Another delayed post, but I’ve got to share the lovely dining experience at Corner House! Visiting Corner House had been on my wish list for months, but because some of the dishes on the set lunch menu didn’t appeal to me, I wait for a menu change. Finally, their 5-course Valentine’s dinner menu caught my eye.
Taking over Au Jardin’s colonial house situated in an enchanting spot within Singapore Botanic Gardens, Corner House has large shoes to fill and we were not disappointed. Chef Jason Tan wows with Gastro-Botanica cuisine, where emphasis is placed on refinement and quality, and gives equivalent weight on the plate to protein and botanical elements.
There were 2 seatings on Valentine’s Day, with different menus for each seating, 5 and 7 courses respectively. I preferred the former. The staff were thoughtful enough to email a map to assist with parking and directional instructions.
Upon arrival, we were ushered upstairs to our table at the Veranda, overlooking lush greenery. As we settled into the comfy neo-classical tweed chairs with muted gold studs, the server brought us complimentary multi-grain bread and baguette slice, along with unsalted butter served on a coloured tile.
Thanks to my itchy hands, we discovered the rock was not only functioned as a decorative piece, but also the salt container.
Amuse bouche arrived in bite-sized treats of Foie Gras Macarons and Duck Rillettes with Gyuere Cheese Toast. The former’s macaron shell was too sweet, overpowering the foie gras, while the latter was decent.
The excitement began with the beautifully plated Maine Lobster appetiser. I’ve never tasted lobster as succulent and juicy as this! The crustacean was complemented with an array of colourful hues-heirloom beetroot, raspberrries and tomatoes added refreshing zing while Ikura Roe gave occasional bursts of flavour.
I’ve got to hand it to the Chef Jason; his skilful play on the sweet French Cevennes Onion is exquisite. Nesting in onion puree is a wobbly 62 degree egg, concealed with Black Truffle from Plantin, followed a wafer-thin dehydrated onion chip. I caught the words Onion emulsion and Onion confit, but couldn’t make out where they were but no matter! Our taste buds blissed out amongst the abundance of flavour and that’s all that really matter!
The New Zealand Coral Cod with crispy scales sat on a bed of melted leek, surrounded by a moat of saffron crustacean emulsion. The cod was moist and had a bit of bite, with skin so captivatingly crispy that I’d like seconds.
Le Porc “Trilogy” was the least outstanding, in terms of both presentation and taste. The Grilled Mangalista Loin had enticing flavour, but was so tough I had to chew with effort. The slow-braised Iberico cheek was tender, but was lacklustre in flavour while the Kurobuta Belly and Neck “Chou Farci” was forgettable.
Our disappointment with the pork main course was quickly forgotten when desserts graced the table. To cleanse the palate, a refreshing glass of Rose Ice Cream with chilled strawberry was served. Rice pops provided texture to the elegant dessert.
Poached Pear with Blue Cheese Ice Cream and marinated raisins may sound bizarre to some, but the combination worked well. This could have been better if the blue cheese ice cream was toned down. I love cheese but had to admit that this ice cream was overwhelming.
Enveloped within the Baked Alaska lies After Eight Ice Cream, the dessert was completed with Hibiki drizzled on the meringue. It’s appealing but didn’t rock our world.
The Cherry Tart and Lychee Petit fours didn’t leave an impression. However, the “Liu Sha” Macaron ($3/pc) did! Sandwiched between crisp and chewy macaron shells, is an intense filling of Salted Egg Yolk Custard. It’s amazing how something so tiny can leave the senses quivering with pleasure.
Each couple was gifted with a box of handmade pralines handcrafted by the pastry chef. Both the Salted Caramel Bourbon and Balsamic Cherry pralines were superb.
Service at Corner House was decidedly un-snooty, and friendly. The tall, suave waiter left the deepest impression with his positive attitude despite looking very stressed. I believe it’s because the first seating was running late. Despite arriving on the dot, we finished dinner 10 minutes after the allocated time. However, I must say that not all the staff are up to standard. There were a couple of waitresses who just plopped the plate on the table, without bothering to elaborate on the dish.
Despite some of the misses, and hefty price of $198++ per pax, it was overall a pleasant experience. I intend to revisit to check out Chef Jason’s unique Kaya Toast and Pebble dessert.
EJH Corner House
Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
Tel: 6469 1000