Went to Corner House to celebrate my anniversary many years back (before they got the star). Had a memorable meal. I have high hopes of the food after they got the Michelin Star.
Corner House is a casual fine dining restaurant in a colonial house serving exquisite Gastro-Botanica cuisine – French technique, global flavours, with a focus on botanicals. It also boasts an attractive wine list as well as a fine selection of Armagnacs, Cognacs, Gappas, and other fine spirits, which are perfect for special occasions.
Corner House remains on the Top 50 restaurant in Asia for 4 years in a row, #36 in 2018.
Corner House Experience
Creative cuisine prepared with quality ingredients, beautiful plating, amiable service and a historical building set amidst a lush UNESCO World Heritage Site – there surely are very few things in Singapore as romantic as having dinner at Corner House.
They do not have a la carte menu anymore. And there’s only two choices for dinner – a 5-course Corner House Degustation and a 7-course Corner House Experience. And the irony is that they do not have a vegetarian option even though they are in the Botanical Gardens
The conical croissant is really good. Princess had 3 before the start of the meal. I skipped all the carbs.
Corner House is quite generous with the amuse bouche, with 5 different tit-bits to start the meal.
Gruyere cheese toast sticks
Really tasty, the melted cheese in a perfectly toasted bread. And it is served warm so the whole experience is even better.
Sesame “tang yuan” with coconut overtones
Interesting skin texture, much smoother than most “tang yuan” (glutinous rice dumpling) and hint of coconut. Sesame filling with black sesame coating, strange to have a Chinese dessert item as amuse bouche.
Tobiko on fish crackers
House made fish cracker with tobiko roe, the first time I had this was 4 years ago. It was slightly modified – they added a dash of Kewpie mayo the last time, this time creme fraiche was added. Kind of naked.
Rose flavour aloe vera bubble chai seeds
Interesting take on the El Bulli olive, they used rose extract, aloe vera cubes and chai seeds to alginate into a spherical rose-cherry drop. Tangy and sweet at the same time.
White chocolate foie gras and grand marnier
Another strange amuse bouche, the third dessert-like tit-bits before we even start the first starter. Satisfying flavours from foie gras and touch of grand marnier wrapped in a sweet white chocolate crust. Interesting combination.
After the amuse bouche, we were ready to start the degustation menu proper.
Corsica peach, plum, gingerflower, coriander, Kristal caviar
A thin slice of peach separated the Bafun uni and Kristal caviar. The dressing was made from plum, ginger flower that gave it an acidic and sharp taste.
cucumber, yuzu kosho, mint, creme fraiche, Kristal caviar
Chopped Gillardeau No.4 oyster with thinly sliced Japanese cucumber and Kristal caviar was placed in its shell with yuzu kosho (yuzu pepper).
Then the creme fraiche granite is added.
We are advised to mix it all up to have the full flavour and texture.
Interpretation of My Favourite Vegetable
Oignon doux des Cevennes
Cevennes onion is Chef Jason’s favourite vegetable. In this course, I was first presented with a whole onion which was oven-baked and hollowed, and used as a cup for onion puree, 62 degree sous vide egg, onion confit and finely chopped black truffles. I was worried about having onion breath but the combination of onion puree and black truffles complemented so well that I finished it entirely.
Accompanying the soft eggs are the beautifully sliced onion chip that was lighted salted and dehydrated.
Pairing with the onion puree, we also have mini onion tart made with a thin filo pastry base, onion confit and topped with parmesan cheese that is lighted grilled.
Last but not least, we ended this course with onion tea, which is made of two components: an infusion of caramelised onion with Early Gray YinZhen tea served in a teapot, poured over an emulsion of onion confit and cream that is in a tea cup.
riso, squid, buckwheat, leek, cider, crustacean
Poached Maine lobster with riso pasta, sauteed squid and smoky leeks, topped with a bisque sauce. Excellent dish.
New Zealand blue cod
“crispy scales”, free range chicken feet, butternut squash, ginger, beurre noisette, finger lime
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present – chicken feet (!) in a French fine dining restaurant. The small piece of New Zealand sea bass was not descaled but Chef Jason had them deep fried so that they were very crispy. Surprising that the flesh remained moist and tender, and didn’t dry out. The chicken feet had been deboned and deep fried to a crisp, almost like eating a piece of KFC skin. The bisque-like sauce was the magic ingredient that held everything together.
A4 Toriyama Wagyu
Kyoho grape, ginnan, Fourme d’Ambert, sherry, endive
The A4 Toriyama wagyu just melts in your mouth. Coupled with a slightly bitter ginnan (green gingko nuts) and sweet Kyoho grapes, the tour around Japan is complete with the artistically placed Fourme d’Ambert (blue cheese) and sherry sauce. Very well executed dish, perfect balance of proteins and botanics, just too small a portion 🙂
Watermelon, soursop, rambutan, rose
This is a really nice palate cleanser before we move to the desserts proper.
Compressed watermelon with a quenelle of soursop sorbet, topped with rose cream. Then at the table side service, more rose syrup and rambutan are combined using nitro freeze to create granite
46% Bahibe, praline feuilletine, kaffir, passion fruit, banana
This signature dessert features Alpaco chocolate mousse with a lemon curd centre shaped likes pebbles, and served over savoury chocolate soil and banana mousse, topped with lightly pickled shimeiji mushrooms and mushroom-shaped meringue. I really like the combination of chocolate and banana, very rare, very harmonious.
Finally, the petit fours. Not that we need coffee or tea, but the petit four unceremoniously placed on the table, introduced and then left there for consumption. Nobody asked if we wanted any coffee or tea, no, thank you.
Jackfruit “tang yuan” – a snow skin like mooncake with jackfruit filling, this is a very surprising local tasting delight.
Chocolate frosted cake – small carrot cake with a chocolate crust. Not my favourite among the four because the cake was quite dry, and the chocolate was not smooth.
Milo dinosaurs – a local drink, milo dinosaurs is a chocolate drink topped with more Milo powder. They used Milo as the base to make this truffle and when you bite into them, the milo just bursts inside your mouth. Delightful!
Salted egg macaron – But the surprise for the evening was the salted egg macaron. With the craze for salted egg fish skin, salted egg buns, etc, now we have one more on the list. And it is not out of place at all. My favourite of the petit fours.
There was a surprise gift box for each guest – compliments of the chef. Another very nice touch in an evening full of little details which brought delight.
The food is beautifully presented with tiny flowers (such as the lacy flower of the snake gourd), evoking the delights of gastro-botanico. Chef Jason and his team seem to do all things well, whether cod with crispy scales or wagyu beef. The portion sizes are tasting portion, leaving you wanting for more for some of the courses like wagyu and lobster miso. Desserts, amuse bouche, palate cleansers and petit fours are quite generously sized so save room for them.
Overall the service was so-so, attentive but intrusive at the same time. Glasses were left unfilled most of the time because we were having a conversation. But they budged in at the most inappropriate time. Would expect them to be better informed about the dishes.
Still recommended for a quiet evening for two, business entertainment or a relaxing dinner with loved ones.
E J H Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
Tel : 6469 1000
Date Visited : Aug 2019
Michelin Singapore guide 1 Star 2016-2019 (skipped 2020 because of Covid-19)
Updated : Chef Jason Tan has left the Corner House! He has started another restaurant Euphoria, and that outing has got #40 in the Asia’s 50 Best list. Looking forward to try it when we get of from the current Heighted Alert. (30 Jun 2021)
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