If you have been here before the recent renovation, you would have remembered it to be dark place. It’s as if you have been lost in the forest and it’s nearly sunset. Not that I was there before, I was told it was like that. Then the owners decided to brighten things up.
With its reopening in November 2014, the owners want to make you feel as if you have entered into an inn in the middle of a forest. It might be dark outside but when enter, it’s bright, heart warming, homely, welcoming and mesmerizing. You see rustic wooden tables, a huge bright red rotisserie (you can see it in the photo above) that has various meats cooking, you will temporary forgot it’s Singapore. Probably in some woods.
Yup, it’s bright inside now, for those who loves to take photos, it’s possible now. Instagram your food!
With the reopening, they have brought in a new consulting chef. The Japanese-born, European-trained Chef Masahi Horiuchi that has more than 20 years of experience in Michelin Starred restaurants across Europe. I read that his style is marked by his technical expertise in classical European cuisine, that to me is the no nonsense, no modern powders and potions kind of cooking. We met him and he’s such a humble guy.
The dinner that night was incredible. We got to thank ‘Bing’, a real foodie who knows a lot about food for inviting us over for dinner tasting. The wife and I with Maureen and Kai were fed with food that could last us till breakfast the next day. The following are what we ate.
If you are a fan of cured meat and cuts, you should visit this place. Chef Masahi prepares a whole array of them himself. I suggest that you bring along someone who loves it as well so you can share more items.
Shown above are two different ‘boards’ that you can order from their menu.
1) Shelter Charcuterie Board ($34, bottom in the photo above)
You get a selection of foie gras ‘au torchon’, pork rilette, pâté en croûte, mesclun salad and toasted French broiche and poolish baguette.
2) Shelter Pate Board ($30, top in the photo above)
For this board, you get to choose up to 3 selection of the daily range available, and its served with poolish bangueette and house made condiments. We had Pork Hat, Pate duck a l’orange and Cream pâté with roquefort and walnuts.
Truth be told, I am not really an expert in Charcuteries. Everyone piece taste different and depending on your preference, you will particularly like some and not the others. I should get an expert to explain and teach me how to enjoy them. Right now, it is what feels and taste good to me, I will like it.
A close up of the pate en croute. It had duck foie gras, pork, veal, forest mushrooms, pig liver, consomme jelly, wrapped in pastry.
A very delicious Pate duck a l’orange. It’s foie gras with orange. I like the orange bits in it. Makes it more refreshing. I love their house-made pickles of cornichons and carrots too.
This is the Cream pâté with roquefort and walnuts.
I particularly like the Pork Hat. Surprisingly because it’s made of pork head terrine with mustard and gherkins. If I want to put in a term that everyone will understand, it’s like the best tasting luncheon meat that is just slightly cook.
Some of the condiments that goes with the boards. The left is the Honey and Lavendar mustard. It’s one of the more popular condiments. You can buy them too. I saw on the bottle that it is $18 for 200 grams. Probably worth every cent when you taste it.
Pick your own choice of cured meats and cuts / charcuterie. I know some of you can’t wait to try this ya.
One of the signature items is their Shelter Quiche ($14.50).
It has Bole Porcini Mushrooms, Swiss Gruyere cheese, Swiss Cream, Garlic and Herb butter, onions and eggs in a fragrant short crust pastry. If you like mushrooms and cheese, try this and let me know how much you love it. It’s something you will want seconds.
If you like Lyonnaise Salad ($12 for entree, $20 for larger sharing size, the above is the entree size), you can tell the chef is classically trained as all the elements of a traditional Salade Lyonnaise is there. Frisee salad, soft-boiled egg, Dutch smoked bacon, croutons, confit pearl onions and sherry vinaigrette. The moment of truth when you break the egg and coat the salad with the egg yolk.
Every time I have a Lyonnaise salad, I would say to myself, why didn’t I make a trip to Lyon when we were in France. I have always wanted to have a Lyonnaise Salad in Lyon.
This is the Endive and Roquefort Salad ($14). This was the entree size we had. If you want to have salad for the night or you want to share, there’s also the larger one at $26. The salad with the slight stink I would say, thanks to the Roquefort. Surprisingly, the Belgian endives that night was not bitter at all.
A salad for those who loves Roquefort. A nice mix of walnuts, green apple strips, beets, cheery tomatoes with a honey dressing drizzled over it. I like how they criss crossed the endives. Pretty isn’t it?
DIY Steak Tartar ($18 for 100g or $33 for 200g)
I love steak tartar. I remember having steak tartar every day at a different restaurant in Paris until the wife says, please, enough raw meat. Can you eat something else?
The most interesting encounter was at a simple cafe that’s not in any guide book or recommended eats in food blogs. It was mostly local inside and I ordered it. They asked someone who could speak English and come tell me, it’s raw meat, is that ok? Oui. Oui. Then when it was served, I asked the person, I asked the person to mix all the condiments to the style he liked. He said really, and he squeezed his own concoction of sauces and it was quite nice.
Anyway, back to this DIY Steak Tartar, they use Australian Black Angus Beef Tenderloin. They hand cut it and the meat has been seasoned for you. No need to wonder how much Worcestershire or Tabasco to add in. All you need to do is mix up the nicely cut up condiments after you take loads of pictures to Instagram it.
Creamy Corn Soup Trio ($13.50)
They said that the Japanese corn has the nicest taste ever. It’s true. In the hands of this chef, corn, onion and milk were made into a nice creamy soup. Some roasted corn added in to give it a slight smokiness. To give it an additional texture of lightness, pop corn was added too.
Try it lah. Try it and you won’t regret one…..
Rotisserie Suckling Pig
If you are here and you see the Rotisserie with a Suckling Pig slowly rotating, order it. It might look a bit expensive, but it’s a suckling pig. If you order it in a Chinese restaurant, it also cost you about the same. It’s $35 for around 3 pieces, of $68 for around 6 pieces.
Served with rotisserie pineapples and confit onions. Oh the gravy is quite wonderful too and it is made of veal jus and caramelised onions. Try your first piece without the sauce to enjoy the already tasty meat. Then the second with the jus. Tell me which way you prefer it.
Seafood Casserole ($39)
My impression of this is the broth is addictive. So addictive especially with the slices of crusty cheese croutons served on the side. I was thinking of an awesome bouillabaisse when I had this. Seasonal seafood like fish, mussels, clams, prawns and scallops are cooked in a deep and rich seafood broth.
You know why I love the broth? It’s made from fish, prawns, lobsters with fennel, leeks, celery, carrots, tomatoes and saffron. If you are able to imagine flavours by reading words, you should be able to imagine the taste now.
Rotisserie Rack of Lamb ($43)
This lamb is so tender, I ate it using my hands like a lollipop. Pick it up, the nice pink meat that was not gamey after being marinated with parsley and pepper. If you like garlic like me, suck the garlic out of the skin. So awesome.
The roasted baby potatoes are also just delicious. The gravy that comes in a pouring vessel is made of veal jus and caramelised onions. Taste it and you want to find things to dip. Might sound weird, but it’s true. I am just thinking of my bro, the gravy person in the house.
Roasted Chicken (Half for $21.50 / Whole for $40)
They use Anxin Chicken here. Looks like many places are serving these French breed chickens that are farmed in Johor and slaughtered in Singapore. I first tasted it many years ago when Bistro DB at MBS started using them. My aunt says they also sell them at selected supermarkets too.
The chicken is prepared almost similarly to the rack of lamb, very lovingly and delicately prepared, but because the lamb is far more superior, if you order both, you will end up picking the lamb. Order this if you don’t like lamb. LOL.
Palate Cleanser (seasonal) – complimentary was served just before we had our desserts.
This is Earl Grey Rum Granita.
We tried 4 different kinds of desserts, but the 2 that left an impression that night was these two.
Rotisserie Pineapple Crumble and Meringue Glacee.
Rotisserie Pineapple Crumble ($14)
The pineapple has been flamed over the rotisserie, then spiced with cinnamon, star anise and cloves. The taste of the pineapple becomes from tartness to gooey sweetness, just a nice way to end the dinner. Served with their house-made vanilla ice cream and decorated with some crumble.
Meringue Glacee ($12)
This left an impression not only because of the looks of it. The house-made raspberry sorbet over the vanilla ice cream was really bold and really hits you with the mixture of sweetish and tartness. I like how they arranged those tiny meringue cones over the sorbet. It’s also served with some macerated berries.
It’s quite an impressive place to dine. Their food is done very well and so is the atmosphere. It’s not a place to dine if you are in a hurry. The mains as it is mentioned in the menu will take 30-45 minutes to prepare. So enjoy the appetizers the charcuterie boards or salad and soups first.
They have 180 labels for their wine list too. They are predominantly Old World wines.
Shelter In The Woods
22 Greenwood Avenue
Tel: +65 6477 6225
Hours: 6 – 10 pm, closed on Tuesdays.