( T R E A T )
What may seem like a small shift is seismic at its soul. Born and bred in France, Executive @ChefDavidThien officially joined the @cornerhousesg earlier this year, taking over from true-blue Singaporean Chef Jason Tan who helped this iconic establishment secure a MICHELIN Star (the latter is due to open his own fine dining place soon).
To definitively put his own stamp on Corner House’s new menu, Chef David drew on his French heritage and life journey which includes the last twelve years spent working with Chefs of MICHELIN-starred restaurants in Singapore. I was very impressed by his French-Asian food, especially in terms of how he frames many familiar ingredients in ways quite novel to me. Just to be clear, I had made reservations to visit as a regular customer but at the end of the meal, was told my bill “was taken care of”, so thank you again Chef David for the surprise.
With housemade sourdough, squid ink-marbled “you tiao” (dough fritters) and curry brioche rubbing shoulders, the bread basket paved the way for the rest of the meal. The French-Asian theme was signed, stamped and delivered with the accompanying unsalted Bordier butter and an ingenious #Belachan butter.
Our lovely server presented every course well but I was glad she also left a card with additional information. Written in Chef’s own words, they provided extra context which made me appreciate his creations even more. And that’s how I learned of the rationale behind the exquisite snacks named “Spirit Of Singapore” which comprised of a pappadum cradling Sri Lankan crab, vadouvan spices and dhal aioli, a lettuce cup with Grass-fed Beef Tartare dressed in Thai herbs and a French-Malaysia/Singapore brioche sandwich featuring comte cheese and a strata of “otah” made with Obsiblue prawns, local mackerel.
Also, the reason why Chef David chose to elevate the humble Achards (pickled vegetables) into a stunning appetiser with Japanese hamachi, burrata and a granita made from the bracingly tart and spicy pickling juice.
The charming backstory to his “P’tit L’ail” was revealed on another card. An immensely tasty dish which seemed to be one with the verdant surroundings, it featured chives broth with “wok hei”-perfumed rice noodles, scallops and Carabinero prawns.
If it wasn’t for the explanation, Chef’s take on the carb course could have left me perplexed. I doubt beansprouts have ever played such a major part in a MICHELIN Star restaurant but in that petite bowl, it shone with the company of Hokkaido uni, uni sauce, Parmesan and lemon.
Learning the reason for “Wagyu 2-Ways” brought forth a chuckle. And I must say, both of Chef David’s Japanese-influenced beef dishes sparked great joy in me. While the first, a contemporary take on Sukiyaki boasted silky A4 Wagyu and morel mushrooms, the second, a Wagyu Tartare Ochazuke with toasted furikake, was the gastronomic equivalent of a cuddle.
Rounding off lunch was a palate cleanser where herbaceous fruitiness ruled and dessert was the popular Mont Blanc, tackled through deconstruct with gently sweet Azuki red beans replacing the classic chestnut. But surprises lay in store. I shan’t spoil it for you as you ought to experience it yourself.
The meal ended with petit fours so gorgeous I felt a twinge of guilt eating them but of course I did. And they were fabulous.

Chef David will launch a Chef’s Tasting Menu soon enough but for now, lunch is available in 3 / 5 / 7-course Omakase-style options ($78 / $148 / $218) while dinner is offered in 5 / 7 courses ($168 / $218). For a point of reference, I had picked the 5-course.