The Place Nestled within Gardens By The Bay, Pollen is one unique restaurant which you can truly exclaim, cool. The restaurant spans two levels within the Flower Dome, with a causal terrace on level two offering all -day dining and Afternoon Tea menu, whereas level one is the fine dining concept. It was our first visit to Pollen since it opened about two years ago, which had a change of chef recently. Chef Steve Allen helms the kitchen currently, who has a vast culinary experience including his stint with Gordon Ramsay in London previously.
The first thing which struck us was the cool atmosphere. We are not trying to sound Oxymoronic in Singapore’s context but this restaurant does have a unique setting, given that it is linked to the Flower Dome, one of the mains sights of Gardens By The Bay. One perk of dining here is that you will also gain complimentary access to the Flower Dome if you fancy a stroll after your meal in the cool eighteen degrees Celsius. Back to Pollen, the setting is cosy and casual in the good sense that it does not feel like it is overly formal and imposing.
The Food Most of the dishes at Pollen are Modern French cuisine, with flavours inspired by the Mediterranean Coast. We embarked on the 7-course Dinner Tasting Menu (S$168++ per person), as well as trying some highlights from the a la carte menu. For a start, all diners will receive two to three complimentary snacks, regardless of whether they order a set menu or from the a la carte menu.
From the 7-course Dinner Tasting Menu (S$168++ per person), we started with the Red prawn tartare and tomatoes. Using prawns from Sicily, the freshness and sweetness of the prawn was evidently pleasing, complimented by the fresh tomato with burrata and crunchy prawn head crumbs.
The Salmon with ikura, green Apple and radishes was another dish I really enjoyed. The freshness of the Norwegian Salmon was brought out by the good grasp of its doneness, not over-cooked and most importantly, it gave it that nice moist texture.
For mains, we tried both the French Duck and Beef. A classic French dish, the Poached and roasted French duck with pear, celeriac, anise jus had the right balance in terms of flavour and ingredients.
The Beef and onions is a combination of Angus short ribs and Josper grilled onions, using Australian grass-fed beef. We conclude that so long as something is josper-grilled, more often than not it will turn out delicious. The beef was succulent, with a nice chewy texture and it did not pale in comparison to Wagyu cuts.
For desserts, we tried the Pumpkin ice cream with yogurt, white chocolate and blueberry. This was a very unique flavour for us, as it was our first time trying pumpkin ice cream which turned out surprisingly good.
The other safer option we had was the Valrhona chocolate ganache with beetroot sorbet, milk ice, pistachio. Chef Steve loves beetroot, and we like how the bitterness of the beetroot and chocolate were complimented by the milk ice cream.
From the a la carte menu, we tried the Iberico Pork Collar, carrots, whipped feta, dukkah, pickled ginger (S$56), first sous vide for 24 hours before being prepared in the Josper grill, giving it an extremely tender texture. It was fatty no doubt, but that is how we like our Iberico Pork to be.
Rants For one, Pollen is quite a walk from the MRT station (Bayfront or Promenade stations along Downtown Line). That said, there is complimentary buggy service at the taxi drop-off point at the main entrance of Gardens by the Bay to Pollen, which runs every five minutes from 11.30am onwards.
Will I Return Again? Prices at Pollen are steep, but if we were to think of a fine dining restaurant to dine in future, this will be one of our top choices. The unique setting is a draw, and more importantly, the food was good and it didn’t feel like a tourist trap in a touristy location.
Make your reservations instantly at Pollen here.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Main Dining Room – Level 1
Daily: 12pm to 3pm; 6pm to 10pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Pollen Terrace – Level 2
Daily: 9.30am to 9pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Ranted by The Ranter