Dinner @ The Summerhouse

January 30, 2017 in European by thywhaleliciousfay

Located in a colonial bungalow, The Summerhouse is part of One Rochester Group’s multi-concept (food & beverage and lifestyle) destination. The rest being Wildseed Cafe and Poppy Floral Studio. And in all honesty, I was very excited to learn about The Summerhouse. Finally, food scene in the North is getting exciting.

With a girlfriend’s birthday coming up, reservation was made for a Saturday evening.

Located in Seletar, one can say The Summerhouse is not located in the most accesible area. To reach, one could either take the bus or travel by car or taxi. We took the taxi. And upon arrival, one should head up to level 2 where the main dining area is located at.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-

1) Collective farming menu, $128 (min. 2 orders) comprised of:-

(A) Kelong rojak (above) – Prawn, rojak flower, Thai basil, pistachio, burnt lemon.

(B) Taco (above) – Tri tip beef tartare, passion fruit brown butter, pickled chilli, mint.

(C) Uni pasta (above) – Uni-soy sauce ice cream, ikura, toasted nori. Seriously, I have no idea why this dish was named ‘uni pasta’ when one don’t see the (physical) sea urchin and pasta. And the thing was… We chose the $128 set menu over the $98 set menu for this dish. Very misleading. And yes, we were disappointed.

(D) Buttermilk sourdough (above) – A very thin slice. Am not too sure why we were given additional slab of butter (not pictured) when we have no other pieces of bread to slather it on.

(E) Beetroot (above) – Raspberry pickled beetroot, barley, black sesame, fried shallots, ricotta. A dish created for 2 to share. This is probably why the restauran require at least 2 orders for the set menu. And I liked this, though my girlfriends didn’t like the sourness in it.

(F) Panzanella (above) -Eggplant, mild goat cheese, coriander oil, tomato broth.

(G) Buckwheat porridge (above) – Bacon, parmesan, chinese spinach, sunflower seeds.

(H) Grouper (above) – Carrot pesto, orange blossom hollandaise, nasturtium.

(I) Inka grilled mayura beef (above) – Pickled pumpkin, kranji mushroom, earl grey jus, grapes. And we were told the cows were fed with chocolate.

(J) Flower (above) – Guava yoghurt sorbet, lychee-coconut mousse, raspberry puree, rose meringue.

(K) Sourdough (above) – Rye ice cream, honey, milk, plum. I liked this! I enjoyed the clever usage of different textures in the dish.

2) Botanic, $17 (above) – Cured seabass, rojak flower, basil, hazelnut. Erm, 4 small pieces for $17? Like seriously?

3) Iberico pork, $36 (above) – 72-hour sous vide collar, lemon creme fraiche, chamomile onion, chervil sauce.

4) 1-bun, $14 (above) – Butter bun, Christmas flavour ice cream.

Helmed by Chef de Cuisine Florian Ridder who previously worked at Alma by Juan Amador, The Summerhouse is a farm-to-table restaurant. Besides collabrating with Singaporean and Malaysian farmers, there’s also an in-house edible garden curated by award-winning food garden specialist Edible Garden City (yes, the same people behind Open Farm Community‘s).

Unfortunately, I won’t recommend The Summerhouse. Appetisers consisting of kelong rojak, taco and uni pasta were served together, and one can say our dinner started on a bad note with that disappointing ‘uni pasta’ dish. The Summerhouse seemed to go along the concept of being a fine dining restaurant, but they failed to deliver with its food and service. There’s a difference between server who introduces the dishes with much passion and one who is merely reciting what’s memorised. So yes, a waste of the beautiful space.

Perhaps I am harsh on the newly opened The Summerhouse. But to me, a restaurant is deemed to be prepared and ready once it’s opened for business. I don’t mind splurging on food, but the meal needs to be worth my hard-earned money. My girlfriends unfortunately don’t share the same philosophy in food as me, and were feeling more bitter in spending so much on unsatisfying food.

Personally, I think The Summerhouse would fare better as a bistro; Do away with the pretentious I-am-a-fine-dining-restaurant atmopshere and serve purse-friendlier set menu that has fewer courses but with heartier portion.

3 Park Lane, Singapore
6262 1063, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Wed – Sat : 18:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 8
Sun : 18:00 – 21:00
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon, Tues