After weeks of lusting after pictures on Instagram, hearing rave reviews from multiple reliable foodie friends, and they included friends I recommended despite never been there before, I finally made it to SONS Bacaro! Located in China Square Central, it was the “small plates” style and Italian cuisine that drew me to this large 200-seater eatery. I was extremely lucky to visit SONS with many of my colleagues on my first visit. Going with nine friends meant we could almost sample the whole menu. We could have sampled the entire menu but two dishes, that sounded heavenly, were not available: Spaghetti, Sea Urchin Carbonara, and the Baccala Cakes, Sea Urchin Sabayon. That is alright because it meant another trip to SONS will be in order. After last night’s dinner, I am sure I will have many friends who will be more than happy to make a return visit with me. Last night, I managed to try most dishes but some I simply could not stomach any more, and I was left with relying on people vocalising the deliciousness.
We ordered a lot last night. I was deeply worried in the beginning because the small plates shocked my colleagues, especially the men, who criticized the portions. But after a few bites, I heard no more criticisms the rest of the night but only praises of “it’s good!” or “that’s good!” All night. So here is what we had:
Burrata, Asparagus Cream, Hazelnuts
My cheese-loving-friend was thrilled with this dish. I love my cheese but only when it is all hot and melty. The cold Burrata was refreshing and light but not enough for me to order this again. The shaved cucumber garnishing may have prettied up the dish but I would have preferred it in my Gin & Tonic.
Roasted Foie Gras, Pumpkin Cream and Roasted Onions (top right):
A must order! I could go on forever about how wonderful this dish was and I would return to SONS just for these goose liver. The little pieces of liver were rich and creamy, and grilled to perfection with it’s slightly crispy exterior. The pumpkin cream and roasted onions provided subtle sweetness making this dish exciting. To contrast the three texture-less components were some crunchy roasted hazelnuts. Every bite was dancing in my mouth.
Mushrooms, Gorgonzola & Polenta
I had no idea the cubes of mushiness were polenta until I read the menu this morning. It tasted of potatoes causing me to worry about my carbohydrates intake last night. And I am even more surprised the melty creamy whitish cheese was gorgonzola; where was the strong pungent blue cheese taste?! Still, the creaminess was sinfully good. This may have lacked in taste or identity but made it up for in sinfulness.
Paccheri, Iberico Pork & Truffle
PLEASE ORDER THIS! It is rarely seen (in Singapore, at least), unusual, the truffle smell and taste were strong and present throughout every bite, the shredded iberico pork were lean and in all honestly worth ordering just for the way it looks. Doesn’t it look so damn cute to you?!
Prosciutto di Parma & Melon
We ordered this because a picture on Instagram showed a generous portion for just $12. The melon balls were so sweet and juicy but the prosciutto not of the highest quality. Probably worth saving calories and giving this a miss.
Tagliatelle with Truffle Pesto
This simple dish was so.damn.good. What it lack for in ingredients, it made up for in the strong truffle taste, just the right amount of cream sauce was served, and the pasta was perfectly cooked – al dente. This dish drove home the point that less is more!
Kurobuta Pork Neck, Porcini Sauce
I was rooting for this dish the most but it turned out to be a big disappointment. The pork texture was akin to the Chinese roasted pork, Char Siew. A poorly executed char siew sold by people who lack dedication and a purpose in life to put in more effort to ensure tender meat. This pork neck was tough. Sadness ensued after every bite.
Hokkaido Scallop Bake (half eaten by the time this photo was taken), Tagliolini, Crab & Nduja, and Calamari, Nduja.
I did not get to try these. Sorrryyyyy.
Veal Ossobuco, Orzotto
Also did not get to try these but damn did it look impressive and I watched my friends easily pull apart the meat demonstrating its tenderness. The barley below with the thick tomato-based sauce was most unusual.
Pumpkin Tortelli, Capers & Avocado
I did not get to try this but everyone who did, shouted out how good it was.
Mixed Board of 5 Cheeses (CosmoNapolitan cocktail)
This was such a delight! Although the only cheese I could decipher was the blue cheese, the fruit compote/ jam with the roasted hazelnuts in the middle were such a delight I found myself picking on it the entire evening.
The CosmoNapolitan was too sweet!!! And the Mini Baba on the toothpick stuck into the drink was a little strange. The cocktail would be best for an aftermeal ending.
And now on to the desserts. I ordered everything on the menu which caused my friends to shout out: “is this your mother’s restaurant?” But there were so many of us and the plates were going to be so small so four desserts and three scoops of gelato did not seem like much in the grand scheme of things. Disappointingly, the Cantucci & Vinsanto never arrived but others did, and SONS’s small dessert menu proved to be varied and flexible to cater to subjective preferences.
Salted Caramel Strawberry Jubilee, Gelato: Pistachio, Tiramisu, and Bacio (Chocolate Hazelnut)
These were heavenly! The Jubilee contained a vanilla gelato topped with creme fraiche, balsamic strawberries, and salted caramel. Extremely pleasing and caused us all to reach across the table for the small bowl for seconds.
The Gelato were such a crowd pleaser. The Pistachio flavour was richly nut flavoured, the Tiramisu had many bits of sponge fingers within, and the Chocolate Hazelnut was chocolatey and aromatic with the hazelnuts. We all had a personal favourite but I didn’t. I loved the Pistachio because it tasted of real pistachios and legit, the Tiramisu because it was so rare to find such a flavour, and the Chocolate Hazelnut because it was so damn good!
From left: Raspberry Zabaione, and Mini Baba Limoncello
The Raspberry Z was strange (I still have no idea what I was eating) and the Mini Baba was too sweet. It tasted like it had been soaked in a sugar syrup for a while.
-Phew- That’s it! That was my dinner last night. A memorable meal further heightened by my adventurous dining pals. Till next time, SONS!