On a Friday night, Susur Lee’s fine dining spot fills to the brim, with the chef himself surveying the loud, frenetic King West scene. Lee’s patented Chinese fusion dishes still dominate the menu—things like diver scallops crusted in a sweet bean pesto, or a classic char sui duck with foie gras. Just about everyone orders the famous Singapore slaw, whose 19 ingredients—including pickled ginger, taro root, daikon, rice vermicelli and fried shallots—miraculously come together under a drizzle of salted ume vinaigrette and seared wild Pacific salmon. Some dishes, like the so-called rack of lamb Thailandaise, suffer from overly ambitious flavour fusions: the chops are pink and tender, but come with a clashing combination of mint and coconut-carrot purées, cumin-spiced lentils and two soggy, sweet banana fritters. The flavours are spot on with an out-of-this-world caramelized black cod dish, the sweet, soft fillet accompanied by Cantonese preserves and a Chinese turnip cake. Service is friendly, but feels scripted.
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