Pollen turns five this month and new head chef Steve Allen, who cut his teeth working for the likes of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s in London, celebrates it with an exciting culinary journey that links past, present and future. “We thought about how Pollen has evolved over the years, what encapsulated it and our vision moving forward,” he tells us. That was how Five Stories, the tasting menu available from August 17 to 21, came about.
Chef Allen, who took over last October, adds that these five dishes will help diners understand what makes Pollen unique. "We present simple and sophisticated food that is not only thoughtful and delicious but is a reflection of myself, the team and the restaurant. Here's what to expect:
(Related: How To Build The Perfect Summer Salad)
An ode to the lush landscape within the Flower Dome where Pollen is located, this appetiser is made up of 16 seasonal herbs and vegetables—some of which are freshly picked from their garden—served raw, pickled, compressed or burnt. These are enhanced with finishing touches of tarragon-based pesto and bagna cauda (anchovy dip) ice cream.
(Related: 5 Of The Best Roses For The Summer)
Paired with: Sparkling homemade rosé, made with rhubarb juice infused with basil and Hendrick’s gin
Langoustine & Lardo
The second dish is the brainchild of sous chef Carmine La-Farciola. Inspired by his hometown of Abruzzo, Italy, and his grandmother’s recipe, he torches the sweet, plump langoustine (a popular ingredient in Abruzzo) and serves it with melt-in-the-mouth lardo (often used in Tuscany), herbs and smoked ricotta cheese.
(Related: Learning The Art Of Charcuterie)
Paired with: Catarrato Falco Peregrino from Italy’s Bosco Falconeria winery
Sea & Sand
We learn more about Allen in the third course. Growing up in East Sussex, his younger days were spent at the Eastbourn pier, eating mussels, prawns and cockles. This experience is captured in a seafood-centric dish of lightly torched Akoara King salmon served with a mix of sea vegetables, brown crab and scallops. It's finished with grapefruit gel and smoked mussel emulsion.
Paired with: Homemade hot infusion of white grapes, jasmine and lime leaf
Beef Cheek Tea
Chef Allen’s love for Asia and its food is undeniable, and also evident in this dish inspired by bak kut teh. Here he uses the classic English recipe of boiled beef with carrots as the base but gives it his own spin by infusing the consomme with Asian herbs and spices.
Paired with: Domaine La Florane A Fleur de Pampre Rouge, from Visan Cotes du Rhones Villages
The meal concludes with a take on the classic Singapore Sling. He uses the ingredients that make up this popular tipple, presenting them in a dessert of fresh cherry salad with macerated cherries, rosemary and lemon, and a drizzle of cherry jus. It’s finished with a cherry parfait that’s transformed tableside into ice cream with the use of liquid nitrogen.
Paired with: Homemade apricot and vanilla wine that is fermented in the restaurant
Pollen's Five Stories menu is available for lunch and dinner. For information and reservation, please call 6604 9988 or click here.