Out of all the different cuisine in the world, I always think that cooking European food typically French is one of the most intimidating and challenging tasks for every chef, mainly of the foreign ingredients and the sophisticated culinary techniques required. A recent trip to Shelter in the Woods makes me believe that French-inspired food is not necessarily intimidating, it can be both elegant and comforting.
Commencing with a relaunch in November 2014, the restaurant now boasts a ramped up menu and renewed culinary impetus. Heading the culinary team is Japanese-born, European trained Chef Masashi Horiuchi, a veteran in the world of classical European cuisine honed through decades of elite-level training.
Staying true to his Japanese roots, Chef Masashi combines the homely rusticity and the finesse of Michelin-quality execution to the dishes presented to his guests. This alone cannot be perfected without the Japanese values of discipline, systematic consistency and precision.
Shelter in the Woods distinguishes itself with its impeccable service and inviting coziness. The restaurant is beautifully furnished with rustic wooden furniture, textured plaster walls and cement-screed flooring. The restaurant features the Huntsmen’s Table, a special extra-long communal table making it a more sociable space, allowing large or small groups of people to interact easily.
On the wall behind the Huntsmen’s Table is the restaurant’s 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, and depicting 2-dimensional tree trunks and foliage. The mural’s immense enveloping size creates the sensation of dining in a forest.
Shelter in the Woods bears a homely ambience from its indoor facade and complemented with an inviting wood-floored patio, up to 10 revellers can enjoy the evening breeze on tall tables and stools over tit-bits and drinks.
Shelter in the Woods’ menu consists of European rustic gems anchored by offerings from the gas-flame rotisserie: the Rack of Lamb featuring a herb- crusted New Zealand four-rib lamb rack; the Rotisserie Chicken and Rotisserie Suckling Pig with their dripping succulence and crispy skin.
There is fabulous classical charcuterie such as the Foie Gras Au Torchon and Pâté en Croûte along with other desirables like Creamy Corn Soup Trio, Lyonnais Salad and Shelter Quiche of forest mushrooms. The DIY Steak Tartar features Black Angus beef that is hand-cut to heighten its texture and flavour, then seasoned in a light and refreshing dressing and self-mixed with condiments by the diner at the table.
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.
Shelter Charcuterie Board ($34) – Selection of foie gras “au torchon”, pork rillette, “pâté en croûte”, mesclun salad and toasted French brioche and polish baguette.
Shelter Quiche ($14.50) – The restaurant signature, featuring forest mushrooms (bole porcini mushrooms), swiss gruyere cheese, swiss cream, garlic and herb butter, and eggs in short crust pastry.
Lyonnaise Salad ($12 Entree / $20 Standard) – A traditional salad with frisee salad, soft-boiled egg, Dutch smoked bacon, croutons, confit pearl onions and dressed in sherry vinaigrette.
Endive Salad ($14 Entree / $26 Standard) – Belgian endives, roquefort cheese, walnuts beets, cherry tomatoes, green apple cheese with honey dressing.
DIY Steak Tartar (100g for $18 / 200g for $33) – Self-mix your own Australian black angus beef hand cut tenderloin with condiments and farm bread toast.
Creamy Corn Soup Trio ($13.50) – Japanese corn roasted, boiled and popped.
Rotisserie Suckling Pig ($35 / $68) – Baby Suckling pig cooked in the traditional flame rotisserie, served with rotisserie pineapples, confit onions, and gravy, which is made of veal jus and caramelised onions.
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. Comes with slices of crusty cheese croutons.
Rotisserie Rack of Lamb ($43) – Tender and juicy NZ rack of lamb herb-crusted with parsley and pepper, and cooked to perfection in the traditional flame rotisserie and bathed in garlic confit oil and served with roasted baby potatoes, mesclun salad and gravy (of veal jus and caramelised onions).
Meringue Glacee ($12) – A scoop each of house-made raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice-cream, topped with baked meringue cones and pistachio. Served with macerated berries.
Thin Crispy Apple Tart ($12) – Made with French brisee (pronounced bree-zay) 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.
Raspberry Clafoutis ($12) – Raspberry, egg custard, sugar dough served with a scoop of sorbet.
Rotisserie Pineapple Crumble ($14) – Rotisserie pineapple, crumble served with house-made vanilla ice-cream.
Shelter in the Woods
Address: 22 Greenwood Avenue Singapore 289218
Reservations: +65 6466 6225