Corner House … European fusion in the garden

When I visited: October 2017

Location: Singapore, within Botanic Gardens

Rating in the Michelin Guide: 1 star

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Great views, fairly intimate

Course of the meal: Soursop dessert

If I could change one thing: More innovation

Review:

The Botanic Gardens at Singapore are full of lush plants and cool trees, but if you want a sit-down and to get out of the omnipresent humidity, Corner House is a good bet. It is named after E J H Corner (who lived there are Assistant Director of the Gardens from 1929-1945) and the seats in the restaurant provide a great view of the gardens.

The food is not traditional Singaporean fare but sticks mostly to European dishes with some Asian influences. The menu options include the choice to have a different number of courses to your dining companions, which is quite unusual – in this case, I had 3 courses and my partner Owl had 4. We selected a lovely bottle of white wine (Puligny Montrachaet Premier Cru) which was mineraly and turned buttery, and the staff did well to keep it at the right temperature in the heat.

We started off with amuses bouches of aloe vera and rose jelly on spoons, and fish crackers with salmon roe and crème fraiche, which were a great start. Our starters were the Asian ceviche of scallop with soy and chilli sauce and cucumber (for both of us) and foie gras with apple crisp and grapefruit (not sampled by me). The scallop dish was good if not massively innovative. Our mains were Iberian pork with polenta and broccoli and Wagyu beef with sweetcorn and mustard. For my partner Owl, the beef provided a bit of a main course dip but for me the courses were pretty even in standard.

My dessert was the ‘soursop’ – a dish comprising watermelon, light meringue and strawberry pieces and ice cream with plants – for me, this was the best dish as it was really fresh and delicious. My partner Owl had the dessert called ‘My favourite childhood memory’ (which was not explained), which featured peanut butter with sorbet and a tree shape drawn in the sauce, with crushed meringue. We didn’t get petits fours with our green teas, which was maybe a bit mean at this price point, but we didn’t choose to pay for the bigger menus just for petits fours, so never mind.

I enjoyed my meal at Corner House and would recommend it to visitors to the Gardens (booking in advance will be necessary).

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