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Whitegrass - 1st Jun 2016

Last month, I went out for a team lunch and chose to eat at modern Australian restaurant, Whitegrass. I have read the great reviews in the newspaper and on numerous websites and the foodie in me wanted to see what the hype was about.

The restaurant is located in Caldwell House, a building located in Chijmes. There is a lot of natural light during the day which gives the restaurant a fresh look. The furniture and décor has been well curated and everything blends in harmony to create a casual and stylish fine dining ambience.

For lunch, they offer a two or three course tasting menu with three options each for appetiser, main and dessert. They also offered a more elaborate and dearer 5 course menu. I went with the 3 course option and so did my dining partners.

sashimi of yellowtail amberjack


For appetiser, I had the sashimi of yellowtail amberjack which was served with lime crème fraiche, dashi jelly and white soy dressing. There is a lot of Japanese influence and ingredients in Chef Sam’s dishes, probably learned from his time cooking at Tetsuya’s. This suits me perfectly if done right as Japanese cuisine to me is one of the top five cuisines in the world. In this instance, it was spot on with the thinly sliced amberjack blending harmoniously with the sweet and zesty crème and savory white soy. The dashi jelly providing umami and the sliced cucumber, radish and beans giving some crunch.


shaved Hokkaido scallops

My dining companion, Autumn, had the shaved Hokkaido scallops, steamed garlic custard, sweet peas, roasted chicken and clam consommé. This is what she had to say. “I ordered scallops as a starter expecting paper-thin sliced scallop sashimi, however I was pleasantly surprised as it was not what I had visualised in my head! Chef Sam definitely fiddled with my mind when shaved Hokkaido scallops turned out to be silky smooth ribbons resembling the texture of kway teow. The sweet ribbons were layered on a bed of garlic custard and filled with hot consommé bursting with umami from a teapot, it was like a delicate art piece. As I dived in to the first course, the fun slurping action made eating this dish even more enjoyable, a really, really good start for my meal.

slow cooked Mangalica pork

For the main course, we chose the same slow cooked Mangalica pork, jade tiger abalone, fermented cabbage, white turnip, fiddlehead fern, seaweed and pork broth. The melt in your mouth pieces of Mangalica pork jowl were nicely contrasted with the textures of the crunchy cabbage and chewy abalone pieces. The saltiness of the cabbage balancing the fat from the jowl and everything on the plate matched the umami rich broth. It was a delight to chew on the sweet slices of abalone which are farmed off the Victorian coast in Australia.

Valrhona chocolate mousse

For dessert I had the Valrhona chocolate mousse, lucuma ice cream and burnt milk. The chocolate mousse was wrapped around the lucuma ice cream with flakes of nuts and burnt milk on the outside. Lucuma is a Peruvian superfruit that has a maple like taste that makes it a great addition to baked goods, ice cream and smoothies. This was one dessert that I really liked as the crunch gave way to the rich chocolate flavour and then ending off with the maple like sweetness of the ice cream. 

locally inspired dessert

For dessert, Autumn decided to try a locally inspired dessert, young coconut mousse, jackfruit ice cream, longan, caramelised almonds, ginger cake. “The jackfruit ice cream was light and does not overpower the subtle coconut mousse, each component pleasantly complemented one another; I got a hint of coconut in the first bite, followed by the familiar taste of ginger and jackfruit in the back of the palate, and the crunch of quality caramelised almonds restarts the palate cycle as I glamourously dig in with teaspoonful after teaspoonful of tropical goodness. The dessert was a clever play of textures and a wonderful marriage of asian flavours.”

Whitegrass is an excellent addition to Singapore’s culinary scene. There are many chefs that try to put as many ingredients especially unique ones on a plate but most do not get it right with the balance unlike Chef Sam. This ability to me is what separates a good and a great chef. 

30 Victoria Street, #01-26/27 Chijmes, Singapore 187996
For reservations, go here



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