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.
Which is why I was happy to find her again ten years later at the new location of Coriander Leaf at Chijmes.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Another irresistible dish is the soft shell crabs with a salted duck egg sauce. What’s not to love?! The Chef de Cuisine is Iskander Latiff. He is married to a Filipina!
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.
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!
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