Coriander Leaf at Chijmes, Singapore

I first tried Coriander Leaf ten years ago, in 2005, when it was still located in Clarke Quay. We even took a cooking lesson with its founder, Samia Ahad.

Margaux Salcedo taking a cooking lesson at Coriander Leaf at Clarke Quay * Samia Ahad, founder of Coriander Leaf. Circa 2005. Photos from Kris Alcantara.

Margaux Salcedo taking a cooking lesson at Coriander Leaf at Clarke Quay * Samia Ahad, founder of Coriander Leaf. Circa 2005. Photos from Kris Alcantara.

Which is why I was happy to find her again ten years later at the new location of Coriander Leaf at Chijmes.

Samia Ahad, Coriander Leaf at Chijmes. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.

With Samia Ahad, founder of Coriander Leaf

I was quite surprised with the Chijmes location. I was a bit overdressed in a long dress. The attire here is skin, more skin and more skin! Ironically, even if the centrepiece of the compound is a beautiful church!

Chijmes, Singapore. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for Margauxlicious.

Chijmes Singapore. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.Beyond the church are several restaurants and on top of El Mero Mero is Coriander Leaf.

Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.They stuck to the Bengal tiger theme. They also kept some items in the old menu such as the lamb cooked in their tandoor oven, brought in from the old restaurant. There were many new items but this one was the one that I gravitated to the most. The baby lamb (from Australia) was so tender. But it was the flavours, the earthiness that captured my heart … and tongue.

Coriander Leaf at Chijmes. Lamb by Samia Ahad. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for Margauxlicious.From India, you can hop to Nepal with these chicken dumplings. I thought they were just being creative. It turns out they had done their research. The chicken dumplings are a common Nepalese fare called chicken momo dumplings.

Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Nepalese chicken momo dumplings. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.My lovely, posh and 90-pound seatmate loves this coconut salad. “It’s light but filling,” she observed. I did love the crunchy texture of the coconut.

Coriander Leaf, Singapore. Grated coconut and marinated prawns. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for Margauxlicious.Then there was this obscene display of sea urchin. The time that I had fresh sea urchin delivered to my house and I consumed half a box in one sitting, I thought I was going to get a stroke so I proceeded with caution on this one, although it is irresistible.
Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Sea urchin. Photo by margaux salcedo for margauxlicious. Another irresistible dish is the soft shell crabs with a salted duck egg sauce. What’s not to love?! Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Soft shell crabs with salted duck egg. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.The Chef de Cuisine is Iskander Latiff. He is married to a Filipina!

Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Chef Iskander Latiff. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.So guess what. He makes a very sosyal sinigang! On the menu it just itemises the ingredients of clam, tamarind, coconut water and calamansi. But Filipinos will recognise that beautiful sourness of tamarind soup (sinampalukan) and undoubtedly recognise this as sinigang.

Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Clam, tamarind, coconut water, calamansi sinigang. Photo by margaux salcedo for margauxlicious.And for Filipinos in Singapore looking for Halo Halo, you MUST try the version of Chef Isk. He uses a White Rabbit ice cream in place of ice cream and evap (evaporated milk). It is just brilliant. No need for Milky Way halo halo!

Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Iskander Latiff's Halo Halo. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.

He also makes the very popular almost classic molten chocolate cake. It is good … but I am biased in favour of the halo halo!Coriander Leaf, Chijmes, Singapore. Molten chocolate cake. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.

If you find yourself in Singapore, make your way to Coriander Leaf! The ambiance is casual but definitely chic. The food is for the well-traveled gourmet. The drinks are also excellent – their sake and whiskey collection is impressive. Wish they would open in Manila!

Coriander Leaf, Singapore
#02-01 Chijmes 30 Victoria Street.
Tel. +65 6837 0142
Email: reservations@corianderleaf.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s