Review of Pollen, Gardens by the Bay

Photo credit: Asian Bars

Note: so bored that I decided to start doing reviews. Also, because I’m a huge review junkie and I realised that the internet is suffering from the cookie cutter crap spun by dishonest food and beauty bloggers.

The Pollen is divided into two restaurants with different menus and prices. The Entertainer app promotion only applies to the informal bistro-like set up on the upper level, the Terrace. The difference between the floors is quite stark, think wood panelling, upholstered chairs and old-school atas vibes for the bottom floor and a few metal tables and chairs for the upper level. In my view, the only good thing about the restaurant is the fact that you get complimentary access to the Flower Dome, which costs $12 for local residents. Pro tip the next time you visit Gardens by the Bay: buy a $10 cake from Pollen and get into the site for free.

The Terrace menu is not as extensive as the bottom floor and is less pricey. Starters average around $13, mains around $35. The starters are a real rip-off. We got the Parmesan Croquettes and the Chorizo and were thoroughly unimpressed – the croquettes were kind of mushy and the potato filling tasted like it was pre-mixed. Absolutely nothing special about it, you could probably get the same quality for $5 at any other Western restaurant. The chorizo was literally one sausage chopped up into bits, with a serving of mayo sauce. I’ve tasted better sausages from NTUC Fairprice.

The saffron risotto with beef cheek ($32) was also a disappointment. The risotto was too salty, though the beef cheek was tender and satisfactorily cooked. Thankfully, the rib-eye steak with béarnaise sauce (a creamy light yellow sauce that goes wonderfully with steak) saved the meal from being an afternoon of mediocrity ($34). The texture of the steak was just right, it was juicy and the béarnaise sauce had a delightful flavour. The Portobello mushroom that accompanied it was a tad too salty but did not detract from the overall decency of the dish.

Wait staff were nice, though quite inefficient at the start (took a while before they asked us for our orders). The starters and mains came quickly enough.

Overall assessment: 2/5.

Without the Entertainer app (which gives you a one-for-one promo for the main course), lunch at the Pollen Terrace would have been totally overpriced. Get the steak if you want to play safe. Stay away from the starters. If you want to try the risotto, just know that you can probably get a better one at Eighteen Chefs.

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Categories: Lifestyle

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