21 Lewin Terrace, Singapore 179290
Lewin Terrace is a bit of magical find, though I say so myself. This old black and white building snuggled into the luscious hillside of Fort Canning Park was once the home of Major General Lewin, the General Officer Commander in Singapore in the 1930s. Located off Coleman Street, behind the original Central Fire Station, the restaurant is found atop a staircase up, up and up on the edge of the park. It’s a steep climb if you’re weighed down by day-time shopping and kids’ prams, or tricky to navigate in your evening heels, but you’re well rewarded when you reach the top. A beautiful deck wraps around the front of the building which would make a truly romantic location for the evening, your date lit by candle light and the chirrups and chirps of the forest providing a nice atmospheric soundtrack – however, for a lunchtime bite escaping the tropical heat, head indoors for a cool table.
The concept is Japanese-French fusion so expect beautiful dishes, expertly executed but with hints and tastes of Japan. The menu changes with the season and with what is sourced as locally as possible, so you can always expect something different, but at the moment they are offering the ‘Chitose Strawberry Fair’ menu; a celebration of delicious berries! For a bit of a noon-time treat, duck into here for a three-course lunch ($47++).
I managed to get down there one Thursday to be greeted by the Chief Sommelier Axel Paquette. Sadly, I had to get back to the office but he is effusive with his knowledge on the extensive wine list; he admits he is slightly biased towards the French grapes but assures me there are some great Australian bottles there too.
Sitting in a cool corner, I ordered salmon confit to start which looked as fresh as it tasted; delicate and delicious, whilst my companion went for an unusual hot cauliflower soup with eel and yuzukosho. For main, I recommend the codfish saikyo miso with mountain vegetables, but for something a little different opt for the seabass which is wrapped in a pork caul; it’s an interesting take on what is usually a classic.
But save space for dessert and make sure you share – because the piece de la resistance of this menu at present are the puddings. The strawberry parfait comes in a martini glass full to the brim of strawberry concoctions including berry sauce, an air-light parfait and white chocolate mochi – which is a nice touch of Asia within the dish. The strawberry tarte is so pretty; it’s almost a shame to break into it. Almost. There is also a strawberry cake with springy sponge – I didn’t get the chance to try this so please order and let me know.
If he’s available, do see if you can meet the Head Chef, Hiroyuki Shinkai who can talk you through each dish. As I’m not truly familiar with Japanese flavours and ingredients, it was brilliant to have the chef talk me through tastes that seemed a little unusual.
A nice spot for a spoiling lunch in a hidden away location, Lewin Terrace is a little different to the norm.