Located in the Flower Dome at Singapore’s new Gardens by the Bay, POLLEN is more than an expensive meal out. It’s a holistic food experience, with unique gourmet offerings that had been thoughtfully laid out by head chef, Angelo Rosso.
Rosso has worked with such esteemed household names as Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Alain Ducasse, and he brings this wealth of knowledge and indviduality to his work at POLLEN. There are elements of all three chefs to be tasted in the menu, but Blumenthal’s influence really shines through with the holistic sensory experience. Rosso is teamed up with general manager and renowned sommelier Amir Solay, who has one of the finest banks of wine knowledge I’ve ever seen.
The experience at POLLEN is very much a sit-back-and-let-us-pamper-you experience, and much of this is to be expected at a restaurant such as this. From the time we arrived (very early) I asked for little, but received much. They have mastered the art of understated service.
We had been walking through the Singaporean humidity, and the simulated rainforest that is the Cloud Forest prior to dinner. I was dressed for the heat, in a simple cotton dress and flat shoes. Inside the Flower Dome it is a cool 20C through the year, and while this is fine to walk around, while you’re sitting still and enjoying your dinner it can get cold. POLLEN anticipated this, and brought me a shawl and a small heater to place near my feet. To really cap this small tough off, the shawl matched my dress.
I’m not going to wax lyrical on the actual menu we ate, because it wasn’t even the food that impressed me the most. Menus change, but it’s the little touches you remember the most from an experience like this. I ate with my vegan best friend, and I am a meat avoider. It’s difficult for us to find restaurants at this high level that will not only alter a menu, but will be excited by the challenge. Each course that was brought to us was thoroughly explained, we were told exactly what was in it, how it was made and what portions of the share plates my vegan could and could not eat. A normal restaurant experience for us means a phone call ahead of time to explain his dietary requirements, and then on arrival he will be given one option for starter, and one for main. Usually the main is some variation on a veggie stack.
Not at POLLEN. We were given not one, but three choices for starter and two options for main. Vegan was happy, which meant I was happy.
I’ve had the opportunity to eat in some pretty fantastic places, and eat food cooked by more than a few celebrity chefs. I had very high expectations for POLLEN. Those expectations were smashed out of the ballpark. I only have great memories of this night, which means the price was absolutely worth it.