Shelter in the Woods – Impressive Rotisserie Foods
Shelter in the Woods is a stranger to me. I knew they have been around for some time, but I didn’t have the chance to try it before this. They reopened its doors last November, after 4 months of renovation. The restaurant got brighter, but still retains its rustic finish. At a corner, there is a specially commissioned centerpiece, the Forest Wall. It is a wooden framed 6-metre long sculptural mural made of birch tree bark, moss, driftwood and wood chips.
Consulting Chef Masashi Horiuchi heralds a new chapter for this beloved traditional rotisserie restaurant. This Japanese-born, European-trained chef has more than 20 years’ experience in Michelin restaurants across Europe. His style is marked by brilliant technical expertise in classical European cuisine honed through decades of elite-level training. This is wedded to Japanese values of discipline, systematic consistency and precision. The result? Great food!
Food arrives on the table in cast ironware, earthenware and wooden serving boards, and looks enticing without being precious or pretentious. A great platter for sharing while waiting for the mains is the Shelter Charcuterie Board ($34). The charcuterie board features the foie gras au torchon, pork rilette and pate en croute. The pork rillettes are great served with these duo of relishes. Another option is Shelter Pate Board ($30) with pork hat, pate duck a l’orange and cream pâté with roquefort and walnuts.
Shelter Quiche ($14.50) is restaurant’s signature. The short crust pastry is packed with flavours from forest mushrooms (bole porcini mushrooms), Swiss gruyere cheese, garlic/herb butter, eggs and Swiss cream.
Two salads were served. One is Endive & Roquefort Salad ($14 small, $26 big) is a refreshing salad comprising of Belgian endives, walnuts, Roquefort cheese, green apple strips, mini beets, cherry tomatoes with a honey dressing. Belgian endives was on the bitter side. Another is Lyonnaise Salad ($12 small, $20 big), a traditional salad with frisee salad, soft-boiled egg, Dutch smoked bacon, croutons, confit pearl onions and dressed in sherry vinaigrette.
I really love the Creamy Corn Soup Trio ($13.50). This creamy soup is made with Japanese corn. The corn and onions are boiled in water, and then mixed with roasted corn (for some smokiness). Some milk is added and the mixture is then blended and sieved. Each bowl of soup is garnished with roasted corn, pop corn and parsley oil. The standard portion is twice of what you see in the photo.
Another instagram-worthy dish is the DIY Steak Tartar ($18 for 100g). It features black angus beef that is hand-cut to heighten its texture and flavour, then seasoned in a light an refreshing dressing. You can self-mix it with capers, cornichons, beet, onion, chives. The quail egg to bond all the flavours that burst into a blossom in the mouth.
With a traditional rotisserie in the house, you can assure that each element of flavor has attained its full potential. Rotisserie Suckling Pig ($35 small, $68 big) is cooked in the traditional flame rotisserie, served with rotisserie pineapples, confit onions, and gravy, which is made of veal jus and caramelised onions. The skin is crackling crispy while the meat retains that juiciness. I like how the roasted pineapple balance the greasiness of the meat.
My favourite is definitely Seafood Casserole ($39), a hearty and delicious harvest from the sea featuring seasonal seafood such as fish, prawns, mussels, clams, scallops and served in a deep rich seafood broth made from fish soup, fish, prawns, lobster with fennel, leeks, celery, carrots, tomatoes and saffron. The sweetness of the seafood emerge and dance with delicately flavoured stew. It is paired with slices of crusty cheese croutons, which harmonises the symphony of this dish.
Tender and juicy Rotisserie Rack of NZ Lamb ($43) is herb-crusted with parsley and pepper, and cooked to perfection in the traditional flame rotisserie and bathed in garlic confit oil. There is absolutely no gamey smell, and the meat is so moist. It is served with roasted baby potatoes, mesclun salad and gravy (of veal jus and caramelised onions). Other rotisserie items include Roasted Chicken (1/2 chicken $21.50; whole $40) which uses Anxin chicken.
The meal ends with a flourish of European favourites such as Rotisserie Pineapple Crumble and a selection of wonderful handmade seasonal fruit tarts, including the thin and crispy Apple Tart, Fig Tart, Lemon Meringue Tart and Raspberry Clafoutis. Personally, the desserts are okay, it is better to have more tummy space for the mains.
The very thin Crispy Apple Tart ($12) is made with French brisee pastry which is a short crust pastry, the thin, crispy tart is topped with Fuji apple, and butter and brown sugar, served with house-made vanilla ice-cream. For a refreshing touch, go for the Meringue Glacee ($12) which is a scoop each of house-made raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice-cream, topped with baked meringue cones and pistachio.
I don’t really eat pineapple because it bites. But Rotisserie Pineapple Crumble ($14) is so sweet. It is cooked in the traditional flame rotisserie, spiced with cinnamon, star anise and cloves, and served with house-made vanilla ice-cream and crumble dough. To end the night, we each have a piece of Raspberry Clafoutis ($12).
Overall, I think the flavours here are hearty and ravishingly tasty. Go for the rotisserie dishes because they are very well executed. During our visit, the restaurant was packed and it took a long time for the dishes to come. Long waiting time is probably the downside here. The cellar is generously stocked with selections by one of Singapore’s leading wine merchants, Wine Culture.
Shelter in the Woods
Address: 22 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289218
Tel: +65 64666225
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed-Sun: 6pm – 10pm (Closed on Tue)
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