For those who are familiar with the former SHATEC Training Restaurant such as Recipe and Petals, previously located at The Treasury building, it has since shifted to the ground of SG Enabling Village, Academy block and was renamed The Sapling. It is certainly not as convenient as the former location. It has limited bus route serving the place, even though the bus stop is right in front of the premise. The consolation is diners could reach in about 5 minutes by foot from the Redhill MRT station.
The objective of setting up The Sapling was to provide the students an opportunity to have hands-on training, as SHATEC believes that that is the most important aspect to develop the students’ skill.
The ambience at The Sapling is a total contrast to its previous 2 concepts. Currently, it adopted a casual dinning ambience, similar to a cafe atmosphere. But the students were in formal uniform and the dinning table settings mimicked fine dinning. I certainly felt wierd. Anyway.
We were given a tour of the premise; introducing to us the kitchen where the students worked at. Each section was led by a Chef to mentor and supervise the students. In case you are worried about the quality, fret not, the Chef are there to QC the food before they are served.
At The Sapling, there is a Lunch Menu named Power Lunch. It is with 10 Signature Mains, 7 Finger Food and 2 Signature Desserts while the Dinner Menu presented 5 Mains selection not found at Lunch. The Sapling has also come up with a Kids’ Menu to satisfy the kid desire of fried food and pasta. Lastly, there is a Saturday High Tea Buffet at The Sapling too.
We started our dinner with 2 Finger Food which are served during Lunch. There are 7 selections in total under Finger Food.
I went after the Sweet Potato Fries With Plum Powder ($6) first. Chunky sweet potato fries as such I could savour the sweet potato itself. And the plum powder was in a good amount which did not overwhelm the fries. A pity, we felt that it was a little soggy. Perhaps we have taken a little too long to capture our desired food photo before landing it in our mouth.
Immediately after the fries, I dived into the Chicken Wings With Rock Honey Sauce ($7). Who could resist such a crowd pleaser? At least, I couldn’t. The Chicken Wings were heavenly; succulent with the perfect amount of Rock Honey Sauce coated on the wings resulting in the maximum flavour. Though I suspect some may lament that it is too sweet.
For Mains, we tried the 2 dishes from the Dinner Menu. The Braised Beef Cheek ($19.90) was first served. The beef was soft, tender and melt in the mouth as it was braised for 4 hours. Basil and garlic grust was dusted on top of the beef. It was sat on a bed of homemade Potato Puree in Beef Jus. Though personally and one other diner, we felt the beef was a little too gamy for our palate.
The Second Main we tried was the BBQ Cajun Spring Chicken, Half Portion ($17.90). Likewise the Spring Chicken marinated with cajun spice was cooked for 4 hours and glazed with Homemade Smokey BBQ Sauce before dishing it on the plate and served with Homemade Potato Puree and Petit Salad. All at our table felt that the chicken was a little too dry. The natural juice from the chicken were lost. And it was a little too bland.
Dinner was ended with 2 sweet notes. First the Apple Tarte Feuilletee and Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream ($8.80). The puff pastry was buttery in flavour but was a little dry so were the apple slices. It was a consolation that the Apple Tart was served with the ice cream and vanilla sauce to add on some moist.
The last dish of the day was the very well received Verrine Criollo ($8.80). All diners at our table were singing praises about this rich chocolate flavoured dessert. The Verrine Criollo is a jar of Grand Cru Chocolate Cream contrasted with Salted Butter Caramel and a crunch of Frozen Macadamia Parfait and Crumbles for an additional texture.
Though it may be students who are cooking up the storm in the kitchen of The Sapling, and students serving diners in the restaurant, don’t belittle or being skeptical about it. The eperience of that evening was positive and warm. They were extremely professional.
NAHMJ would encourage all readers to support The Sapling so as to provide the students with more learning opportunities.
20 Lengkok Bahru, Enabling Village, Academy Block, #01-17, Singapore 159053
Tel: +65 6472 0933
Monday – Friday 1100 to 2200; Saturday 0800 to 2200; Closed on Sundays
- East-West line – Redhill station
- alight at Blk 55 or Bt Merah Skills Dev Str along Lengkok Bahru Road 139
Disclaimer: This was a media invite by Affluence PR and hosted by The Sapling.