Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au or www.pandoraandmax.blogspot.com
I'd read a review of the fantastic roast pork, and for a non-Asian restaurant to get such a rave in an Asian city, it was high on my list of places to go in Singapore.
Shelter in the Woods is referred to as a tavern on Greenwood Avenue (for tourists, it's a 20 minute taxi ride, about S$15, and it is well worth the trip!). We arrived to discover a wood focused interior, a welcoming yet sophisticated fit-out, and settled down to our table to try and decide what to order, as the menu is extremely appealing. It's a mix of simple country fare and French cuisine.
The kids chose the Country-Style Chicken with Onions, Bacon and Potatoes which they devoured with delight. They proceeded to eat our meals as well, so it's a good thing we over-ordered.
To share between three of us (but that turned into five of us), we ordered more than we needed to, but I was glad we did as it was all delicious!
The specialty of this restaurant is the Rotisserie, and trying to limit yourself on the main course is tough. We'd come specifically for the Crispy Skin Suckling Pig marinated with aromates, and let me tell you, we weren't disappointed. The pork was juicy and contrasted perfectly with the sensational crispness of the skin. It's perfection on a plate.
We also ordered Welsh Lamb Leg with tapenade olive purée and the Wagyu Beef Rump coated in garlic, thyme and crushed pepper. Both were tasty with marked different flavours yet juicy and cooked perfectly to medium rare.
All were served with a creamy mashed potato and gravy, made in that truly decadent French manner. The wooden plates were scraped clean by all at the table.
But I leave the best for last, and as one who is almost always disappointed in chicken dishes, trust me when I say this dish is amazing and should be top of your list when ordering (remember for a pork lover, that's a big call!). I have never in my life had a chicken so delightful as their Baby Poussin with special house-made Provençal spice mix. The bird is cooked to perfection - tender and succulent, and the flavours of the spices are aromatic and compliment the meat beyond my powers of description. Even the kids were a little floored by it, and knew they were eating something very special. It is an absolute must. We lamented not knowing and ordering the 1.5 Anxin chicken, that needs to be ordered 24 hours in advance...or at least not ordering 2 of the poussin for our group.
We topped it off with a salad, but perhaps for the more sensible, less meat dishes and a few more of the vegetable sides might be advisable. (We are not the kind to let sense get in the way of taste!)
The restaurant is understandably busy, so make a reservation - a few walk ins made it to eat at the bar seats, but many were turned away, and it will only get worse as their reputation grows.
The chef (and owner) David Thien is a master, and I believe hails from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon previously. The floor runs seamlessly in an unobtrusive manner, and there is not a thing I can fault in the experience. What I will say, is my silly little iPhone photos did no justice to capturing the ambiance or the great meal we had. So you'll just have to go and experience it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.