Through the continuous change of the F&B landscape, Coriander Leaf has withstood time, since 2001 when it was established. It came a long way from its first outlet at Gallery Hotel, and now a newly-opened modern space at Chjimes. Taking over the old space where Sun with Moon used to be at, this new restaurant has seen a complete overhaul of its interiors! The epitome of modern-chic, Coriander Leaf has won me over visually the moment I stepped into the restaurant and I knew the night will go well. The cuisine here is slightly unusual – a mix of everything you could think of – Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, all tapas style. The menu is split into several categories – Fresh, Spicy and Umami just to name a few. It made choosing so much easier, ‘cos you’ll tend to choose at least 1 dish from each category.
[Fresh] Rice Noodle Salad, Roast Duck, Mint, Coriander Leaf, Vietnamese Basil ($12) – This was freshness at its peak as it was served chilled with a generous dump of fragrant mint leaves and basil. The sourness of the dressing whetted my appetite further.
[Fresh] Steamed Venus Clams, Tamarind, Coconut Water, Calamansi ($12) – These were some huge and plump clams!! I can imagine them sliding down my throat right now as I’m typing. Insanely fresh, the clams created the essence of the soup. Spiked with tamarind, there was a degree of sourness to it, but the coconut water made everything sweeter and balanced the entire dish off. Fresh, indeed!
[Umami] Nepalese Momo Dumpling, Roasted Tomato Relish, Szechuan Pepper ($12) – I opted for the vegetarian option, otherwise the default is chicken. Made on the spot, they were stuffed with lots of green-goodness. What morsels of happiness they were! The gravy had a rather unique taste – where a clash of Chinese and Indian flavours was created.
[Spicy] Stir-fried Eggplant, Coriander, Chilli Padi, Green Onion ($12) – A more sophisticated version of sambal eggplants I get off economical rice stalls lol.
[Familiar] Samia’s Signature Frontier Chicken, Coriander Seeds, Chilli, Yoghurt Cream, Mizuna, Lemon ($20) – Highly recommended by the serving staff, let me highly-recommend this to you too! The marination of the chicken was fabulous – it beats your favourite butter chicken anytime. The meat was tender and packed with lots of punch. The yoghurt cream was pretty rad too, though those leaves just provided distractions more than anything.
[Familiar] Miso Marinated Silver Cod ($28) – Really pricey for 2 miserable slabs of cod. That said, it had a nice smokey flavour to it and and undertone of its miso marinade. It was delicious. That said, I still can’t justify the value pegged to it.
Naan Plain ($3) – Cheap sides!!!! I was super impressed at how cheap the sides were, and so yummy were they! You get this many slices for just $3 – which means that you won’t go home hungry as long as you stock up with their variations of naans. I’ll come back just for them.
Nasi Ulam ($4) – Totally unexpected, but this herb-ish rice was delish! Again, so cheap for a side that requires so much effort and the amount of spices! Love it!
[Sweet] Avocado Ice Cream, Fried Banana Fritters, Gula Melaka Sago ($14) – Nah, didn’t work out for me. The gula melaka sago was too, too gooey and the avocado ice cream was too thick and not milky and smooth enough. That said, those goreng pisangs were legit.
Guava & Lemongrass Natural Soda ($7) – Got cheated. Thought this was made in-house. 😦
Yes, I’ll go back to Coriander Leaf just to try out the rest of the menu. Dinner here sure isn’t cheap, but with some smarts and ordering of their sides, you’ll strike a balance of fine-dining and not burning a hole in your wallet! What really impressed me here was the innovative combinations of ingredients that create new, exciting flavours in dishes that may be run-of-the-mill. Definitely worth a try!
#02-01 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St
Tel: 6837 0142