Private fine-dining review: Subrosa at 369 Jln Besar, Singapore 208997

Subrosa means "under the rose", which is an idiom to mean confidentiality. That is the inspiration for this private dining restaurant on Jalan Besar. I was there to try out some of their dishes some weeks ago and was rather conflicted after the meal due to the odd pairing of the dishes and the seemingly high price tag in comparison to the dining experience (it didn't feel super high end at level 1, but there's level 2 that I didn't see). 

It could be because we were doing a tasting and thus it wasn't very private and the dishes came from different courses. Regardless, the people I spoke with after had decent impressions of the place and it could be one of those where you need to take a chance with, if opportunity presents itself.

For a five-course menu, lunch is S$108 and dinner is S$128 while the seven-course menu is S$148 and S$168 respectively. While hefty, you're also paying for lobster, crab, foie gras, wagyu, fresh farm-to-table herbs and veggies. So the ingredients themselves would make up for it already.

The list below is what we had for the night!  The executive chef is Steven Snowdon, who has cooked in Michelin restaurants in London and also the British Royal Family! He came by personally throughout the night to explain the dishes and was very kind to do so.

Love the truffle butter, but I was holding myself from having too much of it with the bread in light of the dishes later!

The first course of Fresh is Best with scallops and fermented melon was light and clean tasting, though I wish the ikura was a little bit more juicy. The scallops themselves were a little flat too (though not stale!)

One of my favourite of the night was the The Cocktail which was made with crab pieces, aerated shrimp and bloody mary infused tomatoes. I like the deconstructing of a typical Shrimp Cocktail into something that is different yet familiar. 

Also another favourite - the Quaking Cod That with charcoal cod, nori, ginger and duck consomme. The fish was really fatty and tender, which paired well with the textures of the nori and ginger. The duck consomme too was wholesome and not too gamey. 

Then came a palate cleanser, which was a citrus sorbet, before we moved on. Appreciated that. 

The next dish came totally from the left field but is apparently a signature at Subrosa by consulting Chef Francis Lee. It's called Remember Mee - which is basically Hokkien Mee with lobster. Now it was a good dish of Hokkien Mee and the lobster meat was sweet and fresh don't get me wrong. But it felt completely out of place in the line up so far. 

The last savoury dish was called - Who Niu - which was the wagyu with foie gras pairing. Again this, I thought was pretty strange after the Hokkien Mee. The dish itself was great with the buttery soft wagyu and the tiny piece of meat butter, but for some reason my brain and stomach were not comprehending. 

We then ended with a dessert called the Tropical Passion, consisting of coconut, mango, lime and passionfruit with some chocolate shaving. I liked it, though once again am not sure if this really would justify the price tag despite how pretty it looks. 

So there you go! My confused review of what is under the rose. Despite me not getting it, you can see from the premium ingredients and the photos of the food that it is quite an innovative and exclusive experience for those looking for that private dining restaurant for a romantic night out. So give it a try if you are sick of stuffy French or Italian cuisine and have a go at this local + European fusion restaurant.

369 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208997
Daily 11am to 12am
Reservations on or call +65 6610 0555

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