a lovely chew, paired with the classic and kombu butter. These bakes and more are available for walk-in purchases in the day, but try to make reservations before heading down to avoid disappointment.

Sonder 3
Sea Urchin 4.2/5

We had a lovely start with an amuse bouche of Sea Urchin. It was a mouthful of sweet and creamy uni on a crispy sesame crumble, topped with refreshing calamansi foam.

Sonder 4
Mapo Spinach Tofu 4/5

Part two of the amuse bouche was Mapo Spinach Tofu. The smooth, silky tofu is deep-fried and topped with Sichuan-infused minced pork. It was appetising and boasted a mild heat.

Sonder 5
Aubergine 3.8/5

For our starter, we had the Japanese Aubergine paired with an interesting red curry sorbet, pearl onions, sundried cherry tomatoes and housemade crispy chips. It was a fun dish, especially with the contrasting addition of the red curry sorbet, but we also thought the tangy sorbet masked the aubergine a little more than we liked.

Sonder 6
Risotto 4.2/5

Who would have guessed the Risotto is Chef Joe's take on our local classic chicken rice? With a roulade of chicken, spring onion pesto and ginger tuile, it's finished off with drops of housemade chilli and dark soya sauce. The risotto was fragrant and creamy, retaining a pleasant bite. Our ginger tuile was a tiny bit burnt, but it was an enjoyable dish. It is also available a la carte during lunch for $20.

Sonder 7
Seasonal Fish 4/5

The Barramundi arrived with a distinct fragrance. It was served two ways - steamed and fried in a garlic lime jus. The fish was firm yet tender, and while the broth looked mild, it packed a robust, tangy punch.

Sonder 8
Kurobuta Pork Collar 4.2/5

Inspired by many's favourite Thai street food, moo ping, the Kurobuta Pork Collar features burnt apple and a coconut glaze. Marinated and glazed in a coconut glaze, the pork collar is first sous vide, then grilled over a charcoal fire where the smokiness gets locked in. The skillfully cut apple is made into a roll and lends a tangy sweetness to the tender pork.

Sonder 9
Red Ruby 4.5/5

We honestly did not expect to enjoy this Red Ruby ($15) as much, but Chef Joe's modern and delicate rendition wow-ed us. On a base of coconut crumble, you have coconut sorbet and a thin rose-flavoured milk skin layered on top with crunchy red rubies on the side. It's mildly sweetened and a refreshing way to end the meal.

Sonder 10
Apple Crumble 4.2/5

As an additional dessert, Chef Joe recommended his signature Apple Crumble ($20). Lightly breaking through the thin-shelled “apple” will reveal caramelised apple cubes in brandy and apple mousse. These paired delightfully with the chocolate crumble base.

Sonder 11
Petit Fours

Our meal ended with Petit Fours of dragon fruit, chocolate tart, and a strawberry mousse macaron.

Photos and words by Jo. A girl who loves her Mala (麻辣) at Da La (大辣), discovering hidden food gems and a good cup of matcha latte. Note: This is an invited tasting.

217 Henderson Road
Singapore 159555
Tel: +65 65134502
Nearest MRT: Redhill MRT (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 12pm - 5pm, 6pm - 10pm
(Closed on Mon and Sun)

1) Alight at Redhill MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop at Redhill MRT station (Stop ID 10209). Take bus 145. Alight 5 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes [Map]

2) Alight at Telok Blangah MRT station. Take Exit A. Cross the road. Walk to bus stop opposite Telok Blangah MRT station (Stop ID 14169). Take bus 176. Alight 4 stops later. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

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