One need not venture deep into the woods to find Shelter In The Woods, but the restaurant's classical European fare anchored by offerings from the rotisserie proved to be no less an adventure.
A fantastic adventure of the gastronomic kind.
We were stuck for over an hour in heavy traffic along Bukit Timah Road just to get into Greenwood Avenue on a Friday evening, and finding a parking space near this dining gem wasn't exactly easy. But akin to finding a treasure trove upon a tiring feat, it was all worth it.
Established since 2013, Shelter In The Woods reopened in November last year after a 4-month renovation. Along with it came the appointment of Chef Masashi Horiuchi and a revamped menu.
Japanese-born and European trained, he brings to the table more than 20 years' experience in Michelin restaurants across Europe, including 2-starred L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in London for 5 years.
The warm, rustic interior of the medieval-inspired dining hall greeted us, and I can spot Chef Masashi behind the semi-open kitchen where the massive, fire-engine red rotisserie is. His knife was thankfully aiming at not us but the poor little pig who had sacrificed its life to become food for us. Oh yes, it was a very delicious roasted pig as I found out later.
But first, the platter of Shelter Pâté Board ($34). Admittedly, I'm not one who will usually get excited over charcuterie, but the selection of foie gras au torchon, pork rillette and pâté en croûte was much much much more enjoyable than I anticipated.
It does not need a culinary expert to appreciate the creamy delectable taste of the foie gras and pork rillette, which are best spread over toasted French brioche or poolish baguette.
One can imagine how labor intensive it was to prepare the pâté en croûte, rich with veal, pork, foie gras, mushroom and consomme jelly sealed and baked into a flaky and buttery crust. The combination was such a beauty in taste.
The Shelter Quiche ($14.50) was altogether delightful with short pastry crust filled with savory cheese, onions, fresh herbs and rustic earthiness of forest mushrooms, while the Lyonnaise Salad ($12/$20) proved to be light and refreshing on the palate.
DIY Steak Tartar ($18 for 100g / $33 for 200g) got nods of approval from around the table, but I'm not one who's inclined towards raw food and failed to appreciate the allure of this Australian Black Angus beef hand cut tenderloin.
The Creamy Corn Soup Trio ($13.50) resonated much better with me. Definitely not those run-of-mill versions but one which feature Japanese corn which is first boiled then added with roasted corn before blended into a soup. Finished with a topping of pop corn, the resultant flavors with a hint of smoky aroma and contrasting textures were beyond gorgeous!
Equally gorgeous was the Seafood Casserole ($39), a vibrant mix of seasonal fish, prawns, mussels and clams in rich seafood broth that is both calories and Instagram worthy.
You can see by now food portion are considerably hearty and ideal for sharing with friends. But to share the Rotisserie Suckling Pig ($35/$68)? I did it very reluctantly haha!
Shelter serve their suckling pig not whole, but in pieces and we get only 3 for the small order. What made it harder to share was the perfectness in that succulent meat and crackling skin, accompanied by rotisserie pineapple, onion confit and veal jus gravy. This awesome pig stirred up the selfishness in us lol!
I would also recommend you to try the Rotiserrie Chicken ($21.50 for half / $40 for whole) which uses corn-fed Anxin chicken for more natural sweetness. The herb-crusted Rotisserie Rack of Lamb ($43) was another delight but glad we still have tummy space to relish in desserts.
We had a total of three desserts: Apple Tart ($12), Raspberry Clafoutis ($12) and Meringue Glacée ($12) of housemade meringue with raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, ending the evening on a sweet note.
Our dinner at Shelter In The Woods was indeed memorable and I wouldn't hesitate to gather some friends next time for another visit.
Meanwhile, PinkyPiggu shall keep dreaming of the suckling pig lol!
Shelter In The Woods
Address: 22 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289218
Contact: +65 6466 6225
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm / Sun 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm