Sensory Restaurant @ Sugar Mountain

29 January 2016 | 4:24 pm | Stephanie Liew

"Sensory piqued intrigue, satisfied the palate and drew many a smile."

Sugar Mountain was bloody terrific, and their new on-site restaurant Sensory was part of what made it such a memorable day.

Billed as a multi-sensory feast, with food by Bomba, a soundtrack by Cut Copy, and visuals and design by Tin&Ed, ultimately Sensory piqued intrigue, satisfied the palate and drew many a smile. Those expecting a life-changing experience (or those who resisted snacks in the regular SM food court, saving themselves for the restaurant) may have left underwhelmed, but if you took it as a yum bit of fun, you'd have enjoyed yourself.  

Entering the space, we were met by the black and white geometric shapes that decorated the walls and tables, plus the multi-oblong structure spinning slowly in the centre. A table-mate expressed her surprise at the lack of colour, considering Tin&Ed were behind the looks, but the plain black and white proved to be a canvas for the continuously changing coloured lights throughout the seating.

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We were greeted with a rice paper crisp topped with manchego, tomato and jamon, balanced on top of a paper cup of smooth vermouth. The crisp was so light it melted as soon as it touched the tongue, and the airy crunch worked well with the ambient music. The music changed to more upbeat as we moved on, but the focus on umami flavours continued with the appetisers, hidden beneath cardboard structures in the middle of the table and unveiled one by one by the waitstaff. There was the tuna tartare, compressed cucumber, dashi and squid pearls, horseradish (so fresh, so creamy); octopus, chorizo and aioli (salty, rich); and gazpacho with spanner crab and tarragon (refreshingly tangy, slightly sweet, with a hint of spice in the aftertaste). A pleasing combo of textures, served with a bold white Spanish wine.

Moving onto the main, the music grew heavier, with deeper percussion and bass booms. We had the softest pork jowl with cauliflower puree. No experimental flavours, but no need — it was like the best things about pork and cauli were magnified here. A real highlight. Served with a wonderfully crunchy edible garden of mixed gluten free grains, radish, smoked sheep's yoghurt and dehydrated aubergine (!), complemented by a glass of red.

To finish, we went 'round the table each sucking one of Pierre Roelofs' famous Tube desserts — ours had raspberry jelly, white foam/mousse and pop rocks. Perfect way to end it.