Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Summerhouse - The Ultimate Garden Paradise Offers New Experiences

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The Summerhouse has just turned one, and the past year has been a glorious one indeed. Stepping into its second year, The Summerhouse has introduced attractive transformations, and is offering more enchanting experiences. The Summerhouse Garden Domes, which are dressed in Bohemian, Scandinavian, or Lounge themes, have been really popular since their launch. Numerous marriage proposals have been held in them, and you can imagine how in demand the domes were when Valentine's Day came around. The edible garden has also blossomed spectacularly, and has been an essential source of ingredients for the culinary team which has just refreshed their menu.

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Tucked away in the Seletar countryside, the huge colonial bungalow which spans 45,000 sqft is really quite a sight to behold.

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The veranda is now air-conditioned, and the windows which used to be closed are now open, allowing natural sunlight to stream into the dining room. The Summerhouse 'Cellar Door', which was created in August last year, is home to more than 100 wine labels which can be purchased for consumption on-site, or for takeaway. Special bulk discounts are available, so enquire if you love their wines!

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Every dome is air-conditioned, and has a sound system set installed, so you can enjoy the singing of the live band as you dine. Each dome can seat up to 8 diners, making it perfect for a romantic dinner for two, or gatherings with friends and loved ones. The Summerhouse has come up with nature-inspired sharing plates, that incorporate produce from Singaporean and Malaysian growers, and harvests from the restaurant's very own edible garden. Guests can choose from the dinner menu which goes at $300++/couple, and $120++ for every additional guest.

The communal dining menu goes for $70++/pax. A group of 2 will enjoy 8 dishes, a group of 3-4 will enjoy 10 dishes, and a group of 5 or more will enjoy 12 dishes.

The crisp toasted Rye Bread($5/a la carte, complimentary/communal dining) which is topped with buttermilk, comes with a side of house-made butter. The bread was a wonderful start to the meal! The Live Prawn 'San Choy Bao'($8/a la carte), a Chinese New Year Dish, sees a grilled and glazed prawn, avocado, pomegranate, pine nuts, coriander, crispy noodles, and a citrus dressing, wrapped in a lettuce leaf. I really enjoyed how crunchy the parcel was. The stewed Moroccan Egg Plant($14/a la carte), after an extensive marination, is cooked with a reduction of roasted garlic, chilli padi, and tomato. The soft egg plant is packed full of flavours.

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Hidden under the avocado, which lies next to housemade Chia Seed Cracker($14/a la carte), is a sous vide egg yolk. Break the yolk and the crackers, scoop them up together with some fresh Australian avocado, ikura, and truffle pecorino, and you're in for a delightful treat. The dish doesn't look like much, but it's actually pretty yummy.

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The Farmers' Yusheng($68/$88/$108) might just be the prettiest yusheng that I've come across. While the Chinese New Year dish is no longer on the menu, diners can look forward to what The Summerhouse will come up with next CNY.

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Tons of ingredients go into the assembling of this pretty thing — citrus cured salmon, smoked sea bass, fermented carrot, butterhead lettuce, pickled beetroot, earth mixed nuts and mushroom soil, saffron infused pickled kohlrabbi, Japanese seaweed sauce, passionfruit hollandaise, sesame oil, chive oil, sesame seeds, crackers, and edible flowers. Definitely not your regular ordinary yusheng. We dug up the "soil" and tossed to a great year with little shovels. How befitting!

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Kelong slipper lobster is first cooked via the sous vide method, and grilled in an inka oven. A toasted hazelnut butter is then spread on the lobster. When the dish arrives at your table, the chef will torch the fresh, crunchy and sweet Charcoal Grilled Slipper Lobster($16/a la carte) and hand-picked herbs to infuse the slipper lobster with the aromatics.

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The dish is completed with pesto, citrus dressing, and a squeeze of finger lime.

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The Smoked Butter Poached Red Snapper Fillet ($42/a la carte) was delish! The fillet is sous vide, and torched, before its skin is removed. Then, a handsome lashing of seaweed beurre blanc is poured over the white fish, before the ensemble is topped with grilled Australian asparagus. The freshness of the fish was evident in every bite. A captivating sweetness lingers even after the fish has disappeared in your mouth. The seaweed beurre blanc was just the icing on the cake! No doubt it made the fish tastier, but when you have fish this fresh, you just need to cook it well. The Summerhouse did just that, and also created a accompanying sauce that will accentuate, but not overwhelm the natural goodness of the fish.

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The wood-fired free range French Poulet($28/half chicken) features half a French poulet(An Xin chicken which is completely free of antibiotics and hormones), stuffing, cranberry gel and potato confit. A whole chicken is steamed, halved, cooked in a water bath, and finished off in an inka oven. The chicken was, as expected, tender, moist and delicious. The stuffing, which has been moulded into a patty, is made from brioche, chicken stock, and roasted pistachios. I enjoyed the nutty crunch and strong fragrance of pistachio in the stuffing.

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Pickled, and slow braised for 12 hours, the tender Australian Lamb Shoulder ($34/a la carte) didn't tickle my fancy as I don't like lamb. I did, however, like the mashed sweet potato. Don't forget to drizzle some sage beurre noisette over the lamb before you eat it! Hand-picked from the garden, the Green and Purple Sweet Potato Leaves ($14/ a la carte) are spiced up with a lavish sprinkling of toasted bacon bits, and savoury creme fraiche. I decided to give the leaves a go, since they came with two of the things I love the most, bacon and cream. I was surprised that I actually liked it! Then again, I'm not good with my veggies so don't trust me on this one.

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Australian potatoes that have been smoked with apple wood chips are used to create the Smoked Potato Puree($14/ a la carte), which is extremely light and airy. Besides the mound of potato, beef stock, toasted pine nuts, grilled abalone mushrooms and parsley emulsion are present as well. The rich beef stock sufficiently flavours the buttery potato puree, and this dish has gotta be one of my favourite dishes of the night. I'm a huge potato lover and I just couldn't stop myself from reaching out for more! The addition of mushrooms provided a crunch, and lovely bursts of earthiness, which I really enjoyed too.

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For dessert, we had the Hazelnut Cookie with Chocolate Ice Cream($14/a la carte). The hazelnut cookie contains Valrhona chocolate that has been double fermented with passionfruit pulp, and toasted hazelnuts. A rich and creamy vanilla custard is placed on the warm, toasty cookie, before it is crowned with a scoop of really rich chocolate ice cream that is churned in house with Valrhona chocolate from Bali, and Valrhona cocoa powder. While it's not the usual dessert that you might be thinking of, the chocolate icecream and cookie certainly make a good treat.

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The Summerhouse is truly a beauty. Just being here fills me with an indescribable calmness and serenity. Parking is free here, so feel free to drive here and stay for as long as you like! Live music is available from Wednesday to Sunday so pop by for dinner, have a drink or two, and soak up the atmosphere!

3 Park Lane
Singapore 798387
Saturday, Sunday, PH : 12pm - 3pm
Wednesday - Sunday, Eve of & PH : 6pm- 10pm


Love, K

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