Andrew: I read about Eden Sanctuary last year on a food blog and was tremendously fascinated by the concept behind it of ‘food with flowers’ (which was how the blog I read promoted it). However, we never really got down to it until last week, when Dearie volunteered to plan our dates so that I could just relax and enjoy myself after my long work day. (Thanks a lot Dearie!) She did even more extensive research on Eden Sanctuary and strongly recommended that we go there. It was definitely not easy to get there and not cheap as well (we had to go past at least 3 ERP gantries!).
Was it worth it? We’ll let the pictures and our verbose descriptions (mostly Jasmine’s, heh) tell the story!
Andrew: The place is actually rather small, but both of us appreciated the unique decor, especially the many rows of fresh herbs grown in pots placed by the window!
Jasmine: Andrew’s attempt at an artsy shot of the lighting, along with his attempt at a poem: "The humongous ball hung from the ceiling/ as if overlooking the customers"
(Andrew: I didn’t know my description was that quote-worthy. Heh.)
Jasmine: Eden Sanctuary is based on the principle of colour cuisine. For a full rundown of what that entails, you can visit this site, but basically it means that food can be categorised by colour, and different colour groups yield different health benefits. The Rainbow Salad (so named because it contains all the colour groups) was one of my favourite items of the evening as every ingredient was fresh. In particular, the mandarin orange slices were outstandingly sweet and bursting with juice.
Andrew: I enjoyed this salad a lot too. The fruity dressing was lovely and greatly enhanced by the very fresh lettuce. It was light and appetizing!
Jasmine: We weren’t quite as fond of our other starter, the pumpkin soup. It was meant to be a creamless version for the health-conscious, but unfortunately the soup ended up tasting like strained pumpkin or pumpkin puree, and the copious amounts of black pepper we sprinkled onto it did little to mask the taste.
Jasmine: The butterfly blue pea tea seemed so unusual, and the inky indigo hue was perfectly enhanced by the clear glass serving set. Sadly it looked better than it tasted, as the pea aftertaste produced too much cognitive dissonance in me (i.e. peas belong in stew, not tea) and tasted somewhat unpleasant, especially after it became lukewarm. I gave up after two teensy glasses and reverted to drinking iced water instead.
Andrew: This tea didn’t quite do it for me. It had too much of an ‘organic’ taste to it and it felt weird too drinking something that was blue in colour. *shudder* Ironically, I ended up drinking more cups of this than Jasmine did as I realised that it was quite a good palate cleanser in between dishes.
Jasmine: I quite enjoyed the polenta with sauteed mushroom. This is supposed to be a dish of Italian origin but I had never once come across it though I’ve been to Italy twice and backpacked half a dozen cities there. Believe it or not, it was Andrew who introduced me to it last year. In Singapore. Anyhow, I actually had to check out Wikipedia so that I could tell you:
1. The cornmeal was finely ground but not too dense, so you could still detect individual grains crumbling away when you were chowing down. (Little of that bloated feeling of heaviness that results from carb overdose.)
2. The abovementioned texture of the polenta paired well with the mushrooms, which were savoury and woodsy.
3. Although polenta is regarded as a peasant dish, the ingredients and presentation really upgraded this to something suitable for a modern gourmand. I love it when simple, homespun dishes are done to perfection with the freshest ingredients!
Andrew: Other than the polenta, we also ordered the balsamic strawberry beef. By the time I got to this dish, I was experiencing lettuce overload already and I was wishing that I had my usual unhealthy side-dishes of fries and boiled vegetables to satiate my hunger. Heh.
Balsamic strawberry beef
Andrew: The dish was alright, but I didn’t feel that it was great. The tastes didn’t quite meld together and at times and the basalmic taste wore off very quickly after each bite, meaning that it was ultimately just a piece of beef with a brief taste of baslmic vinegar and strawberries. The strawberries didn’t really add much to the taste of the beef, hence making them seem to be purely decorative. With the exception of the usual unhealthy sides, I can’t see how this dish is really much more healthy than the usual mushroom steak.
Jasmine: I’m not much of a desserts person (give me a bag of chips and I’m in Ruffles heaven), but you cannot visit Eden Sanctuary without sampling some of their cakes! At the reasonable price of $2 for a petite dessert and $5 for three, it’s pretty easy on your wallets too.
Jasmine: The bittersweet taste of vinegar and cream made for a nice, zingy palate cleanser.
Andrew: When Jasmine told me that this was a vinegar mousse, I was apprehensive and didn’t really want to try it. However, all it took was one bite and I was won over. This is truly a mousse like no other. I have never tasted such a unique blend of that savoury-sour with milky-sweetness. The texture was just right and the portion size was perfect for enjoying right after a heavy meal.
Hibiscus cheese filo
Jasmine: This was, for me, the stand-out dish I would come back for. And indeed, after two weeks, my mind still wanders back occasionally to this hibiscus cheese filo.
The whole dessert is pre-frozen, and only upon ordering is the filo pastry baked, not fried, at 250 degrees (a random and completely useless fact, but I just had to show off the research I did, heh). This means that the outsides are flaky and warm, but the insides are still cool. As for the hibiscus cheese puree itself, it was almost like eating ice cream because the consistency was smooth and the cream cheese itself was very mild, and the whole puree derived much of its icy sweet flavour from the strawberries and hibiscus. The perfect meal topper!
Andrew: I’m not one who really loves filo pastry, I wasn’t as won over by it as Jasmine was. I much prefer cakes or mousse like desserts. Nonetheless, this was definitely not a bad dessert at all and I did enjoy it too. The hibiscus puree was like nothing I’d ever tasted before and its cheesy texture and taste was perfectly complemented by the sweet and tangy taste of the frozen strawberries inside.
Not every dish at Eden Sanctuary were show-stoppers, but I must say that it has been one of the most unconventional or unique meals we’ve ever had. We ordered quite a considerable amount and the bill came up to about 65, which is reasonable for restaurants of this range. Would I come back again? Just for the desserts. None of the main courses really wow-ed me, but there are many strongly recommended ones on food review sites, so we might return just for that!