Sunday, January 22, 2017

Forest 森 - How Did This Place Receive a Michelin Star?

Forest 森 is owned by local celebrity chef Sam Leong (formerly from Tung Lok group) and one of four restaurants (and the only Chinese restaurant) within Resorts World Sentosa to receive Michelin stars but as with Osia, the decision wasn't without controversy.

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The Place

Tucked in a corner of Equarius Hotel, Forest's interior seemingly revolves around a rainforest theme; earthen colours with alot of wood and pillars that soar towards the high ceiling and branch out to resemble foliage.  

As it was a Sunday, the wife and I decided to partake in their Sunday set lunch menu ($68++/pax) which, I quote, is "An 8-course lunch comprising 13 dishes in tasting portions will be served, showcasing the sheer breadth of Celebrity Chef Sam Leong’s culinary invention."

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Double Boiled Soup Of The Day

The soup of the day got things off to a decent start; light yet appetising but would have appreciated a more robust soup.

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(top) Chilled Pork Shoulder Marinated with Hot & Sour Five Spice Powder, (bottom) Pan Seared Foie Gras Marinated in Red Wine Sauce Served with Baked Bread

The chilled pork shoulder was rather chewy and lightly sweet (from the apple and carrot salad beneath) with a touch of spiciness (hot & sour five spice powder). A tad too porky for my liking.

The foie gras wasn't quite up to scratch in my humble opinion. Though smooth and coated with black sesame seeds to accentuate the taste and texture, the mousse was literally drowning in the taste of the red wine.

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(top) Steamed Egg Chawanmushi with Crab Meat, (bottom) Pan Seared Wagyu Beef Roll with Enoki Mushroom Served in Black Pepper Sauce

I thought the chawanmushi was quite good; smooth and silky without coming across as overly eggy and topped with shreds of crab meat, crisped rice and roe for that extra crunch and pop.

A slice of less than tender, lightly sweet beef wrapped around crunchy enoki mushroom; drenched in black pepper sauce that killed off every other taste.

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(top) Deep Fried Hokkaido Scallop Coated in Salted Egg Yolk Mayo, (bottom) Deep Fried Prawn Coated in Crispy Cereal

Although I really liked the salted egg yolk mayo coating and the crisp flour shell, the scallop itself was way too soft for my liking; almost mushy in fact. A pity really.

A singular, fresh tiger prawn coated with rather dry and tasteless cereal. Another shame and honestly, some of the cze char stalls do it better.

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Deep Fried New Zealand Cod Fillet with Thai Style Sauce

On to the deep fried cod fillet with minimal but very crisp batter; rich, mildly sweet and spicy from the Thai style sauce. Coupled with mango slices providing a sweet yet tangy tinge. Pretty good in my humble opinion.

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Oven Baked Chicken Chop with Sand Ginger Sauce

Unfortunately the chicken chop didn't quite do it for me. I appreciated the crisp layer of chicken skin but the taste of the galangal was a little too strong for my liking. Not quite my cup of tea but definitely palatable. 

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(top) Japanese Pearl Rice Topped with Abalone, (bottom) Braised Ee-Fu Noodle with Crab Meat

I liked the texture of the pearl rice but found it very bland with only the faintest hint of egg and ginger. The tender abalone couldn't make up for it and the end result was half a bowl of leftover rice.

Shreds of crab meat floating atop a semi viscous broth filled with limp Ee Fu Noodles that had a nauseating effect after a few mouthfuls.

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Forest Delight

A small cube of smooth New York Cheesecake sprinkled with cookie crumble paired with rather refreshing lemongrass jelly with mango and coconut chunks for extra sweetness and texture. Not a big fan of lemongrass but this was pretty decent.

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At $68++/pax, I personally found the lunch big on variety but relatively small on quality. The only thing I liked about the lunch was the environment (quiet and largely void of customers) and the decent service. How Forest can be awarded a Michelin star seriously befuddles me.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6/10
Price: 5.5/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: Equarius Hotel™, Lobby

Contact: 6577 7788 or 6577 6688

Opening Hours:

7.30am - 10.30am
(Daily, walk-ins only)

Lunch (Mon - Sat):
12pm – 2.30pm
(Last order at 2.15pm)

6pm – 10.30pm
(Last order at 10pm)

Sunday Lunch:
12pm – 3pm
(Last order 2.30pm)


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