I visited The Summerhouse’s location at The Oval at Seletar Aerospace when it first opened around two years ago. Then, there were just a couple of places operating, such as Wildseed Café which I visited and reviewed, and Young’s.
I have not trekked my way back to Seletar till last Friday night.
On account of my aunt having raved about The Summerhouse, I finally decided to visit.
Driving in to the carpark, good luck on a Friday night if you go a little later, maybe the free parking after 6pm has something to do with attracting the happy hour crowd.
But yes, the crowd is buzzing in ulu Seletar on a Friday night!
Located above Wildseed Café in a beautiful black-and-white house, with a twinkling fairy lights awning, The Summerhouse is all pretty and ever-so-inviting. Open spaces with high ceilings, coupled with the whitewashed walls and beams are matched with charming English countryside-inspired prints, making me feel like I’m at a Laura Ashley designed tea house.
In fact, the airy setting reminds me a little of Corner House at the Botanic Gardens.
Staying in line with its nature-inspired concept is the cuisine at The Summerhouse. Farm-to-table dining is showcased clearly in its choice of suppliers and produce. So clearly that the names of each farm, grower or kelong is mentioned under each item on the menu.
Let The Feast Begin…
First dish – the Grilled Prawns ($6 each) glazed and wrapped with lardo. Tasting it, I thought the prawns were cooked well, and just like the awesome ones I make at home. But where was the lardo, I wondered? Or were my tastebuds so desensitised that I couldn’t taste it?
I found out later that they had run out of lardo, aha, so that’s why.
The dish that sounded the most boring on the menu, Avocado, Egg, Chia seed cracker ($14) turned out to be quite a good surprise. Even the appearance didn’t look that enticing, all you see are chia seed crackers and avocado slices – too healthy for me!
But hiding beneath is the loveliest and most perfectly-done sous-vide egg yolk and a truffle sauce, with pecorino slivers. My, I have not had truffle with my avocado before, and yeah, maybe I should consider that for the next time I make my boring salads at home!
Save some of that homemade rye bread to mop up the heady truffle, cheese and yolk sauce, by the way.
The Moroccan Eggplant ($14), you’d be right if you thought this was something you could find at any restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine but at The Summerhouse, they made it just that little bit different by adding croutons. Don’t underestimate the power of the crunch to make this a more tasty dish!
New at The Summerhouse… The Duck
Main courses next. We were told the Duck Leg Confit ($34) was a new addition, and since I do love my duck leg confit, it was an obvious choice.
Now, what do I love most about my duck leg confit? The crispy skin of course! While the skin looked to be crispy, good colour and all, it could have been at least another 60% crispier. That’s how scientific I can get with my duck confit. 😊 The fat beneath was not rendered enough.
That said, I have to say that this was the largest duck leg I have ever received in a restaurant. The manager said that because we had ordered as part of the sharing platter for two, we got the larger leg. But I’m pretty sure their regular size would be filling as well, especially if you eat up all the duck fat roasted potatoes.
If they succeed in making the skin crispier and the meat a little more tender (the accompanying onion jam was a treat but the meat itself could have been slightly more moist), this would be something I would order again.
That Brisket Beauty!
The next dish however, was pretty damn near perfect. The 100-Hour Cooked Mayura Wagyu Brisket Mbs 9+ ($45). Tasty? Check. Tender? Check. Terrific? Check!!!
For sides, we had the Baby Spinach and Sweet Potato Leaves ($12). The sweet potato leaves really tasted like sweet potato but this dish is just too healthy for me. My raw food loving friends should love this.
On the other hand, the Smoked Potato Puree ($12), is a luscious pot of smooth creaminess, fortunately broken up by the grilled abalone mushrooms and pine nuts. You’re given beef stock on the side to pour into it, but we used the beef stock for the brisket instead. It just made more sense to us.
Sweet treats at The Summerhouse
Speaking of perfection, the two desserts we chose were superb. Yoghurt and Strawberries ($14) sounds like something I eat for breakfast, so obviously I wasn’t the one ordering it.
But it is delicious. So light and refreshing, especially when you’ve had such a heavy meal. There was mint jelly beneath the elderflower yoghurt and again, the crunch of the honeycomb added such a fun element to the dish.
Of course, I saved the best for last – the Balinese Chocolate Ice Cream ($15). You know it’s da bomb diggity when the ice cream comes looking like that. All rich and dark, sitting atop some messy, melty looking thing – it can’t be anything but good! That messy thing was a smooth vanilla custard over a delicious, almost malty, hazelnut soft cookie.
I should have asked to take home some cookies.
If you’re not too hungry, order a few dishes to share à la carte. But my recommendation is to go for The Summerhouse Kitchen Table Menu at $70 per person. You don’t have to think, just pick your mains and enjoy the feast.
Service was warm, professional and friendly, all adding to the relaxing vibes at The Summerhouse. I can definitely see myself heading back now and then to this “countryside escape” in Seletar!
The Summerhouse Dining Room:
Address: 3 Park Lane, Singapore 798387
Contact: 8809 5840 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brunch: Sat, Sun & PH 12PM to 3PM
Dinner: Wed to Sun, Eve of & PH 6PM to 10PM