Friday, November 15th, 2019
Reviewed by Seth Shezi
Grei is a restaurant that puts food at its core, using fresh ingredients (some of which are sourced at the restaurant’s very own garden) and carefully tinkering with classic recipes to put an elevated spin on nouvelle cuisine.
Chef Candice Philip has gone all out with the menu, running three simultaneous menus to cater to dietary lifestyles and allergies – an omnivorous, a pescatarian and a vegetarian menu are always on offer, with a vegan alternative on request.
Chef Candice has long declared an affinity towards celebrating the herbaceous flavour profile, and in dishes such as the delicate tuna with fresh avocado and coriander, the herb is used not merely as garnish but also as an equally present and unapologetic ingredient. Standout dishes include the chicken, asparagus and lemon balm chicken – any chef confident enough to put chicken on a short menu of six courses must know what they are doing with it to make it special, and Candice really does.
The plating is vibrant with liberal use of colour, but in the most finessed way possible, right down to the liquorice-tinged litchi, lemon and fennel dessert.
The wine list is assembled by award-winning sommelier Lloyd Jusa, who works closely with chef Candice to pair and balance the wine choices to best complement the dishes. Diners can indulge in one of three pairing options, one of which is the sommelier selection – which is like being let into the vast Saxon cellars to sample iconic and rare gems.
The Saxon Hotel is arguably the best hotel in the city, so it comes as no surprise that the service is brilliant. Precise and well-coordinated silver service but, most of all, incredibly charming and not stiff.
Grei’s décor is marked with a sophisticated play on shades of greys jauntily offset by crisp whites and a mixed media of textures. The muted décor ensures the intimate space is kept airy and spacious.
A special occasion.
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