Chijmes near City Hall MRT
Located on the second floor of Chijmes, it might not be the most conspicuous location, but this chic – looking Coriander Leaf still receives a sizeable number of customers as we continue late into the night.
I always have my reservations for tapas in Singapore as they are always, like what the foreigners I met a couples of weeks ago describe as, anorexic portions served at an exorbitant price. Which truly enough is exemplified by Coriander Leaf to a certain extent. Food is decent, not bad and I say listen to the recommendations from this immaculately dressed lady there as she really knows what’s good. Menu broken into 5 different categories, from which we had 1 each.
Coriander salad with wood ear mushroom, chilli and barbecued baby squid. While I was hoping for a really refreshing mix, this looked and tasted more like a garnish than a wholesome salad, as it was lacking the fragrance that it really just needs. Tasting sour throughout without really much flavour, the pairing between the barbecue squid and coriander seem out of sync. $12. The other salads though, sound more appetising than this.
Charcoal grilled baby lamb chops with harrisa pepper paste, yoghurt, dried chilli paste and pickled onions. These were delish, the thick pepper and chilli paste overcoat that the smokey tender lamb chops had, lifted the savouriness of these smokey tender lamb chops. $29.
Samia’s signature frontier chicken, coriander seeds, chilli, yoghurt cream, mizuna and lemon. These coriander seeds tasted somewhat slightly similar to peppercorn and together with the yoghurt cream by the side, this dish felt interesting and szechuan / Indian influenced in flavour. $20.
Fried baby market fish, tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce, chilli padi. The best dish of the night, and one that isn’t anorexic without a heavy price tag. Super crispy fish lashed with the umami tasting fish sauce spiced up with the chilli padi, it was a overall familiar taste that excelled on the Asian tastebuds. $20.
White rabbit condensed milk ice cream, mango granita, leche flan, sweet potato, jack fruit, frosted flakes, shaved ice. The initial thought of forgoing desserts for another restaurant was reverted when we saw how beautiful and luscious they looked when served to other tables from afar. And the regret set in immediately after a spoonful. Really rough, bland unevenly shaved ice which felt more like ice cubes. The tastes of the many seemingly alluring ingredients unfortunately could not manage to reconcile with each other and it was quite a complicated mess. $16. I reckon the other desserts that go with a theme will be the safer options.
Definitely fusion-oriented, Coriander Leaf still remains a decent restaurant despite some of its misses in this dinner as they seem to have the potential. I reckon, go for the more familiar dishes that have a theme and leave the unexplored to the waitress to decide for you! Then again, service is pretty good while ambiance is definitely lovely for a slow, relaxing meal.
Verdict: A good restaurant.