I fancied trying somewhere new for dinner recently and decided to ask around my friends to see where they would recommend I should try. A recommendation was made for a newly opened French restaurant called “Shelter in the Woods” and as it was near to where the people I was to have dinner with were staying when they visited Singapore, it seemed as good a place as any.
The evening did not start brilliantly, if I can give you some advice, never take a taxi from the taxi rank at the Botanical Gardens MRT station, it is apparently impossible for taxi drivers to find even if they have the address and directions! I should have saved myself the hassle as on getting a taxi the whole way back home, it was only $5 more expensive than the journey from the MRT which had taken me 20 minutes to travel to! Luckily my friends had arrived before me and I was rewarded with a nice glass of French Pinot Noir the moment I walked in.
The restaurant is small and cosy, a nice mixture of tall bar stools and tables and lower, mismatched sofas and seating with random brik a brak decorating the walls. There is a choice of around 4 different Terrines to begin, from Pork and Pistachio to Chicken Liver and Foie Gras, as well as a couple of Soups and Salads. We shared 3 of the Terrines to start, the ones mentioned previously and a very nice duck rillettes, although all 3 were judged a huge success.
Main courses are French classics, everything from Quiche (around $14 I think) to Cassoulet, Beef Bourguinon and a Rotisserie section with Whole Chicken, Suckling Pig, Shoulder of Lamb and Sea Trout. We shared a Sea Trout which came served with Coconut Rice and a sort of slightly cooked Tomato Salad, beautifully cooked and ample for the two of us. The Lamb Shoulder looked delicious but it was the Suckling Pig with Mashed Potatoes that really impressed. The Potato was similar to the famed Robouchon recipe with almost as much Butter as Potato, sinful but delicious!
Desserts are in the same classic vein, Rum Baba which was incredibly light, a real triumph, as well as Lemon or Apple Tart and Pithiviers. They also have a huge selection of flavoured rums to choose from at $7.50 a shot. Everything from “Suzettes” to Green Tea, Earl Grey with Lemon and Honey and Hibiscus, let their enthusiastic waiters guide you through which best to try and you will not be disappointed.
With aperitifs, 2 bottles of wine, main courses and shared appetisers and desserts our bill weighed in at $80 each which seemed more than reasonable for food of this quality and FRENCH wine (from Burgundy no less – one of my favourites) Shelter in the Woods may be a new restaurant but it is already a classic. Definitely one for those Francophiles amongst us, as well as anyone who appreciates good food and wine, go now while you can still get a table!