Alma, which means ‘soul’ in Spanish is quite aptly-named. We enjoyed not just the dishes presented to us that night, but also the warm hospitality and attentive service. Many of the creations were very original, and a breath of fresh air. And for a special occasion, the widely-spaced tables and quiet ambience is just perfect for an intimate dining experience. Here’s what you can expect.
Overall: ★★★★☆ Expect lots of surprises, delightful service.
We began with some Snacks or amuse bouche creations. The first, was Frozen Potato (see above) with orange bacon jelly, watercress, ginger. This was surprising in so many ways! It was almost like a potato ice-cream. And if that sounds odd to you, it actually tastes very divine. Especially with that unique citrus jelly. A great start.
Then came the Crispy Pork Skin with passionfruit cream, curry leaf powder and edible flowers. Again, an original composition. Nothing sensational, but still a very interesting combination of textures and flavours.
And then, another little surprise – the Chicken Parfait with foie gras, nori and green apple jam. It arrived in a classic brown paper bag reminiscent of our own local traditional kaya toast packaging.
Really appreciated the effort that went into this!
And to round the snacks off, we had this Ham & Cheese with brown butter and truffle.
But one of the most mind-blowing parts of the meal had to be this gorgeous freshly-baked Oatmeal Bread warmed with coffee beans served with French butter.
Once again, stellar presentation. Using what looks curiously like a cigar box, they’ve actually managed to keep the break both warm and fragranced with the beautiful toasted flavour of coffee beans. The texture and flavour of the bread was impeccable. This had to be one of my favourite dishes of the night.
We went with the 6-Course Dinner ($148++) which turned out to be a good call because we were already half full by this time. But hey, we were definitely not complaining.
For starters, we began with Hokkaido Scallop with Smoked Onion |Daikon | Lemon Verbana.
Gorgeous presentation, with refreshing flavours. The combination of lemon with the fragrance of the Verbena flower gave this otherwise simple dish a great twist. Again, dill oil being the condiment of choice for many chefs when it comes to scallop dishes.
After the refreshing, came the rich. The Mont Blanc with Jerusalem Artichoke | Foie Gras Ice-cream| Chestnut.
This was served cold and to be honest was a tad too heavy for me. While a cold dish is acceptable for an appetiser, it actually came off as more of a heavy, decadent dessert. Incidentally, there is a similar Mont Blanc dish in the 8-course menu. So I think it might have worked better there.
And then there was the Boston Lobster with Potimarron | Bergamot | Shellfish Jus.
If you’re wondering what pontimarron is, I googled it. And it’s a red kuri squash. Haha. The portion of lobster here was a little dismal, but I enjoyed the rich shellfish broth that came with it. The squash was also a little firm and crunchy (think pickled raw carrot) which gave it a nice balance.
One of the most raved-about dishes has got to be this decadent Ham & Cheese of Suckling Pork | Brioche | Winter Truffle.
It’s everything you could possibly want in a ham and cheese sandwich – a hot, layered mess oozing with cheese, truffle oil and buttery goodness. Served in relatively small squares, it definitely leaves you wanting more.
Our first main was the ‘Madagery Creek’ Venison with Rutabaga | Beetroot | Plum Wine.
If you’re a fan of your medium rare filet mignons, you’ll enjoy this. Lean, clean and none of that game-y aftertaste usually associated with venison. The flavours all came together beautifully with this one. Especially the mustard greens. Absolutely amazing.
By this point, we were completely stuffed. But then this dessert of Chervil Root Poached Pear | Mascarpone | Milk Crisps appeared.
This wasn’t outstanding, but still enjoyable. The mascarpone was light and creamy, the milk crisps were delicious and overall, ended the meal pretty well.
And to sweeten the deal, they served up Petit Fours with a hint of local flavour.
From right, there was the Potong Corn Chip, a Honeycomb with Rosemary (my favourite), caramel tart and truffle madeleine. All of which were (dare i say) better than the dessert.
Overall, Alma comes highly-recommended. High quality ingredients, originality, and great service. Need I say more?