Whitegrass @ CHIJMES


Helmed by Chef-owner Sam Aisbett, Whitegrass is his first restaurant venture showcasing his take on modern Australian fine-dining cuisine. Nestled in the front quarters of CHIJMES, Whitegrass has an al-fresco bar and a beautiful indoor dining space, segregated into different spaces – including an elegant dining room fit for hosting private events. For lunch, they serve 2-course ($48++), 3-course ($64++) and 5-course ($135++) meals. For the 2 and 3 course meals, you may choose from a selection of starters, mains and desserts. However, for the 5-course, the menu is fixed and designed to be ordered by all guests at the table. Read on to find out all about my 3-course meal!

An outdoor bar to greet guests upon entrance.

After walking through the first room with beautiful wallpapers and a glimpse of the kitchen, I was escorted to another circular room filled with the best natural lighting. All of the furniture was really whimsical and I absolutely fell in love with every single element – from the cushy chairs to the granite-marble tables and balloon-ish chandeliers. I will definitely take a leaf of inspiration for my future home! While we were enjoying this view, we were served with bread and a Japanese-inspired amuse bouche of puff rice with compressed cucumbers, dashi jelly and kelp.

Starter: Slow-braised Iberico Pork Jowl, White Turnip Cream, Fermented Japanese Cabbage, Seaweed & Pork Broth – I didn’t get to try this but according to my mum, the pork cubes were rather fatty and tender. The flavours were subtle, yet flavourful.

Starter: Sashimi of Japanese Hamachi, Lime Cream, Toasted Seaweed Oil, Dashi Jelly, Frozen Wasabi – This was for me! I love the plating of this – beautiful slices of sashimi dressed in a delicate fashion. What’s better than fresh, raw fish? A genius and creative execution of bringing various ingredients together, to elevate the flavours of the fish. As I picked up a slice of sashimi, it came accompanied with crunchy, icy bits that burst within the mouth. The bed of horseradish sauce beneath the sashimi was heavenly as well – nothing you’d imagine of the usual pungent wasabi. Thumbs up for this!

Main Course: Celeriac ‘Risotto’, Manjimup Winter Truffle, Steamed Garlic Custard, White Hen of the Woods, Toasted Nuts & Seeds – I didn’t know what I was in for, until the friendly staff explained to me that celeriac was in fact a turnip-rooted celery. Hence the word risotto in the menu was in inverted commas as this dish was not made with risotto rice but a root vegetable! I seriously love how creative the chef is! Creativity aside, the taste was definitely on point. Creamy, but not overbearing, and fragrant, the ‘risotto’ had the texture of a risotto. The white hen of the woods is a type of mushroom that had a crunchy texture to it with minimal flavours. Hence, the pine nuts and seeds tossed with the mushroom lent a nutty fragrance to them. And with those slices of black truffle, need I say more?

Main Course: Roasted Red Seabream, Silver Fish, Young Parsley Cream, Sago Pearls, Roasted Chicken & Clam Broth – The seabream was cooked perfectly, resulting in a smooth and firm meat. A myriad of textures is experienced from the crunchy roots to the chewy sago. Though yummy, it could do with less salt.

Dessert: Pink Guava Granita, Young Coconut Mousse, Crispy Macaron, Coconut Sobert – A highlight of the meal was definitely the desserts. The pink guava icy granita was so tasty with its strong flavours of the fruit, while the coconut sobert was so light that it melted on my tongue almost immediately. You can’t stop scooping from the cup once you start. Under the icy bits are slices of fresh coconut, sweet macaron bits and soft mousse. What a happy ending!

Dessert: Roasted Peanut Parfait, Valrhona Chocolate Ice Cream, Salted Caramel, Candied Peanuts – A parfait served in a cake? That’s a first! This one got many stamps of approval around the table. The top layer was frozen ice cream of 65% valrhona chocolate, while the bottom layer was frozen salted caramel and peanut mousse of sorts, with a thin layer of cake underneath. The peanuts were the star of the dish though – there were the epitome of nutty fragrance. You’ll have to try it to understand what I mean!

Peppermint Tea ($7)

As you can tell, my experience at Whitegrass was a stellar one and I’ve made a mental note to be back here every month for lunch as I was told that chef changes the menu at least once a week! The service was superb and the service staff were all very attentive to our needs. If I were on the Michelin team, I would have given Whitegrass at least a one-star. Yes, it’s that good.

 

Whitegrass
#01-26/27 Chijmes
30 Victoria St
Website to reserve: http://whitegrass.com.sg/#reservations

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