My short visit to Singapore was a total whirlwind of a trip. Together with KampungBoy, we did so much and had so much happen. We visited Gardens by the Bay, Singapore latest attraction and dined at Pollen located inside the stunnning Flower Dome. Pollen is one-Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton’s second venture in Singapore, after Equinas the tapas bar. It is probably one of the most hyped up restaurants in town currently. We called to make a lunch reservation two weeks before, out of kiasu-ness.
To get to Pollen, one needs to take a buggy ride which takes you straight from the general information counter. Or else it will be a good 10-15 minutes walk. Once we entered Pollen, the wait staff greeted and ushered us to our reserved table next to this garden pathway.
We were at the lower main dining hall with a nine-metre-long dessert bar. There is also an ‘al fresco’ setting at the upper level terrace which offers a great uninterrupted view of the Flower Dome. However, one needs to bear the risk of tourist invasion as it is an open area at the upper level, and it gets cold sometimes as Flower Dome has a climate control environment of about 22 deg C.
Pollen features Mediterranean-inspired Modern European cuisine. The specially crafted menu is not very extensive, with only 6-7 types of starters and mains. We enjoyed a very good value 3 course set lunch here at SGD55++ each, which is a fraction of price to pay for as opposed to the ala-carte menu.
mashed trout, potatoes, garlic, olive oil and olives
complimentary bread and butter
Starter: Petuna ocean trout, served with beer pickled onions, oyster mayonnaise, and smoked aubergine.
Lightly seared with a bright orange centre, the soft luscious ocean trout was exquisitely divine. The garnishing of edible flowers were hand plucked from their very own herbs and flowers patch. The other accompaniments were so delicate that they only lightly whispered flavor, rather than overwhelming the superb freshness of the fish.
This is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. Rich and creamy patatas bravas (potatoes), thin chorizo flakes, sourish tomato compote and once the yolk is broken open, let it run over everything for a gooey and delicious dish!
Main: Roasted pork belly, broad beans, slow-cooked squid, chorizo
We called this a gwailo (western) version of Tung Po pork belly, albeit with a firmer texture. The roasted pork belly was a beautiful succulent moist and tender piece of meat. The slow cooked squid proved to be not at all chewy and actually had a very pleasant mouthfeel that added great texture to the dish.
Main: Wild mushroom and barley risotto, black trompettes and smoked almonds
It was alright but nothing to shout about. The flavours of the wild mushroom were not infused into the creamy sauce, as I had anticipated.
Dessert: Coconut mousse, rhubarb broth, goat cheese ice cream
Similar to Pollen Street Social, Pollen @ Flower Dome has its own dessert bar headed by pastry chef Andres Lara. Our first dessert did not disappoint – a wonderful creamy mousse and rich goat cheese ice cream perfectly accented by the light, refreshing rhubarb broth and sweet, tangy berries. So delicious!
When it was brought to our table, it just looked too pretty to eaten and we stared at it for while. There were a whole lot of ingredients and flavours sitting on top of a stone (I think?). I’ve never been a fan of beetroot but the chocolate mousse and tangy sauce cut through the earthy taste of the beetroot and enhances its distinctive flavour. So delicious!
We felt like sampling more of Pollen’s dessert creation, so we went for “PB&J” – peanut butter and cherry yuzu sorbet, available from the ala carte menu. It comprises of roasted peanut parfait served with cherry yuzu sorbet, cherry puree, pomegranate and berries. Everything was perfect but the cherry yuzu sorbet was a little too tart for the dish.
The total bill for the meal came to SGD 150, pretty reasonable for Singaporean’s standard.
On top of that, we gained free admission to the Flower Dome since we were already dining inside the dome. Admission to both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest is suppose to be SGD 20.
Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-09
Tel: +65 6604 9988