Elemen at Harbourfront Centre is known for its wholesome and creative vegetarian cuisine. This time, the restaurant has worked with Italian chef Simone Ricci to infuse truffle into an eight-course menu. From 10 September – 31 October, you get to enjoy this prix fixe offering ($42.80++ per person) at all three Elemen outlets (including Millenia Walk and Thomson Plaza).
The Appetisers (not sure why plural on the menu) is refreshing particularly if you’re stepping in from the humidity, with pureed beetroot and a tangy sauce that sends a pleasant tingle across my palate. On the other hand, the truffle does not complement the dish naturally.
The Fruit Salad (contains dairy) works for me. The mayonnaise has a well-balanced whiff of truffle, and I am immediately appetised by the mixture of mayo, balsamic vinegar and passionfruit sauce. Here, the truffle graciously allows the avocado (a surprising nugget of flavour) and crispy charcoal dough fritters (genius!) to share the spotlight.
When I first smell the Braised Melon Black Truffle Pate in Supreme Collagen Soup, I can think only of the comforts of home. Stir the truffle pate into the soup proper, and it tastes just like how a nice warm hug by a loving grandmother would feel! The nuanced sweetness of the melon is tenderly accented by the umami truffle. There are at least three ways to enjoy this masterpiece: the soup on its own, the deep-fried wanton skin (a tasty treat just by itself), and having both together. Each option has its own taste! Magical!
For the next dish, I recommend eating the Smoked Monkey-head Mushroom first, before moving onto the King Oyster mushrooms in the Truffle Honey & Sour Sauce. This way, you taste the nuanced smokiness of the monkey-head mushroom. Most sweet and sour dishes are overwhelming with the sugar and dripping with sauce, but Elemen dials it down perfectly with the use of honey and truffle, with just the right amount of sauce. The Passionfruit Sorbet is appropriately timed to come out after this flavourful dish, to cleanse our palate for what’s next.
There’s a Rice-Noodle divide among the general population. My godmother needs rice at every meal, while I fall on the Noodle side of the spectrum. Well my friends, the Stir-Fried Yuzu Noodle with Porcini Black Truffle will satisfy both sides, using rice noodles coloured and flavoured with yuzu (which, honestly, is just a hint of flavour at the back of the mouth). This dish features bold truffle flavours that trumpet their presence (yum!). It is so flavourful that I realise the pomegranate and charcoal rice crackers (much zen indeed) aren’t just there to make the dish look stunning; they give your tongue periodic respites from the savoury noodles. The White Truffle Course Salt Lemon with Sparkling Soda tastes how you might expect sour plum and Sprite to come together. The truffle flavour isn’t evident, particularly after the yuzu noodles, but I suspect that the raison d’etre of the drink is to prepare us for dessert. (Side note: Given that Elemen purports to bring diners a modern and wholesome dining experience, they could provide reusable stirrers or straws to reduce the carbon footprint.)
The menu ends with the Chocolate Lava Cake with Truffle Ice Cream. The chocolate is rich and deeply satisfying, even if the ‘lava’ doesn’t flow. The pairing allows the smooth truffle ice-cream to bring out the seductive bitterness of dark chocolate that I love, accompanied by the interesting texture of the chocolate sand.
Harbourfront Center, 1 Maritime Square #02-85, Singapore 099253
tel: +65 6904 9568
11.30am-4pm, 5.30pm-10pm daily
You may be interested in…
–Indline Restaurant, Keong Saik: Are There Any Good, Casual Indian Restaurants Outside Little India?
–Lotus Kitchen, Chinatown Point: Meat, You’re Doomed, at This Fantastic Vegetarian Restaurant
–Whole Earth, Tanjong Pagar: VERY SMELLY, Expensive But Excellent Food at the Only Vegetarian Restaurant to Be Awarded by the Michelin Guide
–The Living Cafe, Bukit Timah: Hangry at Inept Service of Vegan-Friendly Cafe
Written by Tan Ken Jin. True to the name of this website, KJ is closely associated with rubbish, organising litter-picking activities that culminate in a makan session (because #Singaporean). That, and he once tried marinating salmon in blueberry juice and orange juice. He survived.