We’d previously dined at Au Jardin and loved the ambience, since it’s situated right in Botanic Gardens and is leafy and greey and lovely. The black-and-white bungalow has been taken over by Corner House, so I was keen to check them out.. especially since they are listed in the Top 50 Restaurants in Asia!
So, one evening, we finally decided to pop in and check Corner House out.
The two-story bungalow is gorgeous from the outside. Inside, however, I was really disappointed that we were stuffed into an internal corner – with zero view and rather dark. The (enclosed) balcony area is pretty and overlooks the garden, and they said they were booked out and could not move us. This is fine, but why not immediately alert a customer when they make a booking that they can choose to sit in the balcony, or inform if they will be stuffed in a dark inside corner with no view instead? 50% of a fine dining experience is ambiance, and they fell flat on this one.
To give them credit, service was very attentive and polite. I didn’t think they were a kid-friendly restaurant, but they provided drawing paper and were quick to offer bread and water.
We went for the Menu Gastronomic, which is $178++ per person. Yeah – ouch. A casual joint, this is not. But if you’re into fine dining and beautifully plated ingredients, you’re in for a real treat.
The Amuse Bouche was an…. Oyster leaf with jellied mignonette and candied orange peel. Oyster leaf?! So odd. It was literally like, well, eating a leaf. There was actually a bit of a fishy/oyster after taste, as the waiter promised. I’m undecided as to whether this is a good or bad thing.
The pretty cool looking Cucumber and mustard seed jelly didn’t sound interesting to me, but was a surprising winner. The refreshing coolness was offset very well with the bite of the mustard seeds, and I found myself enjoying this.
The House-made fish cracker served with creme fraiche & tobiko came beautifully presented, resting on a bed of smooth pebbles. It came loaded with tobiko (flying fish roe) and was light and tasty.
This drop dead gorgeous dish was titled Composition of seafood – Buri-oh, obsiblue prawn, sea urchin, texture of cucumber, horseradish, leche de tigre. Basically what stood out was the really creamy raw sea urchin, and the raw sweet prawn. A dish almost too pretty to eat, but man, it was good!
This Oignon doux des Cévennes – 62 degree egg, buckwheat, noisette crouton, Plantin black truffle really stood out as one of the best dishes of the evening. It was basically a very rich and creamy soup, that was surprisingly… sweet! They were really generous with the lashings of black truffle, and I slurped every last drop of this dish up.
I wasn’t totally sure if the flower on the Maine lobster – Riso, squid, cider crustacean, bottarga, burnt leek was edible, but I ate it anyway ;) The chunks of sweet lobster were cooked perfectly, and went so well with the crispy burnt leek. I’d never have thought of that combination before this!
Beautifully presented, the Organic lamb “Rhug estate” – Black garlic, tomato, natural jus must have been sous vide, because it was so succulent it had an almost gelatinous texture. I really enjoyed it, but found the side of cherry tomatoes a bit odd. I’d have preferred a creamy risotto or mashed potato instead.
I have absolute no recollection of what was in the “Chef Inspiration” pre-dessert. It was some sort of granita with crumbled cookies and a light jelly. Refreshing, and Hunter absolutely loved it.
I was utterly charmed by the beauty of Chocolat “Earl Grey yin zhen” – 40% Jivara, 70% Guanaja, yuzu, pistachio, kumquat. Every chocoholic’s wet dream, this was almost too pretty to eat! The luscious chocolate pieces wedged into the thick mousse was contrasted with the yuzu sorbet and kumquat pieces. I presume the streak of cream was pistachio, but the flavour wasn’t strong enough to tell.
These Rosemary madeleines came out nestled in a little steel basket and, delightfully, warm. Mmmm.
Their Salted egg macaroons are a spin on Chinese “liu sha bao” dessert buns, and boy are they incredible! The saltiness of the custard cut through the sweetness of the macaroons, and I found myself wanting more..
A little surprise gift from Corner House – a take-home tin box with 6 biscuits nestled in there. 2 chocolate, 2 butter, and 2 green tea. The chocolate ones were, by far, the best IMHO.
The wine we’re drinking? It was about $150.. for half a bottle. Ouch. So be warned, their wine doesn’t come cheap and really ups your entire bill. I’m not a wine connoisseur so I normally would never pay that much for wine, and in retrospect, should’ve probably just had complimentary iced water!
We had a very refined and lovely meal at Corner House, and I was surprised by how kid-friendly the staff and food was. The terrible window-less corner we were stuffed into was the only downside to an otherwise fantastic experience!