Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
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All food photos are of real food with no photoshop!
The dashing and debonair Travelling Gourmet goes to a swimming pool but not for a swim at the…
MARRIOTT Singapore whose newly renovated Pool Grill serves the most appetising modern European cuisine! It just re-opened on 1st August 2015! The inviting and very cooling ambience was explained by the gigantic made in the USA “Big Ass” ceiling fans that are aerodynamically designed to provide natural ‘air conditioning’. When you are directly below conventional fans you do not feel the air current but under this fan you do feel the strong breeze. This is very good because this is an al fresco restaurant. There is also a big new Circus Tent style Gazebo which increases the capacity of the restaurant.
A whole revamp of the Menu introduces items which focuses on 1 to 3 ingredients or elements. There is also more ‘old school’ cooking at your tableside. This used to be de rigeur in all fine dining restuarants but is now rarely seen. Jovial Selvam the Manager, is very good at service, and also whips up a mean Caesar Salad garnished with whole sole anchovies. Solid Q’tessence steelware and spotless white tablecloths set the stage for memorable meals here.
Shades of Zorba the Greek…
The classic Greek inspired dish of sweet Water Melon with creamy, savoury Goat Cheese Mousse and seared yellow Fin Tuna Tataki was a lovely appetizer. The Goat Cheese is blended with sour cream and extra virgin olive oil. Lovely presentation!
As Dieter, mein guter Freund, the dynamic Hotel Manager, commented, “Molecular Gastronomy is passe now. We don’t do that here in Pool Grill.” I absolutely agree! In fact, last year over lunch, mon ami, famous 3 Michelin Star Chef Georges Blanc, told me the exact same thing! I am not alone in believing believe that food should look like food, and to just give one example, steak should look like steak, smell like steak and taste like steak!
The food of the Pharoahs of ancient Egypt…
Are you a fan of Foie Gras? Well, I am! I recommend the Foie Gras on a thick toasted brioche topped with tangy sweet and sour chutney. You must always balance the richness of Foie Gras which is goose or duck liver, with something sweet and acidic, hence the classic pairing of Foie Gras with a dessert wine like Chateau d’Yquem or Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria. I paired it with a lovely grape varietal that is not well known, namely the 2013 Gruenerveltliner from Niederoesterreich by A. und M. Toifl 0f Hadersdorf. This crisp wine with good acidity although dry (that is low in sugar) goes very well with sauteed Foie Gras and the acidity foils the rich umami richness of the liver!
For lovers of Meeresfruechte or fruits of the sea…the perfectly sauteed sublimely spiffing sexy Scallops!
Done well…just that teensy winnsy rare in the core! Super YUMMIE!
Another dish that is served at tableside here is the classic Caesar Salad. Crisp Romaine Lettuce, flavorsome Bacon Bits, crispy Croutons, savoury Anchovy Dressing and more… this healthy dish is a healthy must-eat. The salad is not named after the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar BUT after Caesar or Cesare Cardini who was born near Lago Maggiore, Italy. In 1896, Caesar and his brother Alex emigrated to the U.S. after World War I. The Cardini’s lived in San Diego but operated a restaurant in Tijuana to circumvent Prohibition (alcohol was prohibited in Prohibition). According to Caesar’s daughter Rosa, on July 4th 1924 the salad was created at Caesar’s Restaurant. It Caesar was short of supplies but did not want to disappoint the customers so he concocted this salad with what was on hand. This happens a lot in the restaurant business. That was how the famous Brown Derby Cobb Salad with avocado was created too. The rest is history. The Caesar Salad here with its pleasing mix of ingredients, tastes and textures is excellent! Ich liebe es! (I love it!)
Ay, yai, yai Caramba! Selvam from JB makes a mean Caesar Salad! 🙂
Marble Cake Shiraz 2014 vintage red wine is an excellent choice for red meats like lamb. From Griffith in New South Wales it has food friendly tannins, not over-oaked and shows only a hint of pepper. Australia is of course, rightly famous for its Shiraz wines. Griffith in NSW is infamous for its illegal marijuana growers but that is another story…The “Deconstructed” Seared Lamb inspired by the classic Beef Wellington is so moist, juicy and yummie and is served medium as it should be.
Titanic moist and sexy Hokkaido Scallops topped with Chorizo Sausage slices is another yummie main course. please see photo above. Try too Smoked Cod Fish with perfectly Poached Egg and Roasted Baby Chicken Breast and Confit of Leg with Potato Puree and Shimeji Mushrooms. The three course Set Lunch and Set Dinner is really superb value for money and…Brunch is something not to be missed to celebrate your weekend!
A superb dessert prepared at your table is La Bombe Alaska which is flambeed or set on fire right before your eyes with brandy!
See the flickering blue flames! Alamak! Ueber Yummie!
I absolutely love Flambe Desserts like Cherrie Jubilee and Crepes Suzette. As Dieter Ruckenbauer, the Hotel Manager explained, “When I was a Chef on the cruise ships they always had one night on the cruise when Bombe Alaska would be served..so I decided to introduce it in Pool Grill!” The scientific secret to La Bombe Alaska is that the vanilla ice cream inside does not melt despite the flickering flames outside…because the sweet meringue that enrobes it serves to insulate it from the heat! The very BEST La Bombe Alaska is from my beloved famous Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans aka The Big Crescent. It is also the home of the equally renowned “Oyster Rockefeller”. The Bombe Alaska in the Pool Grill comes a good second to Antoine’s. John. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, loved to dine at Antoine’s.
The Deconstructed Banofee (Banana & Toffee) sweet treat is another palate pleaser. You can make your own with condensed milk but that is another story…So too is good ol’ Creme Bruleee with that classique razor thin caramelised sugar crust! It will make you drooool like a baby!
I always say: At every destination you will find exciting gastronomic suprises! Come here soon and have a splashing good time! I love to dine here..the food, the ambience, the service…OUTSTANDING! Enjoy! 🙂
*****AWARDED THE TRAVELLING GOURMET’S BEST POOLSIDE DINING 2015 IN SINGAPORE!
Singapore Marriott Hotel
320, Orchard Road
Tel: 65 6735 5800