Modern European cuisine by acclaimed UK chef Jason Atherton in sublime setting of Singapore’s Flower Dome
April 25th, 2013
Ensconced within the spectacular Flower Dome at Singapore’s newest iconic development- the Gardens By The Bay, POLLEN was launched in mid 2012 amid considerable expectations given its linkage with one of London’s hottest dining destinations- Pollen Street Social. The flagship restaurant in the burgeoning Asian expansion of acclaimed UK chef Jason Atherton’s group, POLLEN was his second restaurant opening in Asia, following the successful opening of Table No.1 in Shanghai in 2011. Atherton, with his local partner- the Unlisted Collection group of Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng, currently own and operate three restaurants in both Shanghai and Singapore ( Esquina and Keong Saik Snacks). A further restaurant in Hong Kong- 22 Ships– is operated with a local Hong Kong partner.
The concept for POLLEN takes its lead from the uber-popular Pollen Street Social in London- serving the inventive, modern European cuisine for which Chef Director Jason Atherton has been widely acclaimed ( Pollen Street Social garnered a Michelin star within its first year of operation). The contemporary dining spaces at POLLEN exude a sense of deformalised fine dining, with an under-stated, elegant decor set amid the relaxing backdrop of the verdant gardens of the Flower Dome setting. POLLEN occupies a double level space- with the main dining room on the lower level, and a casual “outdoor” terrace bistro and wine bar on the upper level. One of the signature concepts from London adopted at POLLEN is the Dessert Bar- a nine metre counter where guests are invited to take a seat after main courses and enjoy an interactive dessert “experience” with the team of pastry chefs behind the counter.
Heading up the stellar culinary team at POLLEN are Chef Director Jason Atherton, Executive Chef Colin Buchan, and Executive Pastry Chef Andres Lara. A number of the signature dishes from Pollen Street Social appear on the POLLEN a la carte menu – exemplifying Jason Atherton’s creative culinary achievements- and blending harmoniously with the concept for POLLEN of a Mediterranean influenced, modern European cuisine- with some emphasis on fresh seafood dishes. Beautifully plated dishes entice diners with intriguing combinations of tastes and textures- showcasing both the finely executed cooking techniques, and inventive flair and artistry of the culinary team. Highlights from the menu include the Starters: Trip to Japan 2012– scallop sashimi, baby gem wasabi, sea urchin; and Fallow Deer Tartare– pickled and salt-baked beetroot, smoked vinaigrette. Selected signature Main courses include Roasted Sea Bream– with cabaneros, fennel, and “bouillabaisse” ; and the Roasted Lamb Loin– braised shoulder, Savoy cabbage, roasted onion puree.
At the Dessert Bar, sweet temptations include Japanese Green Tea with Raspberry Sorbet and Yoghurt Mousse; and “Tatin”- candied apple ice cream, caramelized puff pastry. Each dish on the Dessert menu comes with a suggested wine pairing- served by the glass. And at the upper level “outdoor” Bistro- a separate menu of Bar Snacks are served all day- including Half dozen “Fine de Claire” oysters with shallot vinegar; Roasted beetroot salad, goat’s cheese, pomegranate, mint; and Pollen beef burger, pickled vegetables, bacon, chilli, tomato relish.
Additional special menus include a Vegetarian Menu; Set Lunch Menu ( 3 courses for S$55++); and the sumptuous seven course Dinner Tasting Menu priced at S190++.
POLLEN opens daily in the main dining room for lunch between 12 pm and 2:30 pm, with dinner from 6 pm to 10 pm; and daily between 12 pm and 9 pm at the upper level Bistro.
POLLEN “Indoor” Dining Room
By day the main “indoor” dining room is suffused with natural sunlight streaming through the glass dome. The interior features an “earth tone” palette that melds harmoniously with the greenery of the surrounding garden beds.
Looking across the main dining room floor space- the solid dark timber communal table exerts a bold presence in the heart of the room.
Over-size framed mirrors on internal walls reflect gardens views into the interior of the dining room.
Garden beds separate the dining tables from the glass and steel outer shell of the Flower Dome.
Simple uncluttered table settings are highlighted by the show plates featuring various botanical illustrations.
A large corner section of the dining room floor is dedicated to the Dessert Bar- where diners are encouraged to take a seat at the counter for a unique dessert “experience”.
At nine metres long, the Dessert Bar comfortably seats twelve patrons as they watch the pastry team craft patisserie in the open preparation area.
Selected highlights from the A La Carte menu
Butter-poached lobster salad, tomato tartare, wild fennel, tomato water.
Roasted Brittany cod, cauliflower cheese puree, clam chowder, cauliflower and seaweed salt.
Roasted suckling pig, apple puree, red cabbage and crispy pork skin.
Highlights from the Dessert Bar
PB&J – Peanut butter (& jelly) and blueberry sorbet.
Crispy and burnt lemon meringue with cucumber sorbet.
(L) Pollen Magnum Bars; (R) Petit fours selection
Upper level “Outdoor” Terrace & Sommelier Bar
Occupying an open space within the massive glass dome structure, the upper level terrace of POLLEN evokes a chic Mediterranean style with burnt-orange terracotta tiles, elegant black wrought iron tables and chairs, and verdant gardens.
(L) The soaring towers of the iconic Marina Bay Sands dominate the views to one end.
(R) Casual, yet elegant table settings on the terrace.
A unique feature of the upper terrace is the seven metre long Sommelier Bar – where guests are served wines directly from the well-stocked glass fronted cellars.
The glass dome bathes the terrace in the bright tropical sunlight during the day- however the micro-climate of the air-conditioned Flower Dome is set to a pleasant, crisp and dry range typical of the Mediterranean coast- in the low 20’s C – and cooling off in the evenings into the teens.