About Lewin Terrace
It took us a while to find Lewin Terrace and when we did, we had to climb a long and winding flight of stairs to the entrance. But its obscurity is precisely what makes it the perfect hideaway for a romantic sit-down dinner to wow your plus one. Stately black-and-white colonial bungalow, check. Lush greenery, check. Fine food and wine, check.
This two-month-old Japanese-French fine dining establishment is housed at the foot of Fort Canning hill, in the former quarters of Singapore Fire Station’s British Chief. Helmed by Chef Ryoichi Kano, and former Sommelier of the Year Mr Daisuke Kawai, Lewin Terrace has an Omotenashi model of Japanese hospitality – they aim to meet your needs even before they are uttered.
The Food at Lewin Terrace
We started our night with a glass of Prosecco selected by Mr Daisuke. The former Chief Sommelier of Les Amis knows his wines – the Carpene Malvolti Extra Dry he picked was fruitier and sweeter than your usual champagne.
My favourite wine selection of the night, however, was the Tenuta Sette Ponti Sauvingon Blanc. I’m not usually fond of white wine but this one changed my mind. It was fruity and sweet, with no lingering sharpness. I downed my glass in less than 10 minutes without even realising it.
The Cold Pumpkin Soup was a pleasant surprise for me. I normally find pumpkin soup either too rich or too flat. Add to that the fact that it was being served cold – I wasn’t too excited about this item.
Then Chef Ryoichi turned the tables on me by executing a light, incredibly smooth pumpkin broth. The secret was in the yellow-fleshed Japanese pumpkin, pureed perfectly with none of the usual powdery residue that pumpkin leaves behind. It was surprisingly very light with a lovely lingering sweetness.
This was followed by a cleverly interpreted Bettarazuke-Wrapped Foie Gras Terrine. Two small pieces of foie gras were wrapped in slices of crunchy pickled radish and served on a fruity mango, passionfruit and lime sauce. This was topped with two slices of flash-fried potatoes, cut so thin that they looked translucent.
The item takes up very little space on its plate but it packs quite a punch. The foie gras is creamy and rich, with an almost cheese-like texture and aftertaste. This richness is balanced by the tartness of the fruit sauce and the pickled daikon. It’s clear that a lot of thought was put into this dish – from the melt-in-your-mouth potato crisps to the lemon charcoal dust.
The Mains at Lewin Terrace
Our first main course was Amadai Saikyoyaki. Chef Ryoichi has a philosophy of using all parts of the fish in his cooking. This means that our white-fleshed Amadai came with scales intact. Sounds terrifying, but it turned out to be the best fish I’ve had in a very long time.
The fish scales were fried to a crisp, with an addictive saltiness that didn’t carry on to the fish meat. I loved that the moist white meat fell apart easily in gleaming chunks. This dish is deceptively simple but every component was executed with finesse.
We also enjoyed the Beef Toubanyaki, which we could grill to our preferred doneness over a heated stone plate. The beef is served rare with grilled vegetables. We liked that the beef was tender and flavourful even though it wasn’t very marbled.
Before we were served dessert, resident mixologist Atan Rasyidi served us some specialty cocktails concocted according to our preferences. He never serves up the same drink twice – let him know your mood and he’ll surprise you with an inventive mix.
We especially loved the earl grey tea cocktail, served in a coffee mug. The mix of rum, earl grey tea, egg white, lemon juice, agave syrup and demarra sugar was surprisingly very light. The distinct aftertaste of tea left a pleasant lingering fragrance.
Desserts were creative and visually captivating. The Deconstructed Spumoni was an interesting concept, but a little too tart for our liking. The fromage blanc ice cream tasted more like a yogurt than a cheese cream. The tartness was accented further by the sharpness of the grapefruit and chardonnay jelly. The spumoni was finished with campari foam, which honestly didn’t taste much like anything.
We preferred the Japanese Peach Compote. It was surprising to find the fragrance of basil in the form of ice cream, and it’s a real shame that it melted so fast. The Japanese peach cushioning the ice cream was also memorable. It had the sweet freshness of pear with the soft texture of young peach.
Lewin Terrace Verdict
Chef Ryoichi’s deceptively simple dishes are thoughtfully created with attention to detail. Above all – the lovely ambience and the food – the warmth of the service won us over. My glass was never left unfilled and my napkin was always neatly folded after returning from a jaunt to the restroom. Even our selection of wines and individually prepared cocktails showed great attention to our personal preferences – without us having said a word.
At $120 for a six course menu or $180 for an 8 course menu, you’re paying for the whole experience. The food is just one part of the price tag. It’s a fusion restaurant in more than one sense of the word. So yes, I am a new fan of Omotenashi Japanese hospitality, and I’ll be back when I find the right person to bring along.
Getting To Lewin Terrace
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Reservations: 6333 9905
Address: 21 Lewin Terrace Singapore, Singapore 179290
This post was brought to you by Lewin Terrace.