As the yuletide season rolls in, so begins the hunt for a restaurant to feast with family and friends. This year, there is a new addition to the Christmas table in the form of GRUB, a contempo-bistro at the heart of Bishan Park.
Curious what a diner within a neighbourhood park looks like, I accepted an invitation to sample GRUB’s Christmas menu and stumbled upon an oasis to chill and unwind!
Sitting next to a shallow stream surrounded by lush greens, GRUB brings garden dining right into our HDB heartland.
“At GRUB, we believe in eating responsibly. This means cooking with as natural ingredients as possible, without the addition of MSG, artificial preservatives, additives or flavourings. We also believe that responsible eating starts with good practices by the farmers, fishermen and artisanal producers that we work with.” – GRUB’s declaration of guilt-free eating.
There’s a choice of open-air seating on a patio or dine in air-conditioned comfort at the bistro that’s just been opened in May 2013.
Hip and uncluttered, GRUB’s layout and design maximises the view of the natural surrounding both indoor and outdoor, creating a great ambience for grazing and gazing.
A selection of exotic hand-crafted beers, ciders and stouts demands just as much finger pointing as the food menu. Taste pleasers are the Brit Thatchers Gold and Pear ciders and the Scottish Crabbies series of fruity beers that taste deceptively like sweet sodas. Booze prices range from S$10 – S$13 per bottle.
My palate’s curiousity was drawn to this bottle of American brew, Magic Hat #9. It’s sweet citrus flavour is no illusion.
#9 was a little lonely so I laid lips on the Belgian Rochefort 6 as well. I think they make a nice coupling… practicing those numbers under the sheets after a few bottles is optional.
GRUB’s Christmas menu (S$30++) is a 3-course affair with 2 choices each for :
Appetisers – Soup of the Day OR Smoked Salmon Salad
Mains – Slow-Roasted Turkey with Gravy OR Honey Baked Ham with Apple Sauce
Desserts – Banoffee OR Sticky Date Cake
I got a taste of everything Santa would be envious of and one of GRUB’s hot favourites from the daily menu. Here are what the dishes look like…
Appetiser – Smoked Salmon Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. The addition of almond flakes brought life to the taste and the salmon slices were generous.
Appetiser – Soup of the Day (potato leek soup with light gorgonzola cream and bacon bits). Love the creamy texture that’s done just right and my personal favourite.
Main – Honey Baked Ham on Mash with Apple Sauce and French Beans. The salty ham was nicely balanced by the neutral potato mash and sweet-sour apple sauce.
Main – Slow-Roasted Juicy Turkey Breast with Gravy on Sweet Potato Mash and pea tendrils shoots. The moist turkey medallions were tender and tasty but the raw pea sprouts somehow subtracted the taste for me. I would’ve preferred it with wild rockets but this would still be my choice for a main course. The sweet potato mash was pretty unusual too.
Desserts – Sticky Date Cake with Burnt Caramel, Vanilla Ice-Creamand Toasted Almonds and Banoffee (banana and toffee trifle with freshly whipped vanilla cream).
The winner is the Sticky Date Cake to end the whole dinner on a sweet note.
The hot dessert (literally) at GRUB is their Churros with Dark Chocolate and Tangy Crème Anglaise dips. We were told that the churros were made 100% by hand as the chef wasn’t satisfied with the machine-blended texture. Because this gets so many orders, the chef is getting sore in his elbows and finger joints and makes only a fixed amount daily. So go early for the churros before they get sold out for the day.
GRUB’s Christmas menu jingled my taste bells and the dining experience was made more sublime by awesome wait-staff and the kitchen’s commitment to use no MSG and additives. For a cozy Christmas get-together away from the holiday crowd, GRUB is a must-grab this season. Merry Christmas!