$40-$60

Waterfall Ristorante Italiano, Shangri La Singapore

A few weeks ago, I was searching for a new restaurant for a new date–I believe in making new memories with new places, and not bringing new dates to revisit old restaurants–and Sg Food on Foot suggested Waterfall Cafe. And after visiting it, I have to agree that it is a perfect date restaurant and a place for large groups. This entry will give reasons why.

A winning factor is indubitably the decor. The cafe at the Garden Wing is nestled in 15 acres of greenery, flanked by a swimming pool and a waterfall. The colonial interior is not only classy, cosy but also very comfortable. One thing I’d like to see changed is the choice of music: too varied from French rock to Amy Winehouse to jazz. Stick to jazz and easy listening.

Chef Stephane Cocu has over 20 years of experience and has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants such as Le Crayeres in Reims, Restaurant Comme Chez Soi in Brussels and Restaurant Daniel in New York, ensuring that the Mediterranean-inspired food is of a certain standard.

For the socially-, environmentally- and health conscious, the food comes from sustainable sources and is free from hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. Many dishes have a vegetarian option.

Starters


Watermelon, tomatoes, mint, arugula, olives, red onion ($16)/ with prawns ($24)


Seabass carpaccio, Tasmanian peppers, fennel & orange salad ($16)


Seared sea scallops in hazelnut crust, crushed potatoes, port wine jus ($24)

Out of the three starters, the watermelon salad may be a crowd pleaser since it is very refreshing but the seared sea scallops, to me, are the best. The crunchy hazelnut crust lends the scallop an additional textual, and the mild sweetness of the mollusk and nut work well together.

Mains


Slow baked veal cheek with sage, capers, eggplant, tomatoes & celery ($29)


Atlantic cod on barley risotto, pequillo peppers, Vadouvan emulsion ($38)


Iberico pork chop, sauteed corn with carrots & zucchini, caramelized pineapple ($38)


Socca, spicy tomato coulis, roasted vegetables, fresh herb salad & pesto (Vegetarian, $21)

Given how strongly the meal started, with its quality starters, the mains may fall short of initial expectations. The Socca, a vegetarian dish, is but a pancake topped with vegetables that don’t particularly complement each other: the taste of each vegetable is  distinct and doesn’t integrate. Mr NGFL complained that his Iberico pork chop, though tasty, was tough. My veal cheek was tender but the entire dish was overpowered by the forceful taste of tomatoes. The best dish went to Atlantic cod on barley risotto. The cod was crispy outside, soft and fresh within. The barley risotto was mischievous and edgy with a hint of curry.

Desserts


Lychee soup with summer fruits, exotic fruit cube and orange sherbet ($10)

Being fans of sugar overdose, we ordered all 6 desserts. The lychee soup was a general favorite because it was not-that-sweet and was more tart. But Mr NGFL didn’t understand the concept of adding the kataifi pastry atop the sherbet, mixing in a buttery pastry taste that didn’t go well with the citrusy flavors. I, on the other hand, understood that the chef wanted to add texture to the dish but kataifi may be over-the-top. Perhaps a sprinkle of feuilletine may work better.

Competing with the lychee soup was the lemon curd on flaky sablee dough (unpictured, $10), which is like a tart without the walls.  The reason we liked it was the same as why we liked the lychee soup: refreshing, perked us up.


Flourless Valrhona chocolate cake, berry compote and Bourbon vanilla ice cream ($14)

A personal favorite. The chocolate cake was more like a mousse than a cake, but the texture was very interesting. Like M&Ms, it melts in your mouth, not on your fork. And the chocolate! So orgasmic.

I started this entry saying I would give reasons for this being an excellent restaurant for dates and large groups: it’s quiet, elegant without being pretentious, classy without being ostentatious, and with an experienced chef conjuring up good food and at such a location, the price ($50-$80 per pax) seems to be standard. For large groups, you can have a private room if you spend more than $400 (for lunch) and $700 (for dinner).

Waterfall Cafe at Shangri La

22 Orange Grove Road, Garden Wing, Level 1, Singapore 258350
T: 6213 4138
chope-reservations

Breakfast
6.30am – 11am

Light Snacks
11am – 12noon
3pm – 6pm

Lunch
12noon – 3pm

Dinner
6pm – 10.30pm (Monday to Saturday)

Rating: 3.563/5 stars

PS: Thank you, Margaret, Hatta, and Yeong Min, for the invite and hosting.

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