12 Purvis Street
Chef Shubri Basere’s commute hasn’t changed much. After a three-year stint at fine dining favourite Gunther’s, in March he jumped ship to Sprigs – located right across the street.
Like the chef’s former stomping grounds, Sprigs is modern and super-sleek. The menu here is officially “contemporary continental”, or Modern Euro, if you prefer, which covers a big territory. Yet, the menu doesn’t set out to be everything to everyone. It fits easily on one page, and my dining companion pointed out that she would readily order five of the six main courses.
Have your soup and salad in one by ordering chilled pea soup with crab salad ($15), a delightfully light puree drizzled with crème fraiche and Ardoino olive oil encircling a hearty portion of blue swimmer crabmeat. Generally speaking, grilled langoustines ($26) don’t yield much meat, unless they are served piled high. They are here, and generously bathed in a fresh tarragon and garlic sauce.
It’s funny (and simpatica) when two people have such different reactions to a meal. My friend loved the langoustines; I the soup. She took thirds of the Cape Grim Angus rib eye ($38), and I ate more than my fair share of the baked cod with saffron broth ($33) with capers, Kalamata olives and plum tomatoes.
There were a few points of agreement though: the salted truffle butter that started the meal was unusually moreish, and the crispy chocolate and caramel crumble ($12) that ended it a fitting finale.
Must-try dish: Baked cod with saffron broth