NOW that all the fuss and security around the Trump-Kim Summit has died down, you can head on back to the Shangri-La and not worry about getting the evil eye from suited security guards.
March on through the eclectic lobby with its squat sculptures, chandeliers and large columns, and head for Origin Grill & Bar. The discreet signage and the large door let you into a totally different environment.
It’s contemporary yet homey, brightly lit and with high, arched ceilings and matching arches that take you back to the old-styled railway stations from the 1970s, and a start point of a fascinating food journey.
In the Grill, elements of the old train stations can be seen in the lighting fixtures and the treated glass partition separating the grill from the bar. The sensation of a train sweeping by can be seen as the back of the bottles from the bar are seen through the treated glass.
Long benches that were features of old train stations serve to recreate that mood without affecting the privacy of diners.
STORM.SG held its inaugural Keep It Going: Behind The Scenes session in the private room of the Origin Grill. It offered a cosy ambience to listen to Patrick Nathan talk about crisis communications. Nathan used to be the VP of communications at SMRT, the rail operator that was beset with several issues in recent years.
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The service was smooth, sans any disruptions, as the cod and the beef mains were served to the 30 guests at the long table.
But there’s much more to the menu. To investigate it thoroughly, you need the luxury of time.
The setting allows for that, and the attentive service staff are knowledgeable and eager to showcase several of the unique items on the menu.
As you nibble on the raw tuna on seed flat bread, you get a combination of flavours coming through.
The tuna, from the Philippines, is delicate but is easily outdone by the 19 seeds that are combined and dehydrated to make the flatbread.
It’s a good way to start the proceedings.
The Hokkaido scallop is a popular starter, with its full flavour bursting through. The chilli jam keeps reminding you of old flavours that were part of our childhood diets.
There’s something for most budgets, as Chef Heidi Flanagan, who hails from Sydney, has insisted on quality ingredients sourced around the world. But it’s the bespoke beef selection that is full of captivating stories that will set you inwardly ruminating about particular ruminants.
What’s Your Beef?
The snow-aged full-blood wagyu beef A4 from Niigata, Japan has a cool story behind it. The centuries-old aging process was used for beef around 2011, with the meat kept under ice for about a month or so. The resulting steak is moist with some resistance with bacon flavours coming through. The award-winning Shiro Kin wagyu is kept on a Japanese diet in Queensland for 500 days. In Singapore, you can only enjoy these steaks at Origin.
The grass-fed John Stone beef from Longford, Ireland is dry-aged for 35 days and tastes good with the fat. The Mayura beef is fed on 2kg of chocolate daily, resulting in a browner cut of meat.
The steaks are put through an oven with a mix of firewood — mesquite, apple, cherry — and charcoal. The process brings out the various fat flavours that serve as an immediate taste sensation.
There are five different sauces to complement the steaks, though, frankly, they are best enjoyed neat.
The cod is another highlight, with the tender and moist fish served on a bed of vegetables and with a delicate squid ink wafer tuile atop. The rich flavours of the fish are well preserved as the
The pork belly features Australian produce. I’ve never been a big fan of the Australian pork for its strong taste. But what’s interesting about this dish is the pickled apple that comes along with it. Seemingly innocuous, it has a sharp, tart flavour that makes you sit up.
An array of desserts are proffered, with the recommendation being the pavlova. After a hearty meal, desserts tend to suffer the consequence of a mind trying to process all those previous courses. So, take your time before tucking in.
Something else to sit up for is the wide range of wines available to complement the meal. The Origin cellar is filled with artisanal wines and rare grape varietals as well as expected bottles that would keep a dinner group happy.
Wine pairing menus are part of the Origin’s offerings, along with a reasonable executive set lunch for the quick business meeting.
The 70-seater Origin Grill is open for lunch from 12 to 2.30pm and for dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.