As part of the property's holistic multi-million dollar renovation plan, InterContinental Singapore has recently unveiled contemporary European open dining concept Ash & Elm.
Taking over now-defunct, all-day dining restaurant Olive Tree, the interior seems to have been transformed with a vengeance, from pendant chandeliers to a gorgeous skylight canopy and dark marble finishings, into a space that is everything its predecessor regretfully wasn't: modern, chic and sexy.
With three interactive, culinary theatres where food is prepared in full view of diners—the Charcuterie & Cheese Room, the Wood-Fired Oven, and the Open-Grill Kitchen—the establishment also features a dynamic menu that changes from buffet breakfast lineup (for hotel guests) to a sophisticated semi-buffet lunch option, and an unexpectedly scrumptious menu of finessed, a la carte European fare available at both lunch and dinner.
Look forward to a myriad of of imported cheeses and various cold cuts at Ash & Elm's impressive charcuterie area.
Pumpkin & Bacon Flat Bread ($18)
Start with the freshly and beautifully Jarrah wood-fired Pumpkin & Bacon Flat Bread ($18) that teams sweet mouthfuls of velvety pumpkin and Mascarpone with savoury bites of oily, fatty bacon together on a crisp outside but fluffy inside bread base, or their sharing platters of impressive, house-cured premium meats and cold cuts.
Ash & Elm Platter ($24 small, $42 large)
The signature Ash & Elm Platter—a lip-smacking curation of house-cured beef pastrami and hot smoked pork loin, cold roasted beef, air-dried pork belly and, my personal favourite, a creamy and full-flavoured indulgence of Pressé de Foie Gras with smoked duck—comes in two sizes ($24 small, $42 large) and is great to nibble on with a glass of wine from their handpicked list of over 100 labels.
Burratina Cheese ($19 small, $26 large) with plump, juicy heirloom tomatoes, house-made pesto and basil plucked from their own herb garden
Beef Tasting Platter ($108)
Another must-try, particularly for beef lovers, is the especially satisfying, succulent Beef Tasting Platter ($108) of Australian Rib-Eye Steak, New York Striploin and a seldom-seen French Bavette d'Aloyau perfected over the grill with New Zealand- imported Manuka woodchips for that extra dimension of delicate smokiness. Although slightly more fibrous and chewy, the less common cut—also known as flap steak—is stunningly rich and full of that glorious meaty flavour.
Sides are priced at $12 each and are reasonably portioned enough to share. Noteworthy picks include the homely but comforting Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms, and the smooth, dreamy Grandma's Mash.
French Free-Range Yellow Chicken Supreme ($29)
For diners who prefer other meats, Ash & Elm offers up an extensive variety of other mains. Standouts include the incredibly tender French Free-Range Yellow Chicken Supreme ($29)—30-day corn-fed chicken from Savel with herbs and a bed of creamy polenta, highlighted with a sprinkling of roasted corn and flavoursome bacon-mushroom sauce—and the Slow-Grilled Spanish Iberico Pork Chop ($39, 200g) that's wonderfully pink within.
Slow-Grilled Spanish Iberico Pork Chop ($39, 200g)
Seafood Linguini ($31)
Also delicious is the generous Seafood Linguini ($31) of scallops, shrimps, squid, clams and olives, bathed in a robust crustacean sauce, and the perfectly seasoned, sustainably-farmed Tasmanian Salmon Fillet A La Plancha ($46) matched with a piquant grapefruit hollandaise and side of mixed vegetables.
Tasmanian Salmon Fillet A La Plancha ($46)
Salty Chocolate Rum-Raisin ($14)
Do save some stomach space for Pastry Chef Ben Goh's masterful selection of desserts.
Definite must-orders are his Salty Chocolate Rum-Raisin ($14)—an intriguing combination of rich 64% chocolate, rum-raisin crèmeux, sea salt caramel with chocolate foam and bittersweet cocoa nib ice cream—and the decadent Chocolate-Hazelnut 'Pizza' ($24).
Chocolate-Hazelnut 'Pizza' ($24)
Imagine a giant, soft chocolate cookie studded with hearty chunks of dark, milk and white chocolate, praline and meltingly gooey marshmallows—that gratifying chocolatey richness then undercut by hints of sea salt so it doesn't overwhelm—paired with cocoa granite and (even more) white chocolate ice cream.
Peach Melba ($14)
I also enjoyed his take on the classic Peach Melba ($14), executed with a ruby peach parfait, almond-strawberry genoa bread, and sweet-tart strawberry tuile, and the winning Yuzu-Citrus Combination ($14)—a colourful marriage of vibrant, bright flavours from yuzu curd, yuzu sorbet, lemon sable breton, and a mandarin orange reduction.
Yuzu-Citrus Combination ($14)
Warm, buttery Apple Tartin ($14) with crème Chantilly, Granny-Smith chips and Calvados ice cream
Address: Level 1, InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966 Tel:+65 6825 1008 Operating hours: Daily 12pm-2pm (semi-buffet lunch), 12pm-3pm (a la carte lunch), 6pm-10.30pm (a la carte dinner)