Friday, October 23

4th at Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens

For our 4th wedding anniversary, KW and I managed to settle the kids before sneaking off to have lunch at the Corner House. Located within Singapore Botanic Gardens. I have long wished to visit Corner House, led by Chef Jason Tan, who is a Robuchon alum. Funny enough, the Robuchons (as in Joël Robuchon Restaurant and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon) are on my list but I decided on Corner House in the end. #SupportLocal 

The restaurant occupies the former premises of the now-defunct Au Jardin, within the former home of botanist E.J.H. Corner. We scored ourselves seats on the balcony overlooking the lush greenery of Botanic Gardens and were more thankful to be almost done with our meal when a couple of loudmouth expats exuberant guests were seated beside us.

There are 3 lunch options -3-course, 4-course and the 5-course Lunch Discovery Menuwhich was what we went for. Well, KW decided on that, and we both had to go for it. Times like these remind me of our first date when KW opted the 10-course meal at also-now-defunct Shibaken - clearly someone was won over by his go-big-or-go-home mindset.

After we placed our orders, it wasn't long before a waiter presented us with a couple of slices of bread and unsalted butter. The bread was warm and toasty, though nothing fancy or extraordinary; I was a tad disappointed with the predictability of the bread but placated by the fresh comforting nature of warm carbs.

While I appreciated the creamy but mild flavour of the unsalted butter, KW took liberties with the rock above. He was a happy man. 

 House-made fish cracker 
Served with creme fraiche and tobiko

We had one amuse bouche. Yeah, one. Servings skins - fish or chicken - as amuse bouche isn't novel and I could tell that this amuse bouche didn't knocks our socks of as we continued with our conversation without doing a double take. It was pleasant and perhaps just a a step up from our usual salmon-skin-and-kewpie-mayo repertoire at Sushi Tei. 

Can I pause to just say, that though the bread and amuse bouche played it safe, I was still in a really good mood. I am sure the ambience and not having to fuss over two kids had a huge part to play. 

Hokkaido scallop
Miso, ikura roes, burnt orange, yuzu, rice cracker

Savoury pops adorning the blithely light and refreshing scallop capriccio. A very good start to our meal. I love the burnt orange and was already to shop for a blowtorch after our meal. 

Iberico pork jowl
Riso, trombetta zucchini, bottarga

Mind blown by the riso pasta. You could expect a creamy risotto-like base but in reality, the pasta grains are toothsome and knobbly. Almost playing second fiddle, the pork jowl was blissfully tender.

New Zealand blue cod “Crispy scales“
Crab croquette, organic pumpkin velouté, harissa

This dish was awesome, despite the cod being slightly underseasoned. I love what they did with the scales, especially since I am usually hell-bent on getting rid of them when preparing fish at home. The organic pumpkin velouté was ridiculously smooth and sweet without being too coying.

M4 Australian Wagyu beef
Broccoli mousseline, eryngii, Indonesian long pepper jus

The only dish that fell short of expectations was the beef dish. Ever since we started making our own MB4 steaks at home, it has been hard to settle for anything less than mind-blowing. The Wagyu beef here was pleasant but plain; I was more taken with the vegetables on the plate.

My interpretation of kaya toast
Pandan, coconut, gula melaka, muscovado sablé and yuzu

It was a stretch to draw some semblance to our local kaya toast but a thoroughly enjoyable desert nonetheless. From sorbet to foam, every component was a delight, and I especially love the sable that reminded me of a love child between a shortbread and Lotus biscuit.

Corner House is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are celebrating a special occasion.

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