[Updated] Forest has been awarded 1 Michelin Star in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016, and unfortunately ‘lost’ it in subsequent years.
There are not many chefs work together side by side with their wife and run a cooking school (sam.leong@forest) together. One could imagine a husband and wife in the same kitchen could potentially mean trouble, or in this case, loads of chemistry.
Local celebrity chef Sam Leong is no stranger to many Singaporeans. I told taxi uncle “Forest Restaurant RWS”, he didn’t know where. But Sam Leong’s restaurant was a “Yes, Yes!”
Forest 森 at Equarius Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa offers modern Chinese and Thai-accented cuisine. That is partly because the wife is Thai and also spent many years assisting her Thai cuisine chef father in the kitchen, and eventually helmed her own.
The contemporary Chinese fine dining restaurant now offers a new leisure Sunday lunch menu ($68++ per person for 8 course) which features Chef Sam Leong’s signature dishes all in one seating. The price is quite reasonable considering the items offered.
If you have not dined at Forest before, you (or your palate) needs to get mentally prepared. I found myself switching frames of mind from Chinese to Thai to European while taking bites from the same dish, and then realised I shouldn’t even try categorising the food.
The Steamed Salmon was fresh and delicate, and immediately tasted subtlety Thai with Ginger Flower, Lemon and Kaffir Lime Leaves added.
If there is a star dish, it would be the Slow-cooked Wagyu Beef Cheek with Cumin powder in Black Truffle Sauce – firm yet tender to the fork, with a robust taste on every bite. Quite magical.
The other two dishes I tried were classic examples on how two (or more cultures) could be found on the same plate.
There was the Duo combination platter: Baby Abalone with Sichuan “Ma La” Sauce, Wok-fried Crispy Duck press confit and Yam served with Mushroom Sauce; and Braised Flat Rice Noodle with Prawn in Black Bean Sauce & Wok-fried Japanese Pearl Rice with Squid Ink in XO Chilli Sauce accompanied with Seared Hokkaido Scallop.
Every individual item actually worked fine on its own, but I wondered about the synergy in taste when they are placed together, like the two bowls of carb – one tasting like zhi char hor fun, the other fusion Western-Chinese-Japanese.
I would use “interesting” and “varied” to describe most of the dishes. And I must say a restaurant with an interior of high ceilings, trunks and greenery could be reflective of the wife’s personality – elegant, understated, classy.
Restaurant Forest 森 has a distinctive “theatre kitchen”, and you may just catch our local celebrity chefs creating your dinner in full view. Speak to them if you have the opportunity.
Equarius Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa
8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island (Harbourfront MRT)
Tel: +65 65776688
Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 2:30pm,
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:00pm (Mon – Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Wed