Gordon Ramsay may be based in London but his culinary influence has spread well beyond the shores of London, all the way to Singapore. By that, we are not even referring to his TV shows or Bread Street Kitchen but Pollen at Gardens by the Bay.
See, since 2011, Steve Allen, the former head chef of Gordon Ramsay’s one Michelin starred Claridge’s London, has successfully transplanted himself to Asia where he was CEO of the Delicious Group in Kuala Lumpur for four years before he took on the role of head chef at Pollen in 2016. Allen spent 11 years honing his craft with The Gordon Ramsay Group and his culinary savoir faire is on full display in his French-informed modern European cuisine at Pollen. A tasting of the OCBC special menu in the Flower Dome-encased restaurant will prove just that.
For OCBC Gastronomic Adventures, Allen has designed a pair of prix fixe menu for lunch and dinner featuring the special OCBC dish of scallops. The plump mollusks from Boston are skilfully sautéed so that they arrive at the table with a hint of char, while their just-cooked flesh revel in an intense sweetness of the oceanic kind. To give the dish a contrast of textures, he introduces four textures of Jerusalem artichoke (puree, crisps, raw slices and roasted wedges), lending the dish an added flavour dimension of earthy sweetness, further counterpointed by zesty smidgens of sherry vinegar caramel and a light cream sauce of smoked fish stock so riveting that you want to lick the plate clean.
Also on the OCBC menu is a choice of protein. Rangers Valley short rib beef, first slow-cooked then grilled, is served with red cabbage, bacon jam as well as Granny Smith apple strips and puree. Allen, who is not a fan of beef jus, matches the beef with a light vegan sauce of roasted vegetable jus subtly infused with kombu for a touch of umami. For that sauce detour, a meat dish destined for heaviness gets a new lease of life and the chef wins genuine admiration, yes even from carnivores.
Not a beef eater? Allen’s duo of Pekin duck from Idaho comes to the fore. A leg of roasted duck topped with chopped roasted almonds and a thick slab of poached duck breast decorated with pomegranate in an exhilarating hue of purplish red pearls. The poultry duo is flanked by pomegranate-braised fennel and made complete by an accompanying palette of golden beets, red beetroot, radish and onion puree.
The accomplished cooking carries through with the dessert, a non-fancy but well-constructed sweet of passionfruit parfait topped with ricotta ice cream on a bed of long pepper-laced chocolate crumbs and a citrus attendance graced by kumquat jam and mandarin gel. The temperature of every component served in this dessert, if we may say, is on point.
Pollen offers this special OCBC Gastronomic Adventures Menu at lunch for $65++ for three courses and at dinner for $125++ for five courses up until 20th August 2018 for OCBC Cardmembers. VOYAGE Cardmembers are entitled to a beverage flight of $30++ at lunch (2 glasses of wine, coffee/tea with petit fours) and $45++ at dinner (a cocktail of homemade rhubarb juice with basil and Hendrick’s gin, two glasses of wine and coffee/tea with petit fours). Find out more about OCBC’s exclusively curated menus at ocbc.com/gastronomy.
01-06, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018 953; +65-6604 9988; pollen.com.sg
This post is presented to you in partnership with OCBC