Rustic European Food at Shelter in the Woods
Shelter in the Woods is a rustic European restaurant located at Greenwood Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road. Intrigued by the name that conjured up visions of fairy tale characters like Snow White or Goldilocks stumbling onto cottages whilst wandering in the woods, I was thrilled to have been invited to check it out. Helmed by Japanese-born, European-trained Chef Consultant Masashi Horiuchi, the cuisine at Shelter in the Woods features rustic European dishes executed with classical precision and flourish. Chef Masashi has amassed over 20 years of experience at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe. He was Chef at Michelin 2 Star L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in London for 5 years before moving to Singapore in 2014.
Shelter Charcuterie Board @ $34
Pate en Croute, Pork Rillette & Foie Gras au Torchon
served with toasted Brioche, Poolish Baguette & House-made Pickles
The platter featured old school French classics that are less commonly available these days - a nice change from the almost ubiquitous modern European cuisine that's flooding the dining scene in Singapore. This charcuterie platter is a labour of love that doesn't solely rely on provenance. The preparation of each item is not only time-consuming, it requires skill and a good grasp of classical cooking techniques to execute. I started with the Pate en Croute as it is the rarest of the three on the platter and the least rich. Enrobed within a pastry crust were chunks of pork, veal, duck foie gras, pig liver, forest mushrooms and pistachio that gave this dish a lovely mix of textures and flavours that ranged from the meaty to the buttery. I especially loved the aspic (the jelly-like layer just beneath the crust) that melted on my tongue. Flavourful from the rich, clarified meat stock, I thought I detected a hint of well-rounded sweet sherry or port that added a touch of refreshing fruitiness to the aspic. I then went on to try the cylindrical Foie Gras au Torchon. Essentially a duck foie gras terrine that had poached, the buttery foie gras had a hint of sweetness from Sauternes used in the preparation. Although it was delicious on its own, it tasted much better when spread onto some toasted Brioche.
The Pork Rilette was served in a Kilner jar with a wooden spatula on the side. The creamy pate of shredded slow-cooked pork was delightful with toasted Poolish Baguette and tangy pickles. The Shelter Charcuterie Board was one of my favourite dishes for the evening and is a Must-Try!
Lyonnaise Salad @ $12 (entree - as shown) / $20 (sharing portion)
Frisee salad, soft-boiled egg, Dutch smoked bacon, croutons, pearl onion confit & sherry vinaigrette
Next, we shared an entrée-sized Lyonnaise Salad. The slightly bitter frisée was tossed with tangy sherry vinaigrette before being topped with sweet pearl onion confit, buttery crunchy croutons, smoky bacon, and a soft-boiled egg. The warm and runny yolk coated the salad and gave it a slightly creamier texture. The Lyonnaise Salad is worth a try if you love salads or simply love bacon!
Signature Dish: Shelter Quiche @ $14.50
Short crust pastry, forest mushrooms, Swiss gruyere cheese, herb butter, eggs & Swiss cream
A signature item at Shelter in the Woods, the Shelter Quiche was filled with a well-balanced savoury custard of Swiss gruyere cheese, herb butter, beaten eggs and Swiss cream. The juicy chunks of forest mushrooms (bole porcini mushrooms) and crumbly, buttery short crust pastry added texture and flavour to the dish. Another of my favourite dishes that evening, the Shelter Quiche is also a Must-Try!
DIY Steak Tartare @ $18 (100g) / $33 (200g)
Self-mix your own Australian Black Angus Beef hand cut tenderloin with condiments.
Served with Farm Bread Toast
If you're up for a little mixing and love Steak Tartare, try the DIY Steak Tartare. The hand cut beef tenderloin had been pre-seasoned with dijon mustard, lemon, salt and pepper. All that's left is for diners to mix in the condiments to their taste. We mixed everything in and savoured the flavourful mixture of tender beef chunks and crunchy condiments.
Creamy Corn Soup Trio @ $13.50
Even though I love popcorn, I'm actually not crazy about corn in any other form so I was a little apprehensive about this dish. Made with roasted Japanese corn, the creamy soup had a lovely smoky yet sweet flavour without being excessively sweet. Garnished with some roasted corn, popcorn and parsley oil, this soup was especially comforting on Friday evening after a tough work week. This is worth a try!
Rotisserie Suckling Pig @ $35 (about 3 pieces) / $68 (about 6 pieces)
Baby suckling pig cooked in the traditional flame rotisserie, served with rotisserie pineapples,
confit onions and gravy (made of veal jus and caramelised onions)
I loved the crisp skin of the suckling pig and the succulent flesh that lay beneath it. The smoky roasted pineapples lent the dish a tangy flavour that cut through the fat. As tasty as the gravy was, I preferred to eat the suckling pig without any. The Suckling Pig is a Must-Try.
Seafood Casserole @ $39
Featuring seasonal seafood like fish, prawns, mussels, clams and scallops in a rich seafood broth made from fish, prawns, lobster, fennel, leek, celery, carrots, tomatoes and saffron. Served with crusty cheese croutons.
Perfect for seafood lovers, the pot contained succulent, sweet seafood that tasted great on their own and partially submerged in a spoonful of broth. By this time, I was starting to feel pretty full so I nibbled really small portions. I guess I shall have to return to try this again when I have more tummy room.
Rotisserie Rack of Lamb @ $43
Tender and juicy NZ rack of lamb herb-crusted with parsley and pepper. Cooked to perfection in the traditional
flame rotisserie and bathed in garlic confit oil. Served with roasted baby potatoes, mesclun salad and gravy.
By this time, I was beginning to lapse into food coma but the aroma of roasted lamb that wafted to my nostril was too alluring to resist. I cut a small chunk of delectably juicy lamb and crispy skin that had a lovely flavour of herbs and garlic. This is a Must-Try!
Roasted Chicken @ $21.50 (half) / $40 (whole)
Rotisserie Anxin chicken, garlic confit oil, roasted potatoes, mesclun salad and gravy (veal jus & caramelised onions)
I love roast chicken so I was a little disappointed that I couldn't fully enjoy the luscious Anxin chicken that had been basted with nutty garlic confit oil while it was cooking. A Must-Try!
Thin Crispy Apple Tart @ $12
Made with French brisée pastry (short crust pastry), the thin, crispy tart is topped with Fuji apple,
butter and brown sugar. Served with house-made vanilla ice-cream.
I generally prefer savoury food to sweet food so I tend to be especially picky when it comes to desserts. A close cousin of one of my favourite French desserts, the Tarte Tatin, the Thin Crispy Apple Tart at Shelter in the Woods hits the spot for me. A thin tart with crisp and buttery short crust base, the caramelised apples and brown sugar added a smoky flavour that I loved. Great on it's own or with house-made vanilla ice cream, the Thin Crispy Apple Tart is a Must-Try!
Meringue Glacée @ $12 (front) & Raspberry Clafoutis @ $12 (back) House-made raspberry sorbet & vanilla ice cream, topped with baked meringue cones & pistachio. Macerated berries.
The baked meringue cones that protuded from the Meringue Glacée dessert were interesting to look at but true to the nature of meringues, they were too sweet for my taste. In the background, there are 2 plates of Raspberry Clafoutis. A flan-like dessert comprising of raspberry, egg custard and sugar dough, this was too sweet for my taste but I imagine it would be perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
Shelter in the Woods serves rustic, unfussed European food that's best shared. If you're planning to visit, go early as the parking lots in the area are limited.
Shelter in the Woods
22 Greenwood Avenue,
Phone: +65 6466 6225
Monday - Sunday: 6.30 pm - 10 pm
Sunday Brunch: 11.30 am - 2.30 pm
PS: Thank you, Shelter in the Woods and Gastro-Sense, for the kind hospitality.