MOVED: Coriander Leaf has moved from Clarke Quay to CHIJMES at 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996.
Why good review? I asked the waiter if I could just order the foie gras on the Xmas menu, and order a la carte because foie gras was the only thing that interest me. But after asking the chef, he replied that they have limited foie gras, which matched the number of Xmas menu sets exactly. I love the reply. Notice that the waiter didn’t come back to say “no, we can’t” but he came back with an intelligent and logical explanation. This is the mark of great service.
Another mark of great service: we were a troublesome group, some ordered set and others a la carte. usually, a fine restaurant would insist everyone to take the set, for them to dish up the food in an orderly manner. But Coriander Leaf is more democratic and agreed to have our mixed group and of course inevitably those who didn’t order the Xmas set menu (those who only order 3-course, appetizer, main and dessert) had to wait for us. It cannot be helped.
The $98++ 7-course Xmas set (in serving order) included:
Ceviche of Queen Scallop, with seared watermelon and preserved lemon vinaigrette
A shot of seafood bisque with cognac
Pan fried foie gras with spicy mango chutney, garlic toast on a bed of mesclun
Gratinated Ginger-miso Chilean Sea Bass with white asparagus and kalamansi buerre blanc
Magret of Duck Breast rubbed with Sarawak black pepper, sweet corn fondue, Kashmiri naan, orange-vanilla bean emulsion
Fruitcake with lemongrass butterscotch, Manjari mini chocolate tart, hazelnut ice cream, and sesame tuille.
Since Coriander Leaf isn’t known for the Western food, some of the dishes are hits and misses. The universal likes are seafood bisque with cognac; foie gras and dessert. The rich bisque was warm and warming the inside of the body, you could feel it trickling down the back of your mouth, to your throat and your stomach. The favor just burst! If this were a cartoon, there would be stars shooting out my ears. I wish this comes in a soup form, not a shot. And the foie gras was very generous, the second best I’ve eaten, after Prive. I don’t know how well the toast would work with the foie gras but I decided not to eat the toast to avoid disliking the combination. Lastly the dessert was kick-ass because after such a full meal, the restaurant still gave 3 different desserts. I love it! I love overfeeding. Anorexia be damned! The desserts were good but ordinary, but we love the hazelnut ice cream, very fragrant. However, I think hazelnut ice cream everywhere is a crowd pleaser.
Things my friends liked but I disliked: The Sea bass and the scallops. For the scallop, I thought the warm watermelon ruined it. Have you ever tasted warm watermelon? It’s revolting. And the scallop felt slimy on it. The sea bass was ordinary.
Things my friends disliked but I liked: Soursop sorbet and duck breast. My friends thought the sorbet was ordinary but this is sorbet, without milk, and the fact that they can make soursop taste this good was something extraordinary. It was refreshing, especially after the warming bisque and rich foie gras. Friends hated the duck breast, citing bloodiness and toughness to their reasons. i don’t mind blood and breast meat is tough by nature although I concede that it was too tough too. What I like, however, is the brilliant orange-vanilla sauce on the meat. It was sweet and at the same time it brought out the sweetness of the duck. The accompanying sugar naan was equally awesome, crispy and tasty.
What my other friends had:
Crab Cakes with Tomato Chutney
Oven baked white miso gratinated Cod fish
Molten Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
The crab cakes is a must-order! It’s more like crabs than cakes. Crispy outside, tender inside and with the slightly spicy chutney, it’s a killer. I absolutely adore the design on the cod fish; such a beautiful plate and it tasted very good, according to the eater, the best cod fish she had in her life. Skip the molten cake and tiramisu; the former ordinary, the latter too soft. I don’t think their desserts are any good, in general.
Three other things I want to mention for the good service:
1. I called to make a reservation and the person said she would email me the Xmas menu and she did so within a few hours. I asked for the menus for other restaurants, restaurants such as Prive and Knolls, etc, but they took a day at least.
2. The water in our glasses were never less than 1/2 a glass.
3. It was my friend’s birthday, and the restaurant gave a complimentary molten chocolate cake. Never have I seen such generosity in restaurants. When I celebrated my birthday at St. Pierre, all they gave was “Happy birthday” in chocolate syrup on the plate, with 3 slices of strawberry.
Overall, the service is the best in Singapore, comparable, I think, to Jaan. The decor is so-so, needs to be improved. More candles, less light, and more comfortable chairs with design. The food was average to good. But since I didn’t try any of their specialty, I feel like I want to go back and eat again.
3A River Valley Rd, Clarke Quay
Mon-Thur: 12-2pm; 6-10pm
Fri-Sat: 12-2pm; 6-10.30pm
Closed on Sunday
Rating: 4.212/5 stars