Pollen: A wonderful lunch date location for busy mums and dads!
Looking for a romantic lunch or dinner date with hubby? Read our review of Pollen... you might just have found the ideal spot!
A mid-week lunch date with your partner has to be the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ for busy parents. This is exactly what my husband and I thought we would do recently to liven up our week.
We both had morning appointments close to the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. So we thought we’d meet at Pollen for our lunch date.
Once we got to the main lobby area, we were picked up by the restaurant’s buggy and whisked away to Pollen.
My first impression of the place? Elegant, sophisticated and understated.
The space inside was filled with natural light. Huge mirrors on the wall of one side reflected the greenery that was outside. Tables that lined the other side of the restaurant were bordered by colourful flowers and lush greenery.
There were little vases with posies of flowers placed on each table, adding a touch of coziness to the elegance. We were taken to our table by a soft-spoken and very professional member of Pollen’s service staff.
We chose our meals from the set lunch menu, which, at S$55++ per person, is a fairly reasonable price for a fine-dining establishment. For this price, you get a starter, main and dessert, as well as a welcome drink and canapés.
Tea/coffee after the meal is an additional $6.50 and if you want wine to go with your meal, that will cost another $15 per glass.
We decided to skip the wine, but we went for coffee/tea after our meal.
While deciding what to order for our mains, this delightful set of canapés came out.
There was a little loaf of sourdough bread just enough for two, still warm and fragrant.
Also included were garlic butter topped with seaweed, a delicious hummus generously sprinkled with red paprika, and these little puffy clouds of flavour that were actually mini steamed buns.
The steamed buns were topped with creamy mixtures of gorgonzola, mascarpone, parmesan and goat cheese.
Aerated Foie Gras, Iranian Pistachio, White Peaches, Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar (+$10)
This dish was so very interesting on many levels. The aeration of the foie gras gave it a very light, slightly brittle texture that kind of melts away in your mouth.
The white peach and vinegar gave this dish a delicate freshness and the pistachios and very thin potato tuile imparted beautiful texture.
Swordfish Tartare, Frozen Dashi, Walnut Bergamot Dressing
This dish was modern, fresh, exciting, and full of texture.
The swordfish was encased in a silky, tangy dressing with hints of nuttiness from the walnut. The umami flavour of the dashi added more layers of complexity to this Japanese-influenced dish.
Perfection on a plate!
200-day Grain-fed Black Angus Beef from Stockyard, Piccalilli
This was hubby’s choice for his main meal. You can see how visually stunning and elegant this dish is. The plate was uncluttered with each element standing proud in its own place.
I was quite impressed with how they had taken a quite traditional British pickle — piccalilli — then deconstructed it to give it that clean, modern Pollen stamp.
The beef was tender and cooked well. The foam filled your mouth with unexpected freshness plus the flavour of fennel.
Equally unexpected was the sauce — it was quite fruity and had the tangy-sweetness of passionfruit — but went quite well with the beef.
Poached Red Snapper, Squid, Black Paella, Pomelo and Cucumber Salad
Being a seafood aficionado, this had to be my main. Every element on the plate worked in perfect harmony.
I loved the squid-ink dark paella filling in the squid tube, and the beautiful contrast of colours — inky black against pure white — they presented.
The snapper was perfectly cooked. The textural element was provided by crispy little grains of puffed risotto rice.
Meanwhile, the sauce was velvety, and the cucumber and pomelo were crisp and clean — delicious!
Now, who doesn’t look forward to dessert to round off a delicious meal? We couldn’t wait to taste our desserts especially after watching the Pastry Chef at work at the dessert bar!
We knew our desserts were going to be good when we saw how focused he was on his creations, almost like an artist. He also spoke passionately about the high quality of ingredients he uses in his creations.
Matcha: Strawberry, Sour Plum, Tahini
Matcha is a high-quality organic Japanese green tea leaf, which is ground to a fine powder. It was this powder that was used to flavour and colour the sponge cake we had at Pollen.
The taste of the cake was organic and unusual, and had the gentle yet distinct flavour of green tea.
I loved the sweet strawberry sorbet and the glistening globe of sour plum, as well as the crisp made of dehydrated strawberries.
The tahini added a beautiful sesame flavour, keeping with the whole Japanese theme of this dessert.
Black Forest: Cherry, Pandan, JAAL 75% Chocolate, Shimeji, Roasted Tomatoes
This was our dish of the day for sure — it was certainly worlds apart from the usual Black Forest cake, i.e., thick slices of chocolate cake smothered with cream and cherries.
This stunner was equally a treat to look at and taste. The very clever Pastry Chef had deconstructed the popular Black Forest gateaux in more ways than one.
First and quite obviously, the deconstruction was in the separation of the individual elements of the dessert.
And then, more subtly, he had created a mini ‘forest’ (a play on the words ‘Black Forest’) — from the mushrooms and pandan ‘moss’ right down to the tree-trunk serving platter.
The chocolate cake was rich and dense and the use of Shimeji mushrooms was so unexpected and clever, and surprisingly added to the deliciousness of the dessert.
The roasted, caramelised tomato was a burst of sweet-tartness in the mouth and the cherry sorbet was divine. This is a real winner of a dessert and a must-try item off Pollen’s menu.
The service at Pollen was impeccable.
We did have to wait for quite a long time between our starters and mains… but it was quite crowded the day we were there.
The service staff were courteous and knowledgeable about the menu.
The atmosphere at Pollen is just perfect for a lunch or dinner date away from the kids.
It can get a bit chilly inside but you will be offered a pashmina shawl by one of the friendly staff as soon as you get there.
Parents, if you are looking to have a special meal together to reconnect with your respective partners (kid-free, of course!), then Pollen comes highly recommend by this busy mummy!
It has an atmosphere that you’ll surely love, and it sure has the food to match!
The prices are a bit on the high side though, so it’s best to save the date for a special occasion.
An added bonus? You get free entry to the Flower Dome, so after your meal, you get to go for a leisurely stroll around the Dome!
Address and contact information
Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-09
Phone number: 66049988
E-mail: [email protected]
*All prices mentioned were correct at the time of the review. Menu items may change as seasonal produce are used. Reservations are recommended.
Does Pollen sound like your perfect lunch date location? Why not pay them a visit and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below…