A wonderful Happy Christmas and Season’s Greetings to all my readers out there! This Christmas season, I am most fortunate to do a night’s stay over at the Shangri-La Hotel with my mum to celebrate her birthday. For this article, I am delighted to share with you one of my favourite restaurants to be at – The Waterfall. When I first wrote about the restaurant back in 2012, I was very impressed by it. From the decor to the excellent dishes whipped up by the kitchen, it was definitely a place to remember. My 2013 visit when the restaurant started a Sunday Brunch Buffet left me even more enthralled with a good sampling of the chef’s culinary expertise. Hence, my visit this year would have a bar set quite high.
As I entered the restaurant, a quaint, cozy ambience struck the senses. To put it in another way, it was akin to stepping into that charming living room that you always dreamed you had.
From the comfy dinner chairs to the warm, slightly toned orange lights, this definitely set the mood for the evening.
To start the Christmas mood, we were served with the Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut. A fine starter for its delicate and crisp overtones that have very fine bubbles that liven the senses.
A stellar recommendation to start with is my favourite – the Watermelon & Tomato Salad, Mint, Arugula, Red Onion / With Prawn ($17++ / $25++).
For me, this is the salad to go for if I were to ever begin with anything for a customized set meal. The crisp, sweet and juicy watermelons are lovingly paired with slightly tart cherry tomatoes, a doze of chopped olives, greens and sparkling fresh prawns. Imagine the medley of flavours that range from the refreshing, crisp sweetness that wonderfully blends in with a tinge of sourness, a hearty umami from the olives and then the sea sweet prawns. While choicer tomatoes were seemingly used in 2012, this version is still good and a humble wonder fo the palate.
If you do like something a little heartier and richer, go for the Curry Spiced Alaskan King Crab Salad with Pineapple & Crunchy Summer Macedoine, Seasme Tuile ($24++). Alaskan King Crab meat is lightly coated with a curry glaze that brightens the crustacean’s sea sweetness with a complexity of smoky tenderness.
The Baby Spinach Salad, Avocado, Pomelo, Grilled Fennel & Crispy Shallot / With Bonito Ventresca ($16++/$20++) did not strike the same fancy with me. I thought the ingredients were distinct from the other with little harmonization going on. Still, it is a good option for those who prefer a good amount of greens and scattering of shredded bonito to perk up the flavour.
I highly recommend ordering the Warm Corn Veloute with Black Trumpet Mushroom & Red Onion Fricassee ($14++ or $18++ with duck confit). The veloute was served piping hot with a smooth, velvety texture that was accented with sweetness of corn nicely given a dimension with a good use of butter. Hearty, simple, yet comforting, this is one dish that is an excellent complement after the Watermelon Salad.
Alternatively, the choice of Citrus Infused Lobster Bisque Soup with Chive and Sour Cream ($21++) would be the more decadent option. The lobster bisque was slightly thick with a good heartiness that gestured a deep immersification of the lobster’s umami goodness into the broth. Lovely but give me the Corn Veloute anyday.
For my main, I had the Roasted Salmon served with his Caviar, Fennel and Dill Puree, Steamed Broccoli and French Beans ($28++). The salmon was done a beautiful medium rare, nicely cooked on the outside and only a touch done in the middle. The crisp salmon skin added a sharp contrast to the cottony and oily fish. To lend a more pronounced flavour, have the salmon with its roe for that burst of light saltiness that will bring out the fish’s flavour.
For the meat eaters, there is a good choice of Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Stewed Baby Radish and Spinach Flan ($51++). The steak is finely executed and the portion, generous. The spinach flan by the side was a simple marvel.
Alternatively, the choice of Grilled Lamb Rack with Breaded Portobello Mushroom and Vegetarian Couscous ($39++) is also an excellent selection. The lamb is nicely marinated with a smattering of herbs that complements its flavour. The jus the glaze it was mildly savoury and a perfect pairing for the plainer tasting yet delicately flavoured couscous. When I place the lamb and the beef side by side, the lamb wins for its range of flavour and intensity.
Before heading into desserts, the staff recommended the Solera Reserva Lustau Moscatel Emilin Sherry. This naturally sweet wine is dark and beautifully caramelized. It carried a velvety heartiness that is pleasant and relaxing.
I was very impressed by this innocently looking lemon dessert. A whole lemon is served alongside crispy meringue and a stalk of red currants.
However, when I broke the lemon open, I was greeted with a surprising cream stuffing. The sweet sour interior was nicely paired with the lightly bitter and refreshing lemon zest. It was refreshing through and through and not what I expected initially. My compliments to the chef for the this dish!
A light, floral tasting dessert will be the Peach Mousse on Amaretti Biscuit, Bitter Almond Sauce and Almond Brittle ($11++).
The Panna Cotta while elegantly presented was a little too sweet for my liking. Still, it is a great way to have an ending.
But if savoury is your way to finish the meal, have a cheese platter. Choose from an assortment of 3 or 5 cheeses along with some water crackers and grapes.
Just as we were about to end the meal, the staff came up to the table with a little birthday cake and song for mum.
My visit to The Waterfall has been nothing short of a pleasant memory revisited. While the dishes may have changed slightly over the years, I’m glad that certain favourites are still kept on the menu. Dishes like the Watermelon Salad, Corn Veloute and Roasted Salmon are my must have dishes during my return visit. Its dessert selection is simple yet exquisite. While I still have fond memories of stronger and more complex tasting dishes a few years ago, the overall dining experience at The Waterfall is still definitely more than the food itself. The locality, charming atmosphere and warm hearted tenderness of the place, make this a recommended place to dine at for that special occasion.
Thank you Shangri-La Singapore for the invitation.
|Level One, Garden Wing
22 Orange Grove Road
Reservations: 6213 4138
Lunch 12pm – 3pm
Dinner 6pm – 10.30pm