There is something about food being cooked in wood fire that imparts that smoky and aromatic flavour to the dishes, sometimes with gorgeous browning.
As the name implies, “Ash & Elm” at InterContinental Singapore is about “burning wood-fire and glowing embers”.
The vibrant restaurant features three culinary theatres – a charcuterie and cheese room; a wood-fired oven; and an open charcoal grill kitchen where its mouth-watering signatures are created.
Helmed by Executive Chef Eric Neo, Ash & Elm’s revamped ala carte menu features smouldering signatures using Jarrah hardwood in their wood-fired oven.
Accordingly, this special Jarrah hardwood helps achieves an ideal cooking temperature, give off more consistent heat as they burn, leaves little ash behind, and is environmentally sustainable.
With many dishes emphasising on quality produce and premium ingredients sourced from around the world, available dining options here include Lunch Sets (from $28++ for two-course menu), Ala Carte Dinner, and Weekend Brunch.
There is a newly launched à la carte dinner menu, with hearty highlights including Triple Tomahawk (a three rib, 5kg Australian Angus grilled with Manuka Wood), Spanish Duroc White Pork Ribs, Golden Cauliflower Florets, Vegetarian Pizza, and wood-fired Burnt Cheese Cake.
The Ring of Cheese ($50, serves 4)
An ambrosial appetiser combining the comforting warmth of oven-baked bread and the blissful flavour of camembert cheese.
Large enough for 4 to 5 diners, this round bread is made from brioche dough.
Underneath the honeycomb-topped braided crust is a soft, fluffy and buttery crumb with a slightly sweet taste.
A soft and delicate pool of camembert fills the centre, adding earthy flavours with hints of spicy and mushroom notes.
Cut the bread open and the velvety cheese would flow out slowly like lava. Take some of the fluffy bread, give the soft cheese a further dip, and be in bliss.
My favourite part was the gooey, drippy honeycomb at the top, making a great-sweet partner with the luscious cheese for maximum flavour potential.
Just as you think you are done, there are more dips of honeycomb, tapenade, truffle paste, and sea salt for you to try out different flavour combinations.
Camembert + honeycomb + truffle with wood-fired bread? Bring it on.
German Pork Knuckle Flatbread ($27)
From the Jarrah Wood-Fried Oven comes a selection of handcrafted flatbreads made from in-house sourdough topped with premium meats and vegetables.
All flatbreads are handcrafted on a sourdough base, made fresh and fired upon order – thin and chewy with crusty edges.
Top billing the list is German Pork Knuckle Flatbread featuring sun-dried tomatoes, red cabbage sauerkraut, mozzarella di Bufala, with a base homemade barbecue sauce, and further drizzled with garlic aioli.
I liked that there was a combination of sweet-salty-pickled flavours in a single bite, along with light creaminess coming from the aioli.
If you need more choices, other flatbreads to order include Seven Spices Moroccan Lamb ($28), Alsace Flammekueche ($28) which is smoked bacon with white onions and crème fraiche, Wild Forest Mushroom & Truffle ($26), Spanish Chorizo ($26), and Classic Margherita ($$22).
Smoky Copper Pot ($30)
As dramatic as it can be, this “Smoky Copper Pot” features a Spanish octopus prepared, cooked and served in a unique process.
This seafood dish starts with a 24-26 hours sous-vide process to tenderise the octopus leg, then finished off in the Jarrah wood-fired oven.
Once cooked, it is torched and hay-smoked in a copper pot to create alluring aromas.
After which, the leg would be drizzled with squid ink and saffron fumet that add floral and musky notes. Served with roasted piquillo peppers for a touch of sweetness.
The thing about octopus leg is that it can be a hit or miss. This turned out to be delicately-tender with a chewy yet not overly-soft bite, also just slightly charred on the edges.
Tomahawk (1.5kg single rib for $180, 5kg triple ribs for $480)
Highly recommended is the house-special Tomahawk steak using a 300-day grain-fed Australian Angus Beef.
Available as a single rib (1.5 kg, serves 2) or triple ribs (5 kg, serves 5), this meat-lover fantasy is prepared in charcoal grill with Manuka wood. Compared to most smoking hardwoods, Manuka wood produces a heavy smoke with a hint of sweetness.
The Angus beef’s rich flavours and sheer succulence is complemented with roasted vine-ripened tomatoes, roasted peppers, and confit garlic.
Choose from three kinds of sauces – Natural Jus, Black Peppercorn, and Bernaise – to dip the steak slices into with extra flavours.
Do note that one day advance pre-order is required for the Tomahawk.
Flaming Strawberry ($22)
Cap off the evening with a theatrical flaming dessert, a signature Fuego dish featuring an exquisite strawberry shortcake and a Japanese cotton sponge as base.
A mildly sweet and creamy Madagascar vanilla mousse is added, along with strawberry sherbet and pink champagne jelly.
Served with cone-shaped paper burnt before your eyes to reveal this exciting dainty-coloured dessert.
If you have space for other desserts, do consider the other interesting choices of Raspberry Souffle ($22), Burnt Cheese Cake with popping candy and grapefruit orange sherbet ($22), and Lava Rava Chocolate Sugee ($18).
Ash & Elm Weekend Brunch
Ash & Elm also offers a Weekend Champagne Brunch set featuring a fusion menu of delights from the East and West. Available every weekend from 12:30pm to 3:00pm.
Representative of the ancient Silk Road trade route, expect dishes such as Prawn Paste Brazilian Spring Chicken and Char Siew Duroc Batalle-Spanish Pork.
Classic highlights include fresh seafood, a charcuterie selection, signature meats from the Charcoal Grill and fresh pastries.
$88++ per person
$138++ per person with unlimited Taittinger Brut Champagne.
Top up $188++ for a 3 litres bottle of Astoria Lounge Fashion Victim Rose Sparkling.
Ash & Elm
Level 1, InterContinental® Singapore 80 Middle Road Singapore 188966
Tel: +65 6825 1008
Opening Hours: Breakfast 7am – 10:30am, Lunch 12pm – 2:30pm, Brunch 12:30pm – 3pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Reservations Online: https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/intercontinental-ash-and-elm/reserve
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with InterContinental Singapore.