The unique dining format at Sutra makes for an experience in itself. For one, you’ll likely be sharing a table with other fellow diners. Service won’t begin until everybody is present (be punctual!). The chef will greet you with a zen bell before he explains the menu. Everyone gets the same course at the same time.
Menu is prix fixe, multi-course, and uses seasonal and local organic ingredients. Food was elegant and creative, showcasing clever combinations of contrasting flavors and textures. First we had a parsnip-mushroom soup and an arugula salad with pears, smoked lentils, and candied sunflower seeds. The salad was really good - the ingredients tasted fresh and went very well with one another. Next was a dumpling stuffed with celeriac-pepita-parsley pesto and Marina di Chioggia squash on a bed of sautéed kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts. I had never heard of this squash variety before so I was excited to try it. Its dense and sort of doughy texture added heartiness to the dumpling, which I enjoyed a lot. I’ve now also learnt to prepare kohlrabi differently than using them in a slaw. Our main course was a sea broth-cashew cheese risotto with fried caper berries, roasted turnips and carrots, and grilled wild mushrooms with sundried tomato sauce. The risotto itself was creamy, loose as should be, and mildly seasoned, whereas the fried caper berries provided a welcomed crunchy salty kick. The tomato sauce was rich and boosted the flavor profile. I would’ve licked the plate clean if I could. Dessert was an apple-pecan-caramel tartlet topped with ginger-lime coconut whipped cream. It was a bit too sugary but still good. The star of the show, though, was the whipped cream - the hint of ginger was lovely and the consistency was fluffy yet full-bodied - and I don’t even usually like whipped cream.
The restaurant is tiny with only 30 seats or so. It’s somewhat cramped especially at the communal table, so it’s not exactly for intimate dates due to the lack of privacy. While the staff was friendly, the waiting service was pretty much limited to bringing food out and clearing plates. Décor was earthy; atmosphere was casual. All that being said, they served up some darn fine food here that was no less sophisticated or impressive than some other upscale vegan meals I’ve had. Price was $40 per person - a decent bang for the buck I thought. For an extra $20/$13 you can have wine or non-alcoholic drink pairings, which I wish I had done looking back.Pros: superb & creative food, good value
Cons: cramped space