Corner House – Singapore
In my opinion, this is one of the best fine dining restaurants that have opened in SIN City this year. Corner House replaces the old Botanic Gardens (Nassim Gate) stalwart, Au Jardin.
Named after botanist EJH Corner who used to live in the majestic colonial mansion that currently hosts Corner House. He was the assistant director of the Botanic gardens from 1929 to 1945. Corner House only does set menus with lunch sets starting from $38 to the Discovery Menu which costs a pretty penny of $248.
The degustation menu features eight courses excluding petit fours and the amuse-bouche. And I must say, the amuse-bouche was already an elaborate affair. Behold!
My favourite of the four was the “egg sandwich”. It is griddled brioche with egg yolk in between and home made ketchup. It reminded me of a homely fried egg with ketchup sandwich, but on a more elevated level.
The first official course on the menu was the Carabinero Prawn, a dish with a few cubes of boiled shrimp topped with caviar, but contrary to the name, the secondary component of tomatoes took centrestage instead. The aforementioned fruit comes in a quenelle of tomato sorbet, tomato cloud with olive oil caviar, plum marinated cherry tomato and another cherry tomato marinated in Thai basil and honey. I absolutely loved the colours in this dish and the pleasing sweet and tart flavours from the tomatoes.
Entitled “Interpretation of My Favourite Vegetabels” on the menu, this quickly became my favourite dish. Made from a sweet Cevennes onion, the dish is done in four exquisite ways. I loved the sous-vide egg topped with black truffles. The sweetness from the onion combined with the heady truffled egg made this dish to die for. This my friends, is how you elevate a simple onion egg dish to something spectacular. Mmm. The other three components included a wafer onion tart, a dehydrated onion chip and an onion “latte”. The last dish was the most comforting one as well and reminded me of a creamy and smooth French onion soup.
I loved the New Zealand Cod with “crispy scales” who would have thought fried fish scales could actually compliment the dish so well? It gave the fresh cod a lovely crunch and added another dimension to the creamy Vin Jaune eggless sabayon. The Maine Lobster Riso Pasta features a poached lobster atop a bed of riso pasta and puffed soba. The foam you see is an apple cider emulsion. The charred leek and the emulsion lent a smokiness sweetness to the dish making it more flavourful. There was also a Oriental Foie Gras dish which I forgot to photograph with mango puree and pickles.
The Free Range Chicken in Surf & Turf sauce is wonderfully tender. The sous-vide chicken breast and compressed chicken thigh came smothered in the house surf & turf sauce. The sauce was a prawn sock with veal jus and foie gras butter. It gave the safe chicken dish an edge with its crustacean, beefy and slightly gamey aroma.
Dessert was a “some random pebbles from the garden” as the waiter so humorously jested to me, the Cocoa Pebbles contains lemon curd with Mandarin sorbet “shimeiji” and real shimeiji pickled in citron. All of it rests on a bed of decadent chocolate soil. And just when I thought I was stuffed, here came the petit fours.
If you are a fan of liu sha bao, perhaps you might love the macaron version from Corner House. I must say, I love how the chef takes Asian elements and fuses them seamless with French sensibilities. This is how you do “fusion” right.