Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel near Orchard MRT
We have heard so much about it, especially so during the white asparagus season when the profs and supervisors would rave so much about it during my stint in the UK. And being away from Europe for quite a while already, it really has been quite some time ever since we’ve heard of a white asparagus fiesta in a Singapore restaurant. And we reckon, Pool Grill did hit the spot for all the white asparagus dishes served.
We might be wondering how different is white asparagus actually from its greener counterpart; whether it’s of a different specie or is there any additional nutritional value to it? Well, they essentially originate from the green specie, with the green pigments removed by blocking them off from the sunlight as explained by the chirpy head chef. No photosynthesis allowed, and somehow, the chlorophyll degrades; which is actually contradictory to Darwinism. Anyway, that’s a good to know and I say this definitely tasted much more tenderer than the green ones.
Starting off with the focaccia bread first. Served warm with a crusty top and a pillowy interior, well paired by the partially melted butter and olive oil while my favourite was the spicy nuts by the side. Not satisfied with just one block, a second one was requested. It is that good.
Buttered white asparagus with with poached egg, hollandaise sauce. Slathered with a thick layer of creamy hollandaise sauce together with that perfectly poached egg, it could have been a perfect but predictable dish but Pool Grill cleverly elevated this dish to an elegant one by pairing it with the tender white asparagus.
White asparagus soup, seared scallop and avruga caviar. Thick, well-concentrated chowder yet still retaining the elegance and lightness of white asparagus, topped with a plump perfectly seared scallop, this was actually the favourite dish of that day.
Grilled white asparagus salad, with pickled twirls, figs and arugula. An epitome of simplicity at its best indeed, that further accentuates the beauty of each element. Without much condiments added, but solely relying on the clever use of quality ingredients such as the sweet juicy figs, asparagus, I was really impressed by the seemingly humble greens.
Pan fried sea bass, chopped white asparagus, clams, mussel chowder. Precision evident, that sea bass skin was one of the crispiest that we’ve ever had, without compromising on its juicy meat. Much thought has also been put into pairing this slab of white meat seamlessly with the creamy clam chowder, as though they are made for each other. Delectable!
Lobster Ravioli, langoustine, white asparagus, squid ink sauce. It was initially thought that the squid ink sauce could overpower the other lighter ingredients, but its all about balance isn’t it. Sparingly used, and both the taste of the seafood and white asparagus were lifted beautifully. And that ravioli was packed tightly with the delicious lobster meat, we love.
Gratinated beef tenderloin with buttered white asparagus, porcini crust, truffle sauce. Well balanced elements over here with highly complementary flavours, but i actually hoped to have a little bit more sauce on the beautifully cooked beef.
Strawberry Romanoff. Crusty meringue, infused with a little liquor in it, topped with the melting vanilla ice cream. This is the one and only dish not asparagus-ed that night, but well it was a bitter sweet ending which we loved.
With all the dishes hitting the spot, what more could be said? And, I believe a revisit shall be planned soon. And for air con addicts like myself, this restaurant is not air conditioned but fitted with the super big ass fans (its exact name literally), the restaurant is actually quite cooling at night. Well, there is a secret spot that has cold air coming in.
Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.8/5.