Lunch review: Special Local Edition Lunch Menu at Alma by Juan Amador restaurant, 22 Scotts Rd Singapore

Friends of mine will know that I am very much supportive and into sustainability, especially when it comes to sustainable food. Hence I was very much pleased when I was invited to try out the special local edition menu at one-Michelin starred (congrats, again!) Alma by Juan Amador beside Goodwood Park Hotel. This modern European restaurant has always been one of the stalwarts of the local fine dining scene but I never got around to trying it out and what better way to be inducted than with a local sustainable lunch? The restaurant has that easy, relaxed vibe as well which I like. 

Here's the menu, which is only available for lunch and has been extended till 3 November (this Wednesday)! There's also a vegetarian option (refer to the website). They have collaborated with Backyard Productions on the menu, which included getting some locally grown greens from them. It's great that we are eating stuff grown closer to home - smallest carbon footprint AND supports the local economy. 

Started with a couple of snacks which was terrific. The Red Snapper had a salted egg foam while the smoked barramundi had a crunch with the tempura-ed kale. 

There's also this. I knew I was having a 5-course lunch, but I couldn't help but finish BOTH potato buns which came warm and soft, like a friendly hug. The peppered butter was also so sinfully good slathered over the buns. 

We started properly with this 28 types of greens called My Singapura Garden. The salad was pretty to look at and even more deliciously when all the different plants had their own bitter/leafy take that was complemented by a hidden layer of tomato jelly underneath. Apparently the greens are plucked from Packet Greens, MEOD, Archisen, Livfresh and Hydro Urban.

Next, the incredibly photogenic Threadfin. It's actually a ceviche of tiny cubed fish cured in citrus salt, with dollops of sour plum cream swimming in a seafood broth. This made a strong impression on my tastebuds and woke me up for sure, for the next course!

Which was this gigantic trio of Frog Legs in crispy garlic and balsamic batter with chilli padi and mala. Not overly spiced and in fact, looked and tasted like Korean fried chicken except much juicier with the frog legs! Seriously.. if only frog legs are more readily available outside of the typical porridge. This was probably my favourite so far. 

But the Quail held its own too. All these non-chicken but like chicken protein making a splash! The quail's stuffed with glutinous rice, and roasted well. The hearty taste from the rice and use of Asian flavouring just makes this very palatable to my tastebuds for some reason. And I suspect, for the locals too! This was a great recommendation by the waitstaff when I was asked to choose between the pearl garoupa (which is technically challenging as a dish) and this, since I already had fish earlier. 

Lastly, I didn't expect much but this Goat's Milk custard dessert blew me away as well with how delicate tasting it was without a strong goaty taste in the milk. The slightly funky edge was mellowed with the basil sauce and the lemongrass granita with the tiny cherry tomatoes. 

I ended this superbly satisfying lunch with their signature Gula Jawa Canelé. Which apparently can be bought in 10s (pre-order, delivery). It's so good too and underrated! Caneles are really one of those hard-to-do dessert items if you compare the effort to bake them compared to like making a creme brulee, for exmaple. So kudos to chef, and for incorporating our region's gula. 

I was genuinely very impressed with this 5-course menu which managed to be 80% local and sustainable by sourcing greens and proteins from our local producers. The dishes were executed with a sensibility to showcase the ingredients AND represent our local flavours, while retaining elements of surprise and fun in the sophisticated cooking methods. Hats off. I would 100% recommend anyone who is looking for a treat in November to book this lunch within the next 3 days! 

Alma by Juan Amador
22 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228221 (beside Goodwood Park Hotel)
Lunch Tuesdays to Saturdays 12–2pm
Dinner Mondays to Saturdays 6–9:30pm
Closed on Sundays
Reserve on or or call 67359937

Thanks Yong Chuen and Alma for the invite!

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