Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dining at Pollen @ Gardens By The Bay, MBS

As we have our own commitments and busy with daily life, family and work, it is quite difficult to find a day when all my closest friends are available and can gather for a meal. With my BFFs, our birthdays are the only occasion we have an excuse to meet up for a short gathering or makan. We are lucky the birthdays of the 5 of us are well spread out throughout the year, so we get to meet up at least every 2-3 months.   
My friends had a belated birthday celebration for me and another friend recently at Pollen @ Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands. Although not exactly fine dining, the 3-course meal was pricey by normal standards. However, it was a good experience although we called it the "chiak buay bah" (not filling) meal. The attraction was a free entrance to the Flower Dome @ Gardens By The Bay, so we could have a stroll later on after our meal.  
The appetisers before starters. The bread was excellent, accompanied with a side of butter and seaweed cheese, or something. 
I am not sure what these are called, but they are deep fried pork skin (or pork lard) with a wonderful dip. There were also round deep fried balls which looked something like pomme noisettes but it was mashed rice instead of potatoes. I enjoyed these very much. 
There were 3 types of starters to choose from, so we made sure we ordered all three. This was my starter of Crispy choux puff, crab salad, charred corn puree, green curry cream.  To me, fusion food means presentation of a dish with visuals and taste. Crab salad was buried inside the crispy choux puff, decorated with curry leaves, flowers and what-nots. This beautiful 'ball' was light and delish. 
Starter - Jerusalem artichoke, lemon mousseline, ginger sorbet. My friend had this starter with an interesting name 'Jerusalem artichoke'. I could not remember how the taste was like but it was again light and a little on the tangy side. I am not a fan of artichoke. 
Starter - Foie gras parfait, plum, shiitake, duck crackling. Another friend ordered this. I did not want to order anything with foie gras, however I was told it came in the form of a cream which tasted like foie gras, lightly mixed with green apples strips.
Main dish - Baby chicken, kohl rabi, cashew nuts, satay.  I loved my chicken which was beautifully presented. The taste of the cashew nuts and satay were the sauce dripped onto the chicken. 
Main dish - Roasted barramundi, beets, pearl onions, lemon, smoked bacon jus.  My friend's main, of barramundi was also well done, crispy layer and beautiful visuals. 
Dessert - Pollen Tatin, verjus, creme fraiche, caramel, red and green apple. This is Pollen signature dessert. It was beautifully decorated that I didn't want to eat it. Basically all 5 of us shared all the desserts, more like tasting. 
Banana madras curry, foren coconut, sudachi lime, madras curry. This was my least favourite. I like curry but having a curry taste on sweet dessert is something my palate is not used to. 
Chocolate kopi, rum raisin, coffee, truffle honey.  This was the dessert I chose, chocolate and rum and honey could not go too wrong. It was dark chocolate taste so it was heavenly. 
Thai peanut, green apple, celery, praline, kaffir lime.  This was a delight as it was light and appetising, a nice end to our meal. 
Petit Fours with coffee and tea.  These were compliments from the restaurant so it was more tasting of different sweet desserts. 
Finally our birthday cake. Just make a wish and eat, as simple as that. 
After all the feasting, it was time for a stroll. 
We did not venture anywhere further from the Flower Dome as it was air conditioned and cool. The outside would have been too hot and sweaty as it was a sunny day. It was my first time to the Flower Dome. I had expected it to be even more impressive compared to the photos I saw from others, perhaps there are different seasons where they showcase different plants and flowers. The current season was themed around Hari Raya, with mock ketupat and flower displays and decorations. 
I liked this bird nest, would be interesting if they had an artificial bird inside, haha. 
What's the Flower Dome without the flowers? There were beautiful and unusual flowers and cactus and plants. Wished I had brought a proper camera instead of taking from the iPhone. We didn't have time to visit the Cloud Forest which has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Maybe next time. 
Customary touristy shot to show that you have been to Gardens By The Bay. LOL!
These are buddies from primary and secondary school. We have known each other for decades! We grew up together. Thanks for the wonderful time gals. Whenever we gather, we reminisce our past happy times and makan haunts/gatherings.  It's another occasion down our memory lane. Here's to many more good years as we grow old together! 

18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-09
Singapore 018953
Opening Hours (Monday to Sunday)
Lunch12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dinner6.00pm to 10.00pm
Pollen Afternoon Tea2.30pm to 5.30pm
Buggy Service
Begin your epicurean journey to Pollen with our personalised buggy service from the arrival plaza to the restaurant. Exclusively for Pollen's guests, the service runs every five minutes during lunch and dinner hours.
Tel: +65 6604 9988

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