Located at The Sail at Marina Bay, Sommer is opened by Ebb and Flow Group and Acquired Capital.
A large yet discreet charcoal door marks the entrance of Sommer. Mild disorientation hits when you enter. Two things strike you at once: The darkness, and the heady smell emitting from Le Labo candles, which are subtly dotted around the restaurant. Inside, a sun-lit space is a marked contrast to the entrance with charcoal grey and layered woods covering the walls. Adding drama to your experience is the open kitchen for diners to watch Chef Lewis Barker and his team at work.
Unfortunately, we’re ensconced in the private dining room and are thus concealed from the action. But that comes thick and fast on the plates instead.
The ceramic pieces in question are by Bali-based Kevala Ceramics, and they are an immediate introduction to Chef Lewis’ approach.
The 27-year-old, formerly of Bacchanalia and Vianney Massot, makes his first stint as Head Chef here. Tall, tatted and soft-spoken, his influence is seen throughout the restaurant – the Le Labo candles match his perfume; the music is young, indie and him. He places himself in the menu too, imprinting his childhood on dishes such as the Mackerel on Toast, served in a trio of canapes, which is an elevated childhood tribute – the ‘toast’ in question being a homemade crumpet topped with smoked Japanese saba and kaluga caviar.
Two dishes are particular standouts with their interpretations of nature. The Majestic Oyster sees a riot of green leaves surrounding a mound of creamy oyster bavarois, topped with kaluga caviar, which sits on a plump and juicy Atlantic oyster. Cutting through that brininess is a refreshing green apple sorbet with chunks of the fruit and green chilli ponzu for a citrus lift. We have the Brittany Turbot next. Nicely poached, leaving a firm yet tender bite, it’s bathed in a herby sauce, and accompanied with a delicate asparagus and a pile of peas.
The dry aged Irish duck equally pleases. Seasoned with Chinese five spice, it’s slow-roasted, and leaves a crispy skin atop the perfectly pink flesh. The duck shows up repeatedly, in adherence with Chef’s zero-waste policy, in a duck leg confit kromeski, a croquette, and a tartlet made from duck liver, duck skin and buckwheat. As a final touch, it’s drizzled with natural jus made from duck bones.
Satisfying sweet tooths is the Caramac, a roasted white chocolate cremeux dotted with armagnac-soaked medjool dates, aerated 72 per cent dark chocolate and caramelised Piedmont hazelnuts for crunch – altogether, it makes for a delicious end and a spectacular lasting impression of Chef Lewis.
The Inspiration Menu (4 course) and Experience Menu (6 course) are available for lunch and dinner
Sommer, 2 Marina Boulevardd, #01-02, Singapore 018987