Formerly the home of renowned botanist and assistant director of the Botanic Gardens E J H Corner, the historical black and white colonial house is now home to modern European restaurant—Corner House.
In our ‘Three Stars on a Plate’ series, we take a closer look at the restaurants who won three stars in our House of Stars category. These seven winners received the highest scores among 300 restaurants surveyed. Get to know each of them, and the one dish they consider their most iconic.
This modern European restaurant is nestled in the lush grounds of Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The historical black and white colonial house it occupies was the home of E J H Corner, a renowned botanist and the assistant director of the Botanic Gardens from 1929 to 1945. Fitting then that the food served at Corner House is premised on a ‘gastro-botanica’ concept, where vegetables are not the supporting cast, but a star along with the carefully sourced meat, poultry and seafood.
Helming the kitchen is Singaporean chef Jason Tan, who had found his calling straight out of national service at the age of 22. After stints at Les Amis, Le Saint Julien and Sky on 57, he became chef patron and co-owner at Corner House in 2014. In three short years, the restaurant garnered international recognition, being named No. 23 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2017, and retaining one Michelin Star this year.
Pictured here is chef Tan’s signature oignon doux des Cévennes. He discovered sweet Cévennes onions in his early years as a chef, which helped awaken in him a creative interest in vegetables. This dish is prepared four ways. First, as a baked onion cup: A whole onion is baked and hollowed, filled with onion purée and confit, 62-degree sous-vide egg, sea salt, chives and topped with black truffle. Then there is the onion tart, where an onion confit is prepared from sliced onions, slow cooked in butter and served on crisp filo pastry topped with parmesan cheese. The third expression is a thin slice of onion dehydrated for 24 hours and lightly salted; and finally, a delicate earl grey-infused onion consomme that is poured onto an emulsion of onion confit and cream.
E J H Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens (Nassim Gate entrance), 1 Cluny Road. Tel: 6469 1000
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s September 2017 issue – Singapore’s Top Restaurants, ‘Three Stars on a Plate’