Indian Pan-Asian Thai

Coriander Leaf

We have been fans of Coriander Leaf since its early days at Clarke Quay. Since then, its dishes have evolved at Chijmes to include Chef Samia’s modern and innovative take on classic Asian dishes from India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam dishes.

The dishes are small sharing plates presented under five distinct flavours: fresh, spicy, familiar, umami and sweet. What distinguishes it from many other Pan-Asian restaurants, is that there is not too much compromise on original authentic flavours. There is still a piquant “kick” to many of the dishes.


The restaurant, on the second floor of Chijmes, has several dining areas. Sadly, we walked through the attractive main dining room which has an open kitchen concept and an attractive bar area and counter dining, to our table in the cooking studios at the back. The latter was a bit lacking in atmosphere. It was reminiscent of an airport business class lounge complete with TV screen showing our departure timings (if only!).

The Food

We were provided with a complimentary starter of the ultimate Thai finger food: Miang Kham. A traditional snack from Thailand, introduced to the Siamese court of King Rama V by Princess Dara Rasmi of Chiang Mai (thank you Princess Dara Rasmi of Chiangmai!).

“Miang Kham” translates into a “one bite wrap” where a wild betel leaf is filled with an array of hot, sour, salty and sweet ingredients. This includes shallots, hot bird’s eye chilli, ginger, lime, roasted coconut, peanuts, dried shrimp and tamarind. These are then wrapped in a little parcel and popped into your mouth in a refreshing, hot, piquant bite. Historically, Miang Kham was part of a Thai welcome ritual, offered as a gesture of hospitality to visitors. Coriander Leaf’s Miang Kham was delicious and we were delighted to receive such an exotic starter.

Miang Kham - Coriander Leaf
Miang Kham

From the ‘Fresh’ menu we ordered three vegetarian dishes: Muhamarra, labne and pita chips ($16), Watermelon, mint, pomegranate and Turkish white cheese ($14) and Pomelo, watercress, roasted shallot chilli dressing, fresh herbs, peanuts ($15). The Labne (a thick and creamy yogurt dip), and the Muhamarra (a walnut and roasted red pepper dip) went very well with the crispy pita chips. The watermelon dish was tasty and extremely refreshing and the pomelo dish had good strong, appetising, Thai flavours.

Watermelon Feta Salad
Muhamarra, Labne and Pita Chips
Pomelo Salad

From the ‘Familiar’ menu we ordered an old familiar favourite of ours, Samia’s “signature frontier chicken” cooked with coriander seeds, chilli, yoghurt cream, arugula and lemon ($22). Alas, it appeared to have been cooked differently to a new, non-familiar, recipe. Not sure what happened there but we definitely preferred the previous version. It was accompanied by delicious garlic naan ($6 each).

Signature frontier chicken

From the Umami menu, we ordered crispy duck mandarin pancake with hoisin sauce ($18) and roast duck red curry with lychee, tamarind, fresh green peppercorn and coconut milk ($26). Both duck dishes were very well cooked and the duck was tasty and of good quality. The Thai curry was a bit on the sweet side for our taste, often the case even in Thailand, but was delicious nonetheless. We also ordered crispy whitebait which was very well cooked in a light salt and pepper batter.

Crispy duck mandarin pancake with hoisin sauce
Crispy whitebait
Roast duck red curry

There were many other dishes we would have loved to try but we were getting full at this point and decided instead to order a dessert sampler platter of three desserts:

Ice cream sandwiches, rose pavlova with alphonso mango sorbet and avocado ice cream with fried banana fritters. All were amazing and disappeared within seconds (though we were complaining of being too full minutes earlier).

Ice cream sandwiches, rose pavlova with alphonso mango sorbet and avocado ice cream with fried banana fritters

Drinks: The restaurant also has a good bar with an extensive range of wines and interesting Asian cocktails to complement the food.

Wine by the glass from $15; bottles from $78 and Cocktails from $18

Overall: The best thing about Coriander Leaf is the variety of dishes and its strong, non-compromising interpretation of ingredients and flavours. There are also lots of vegetarian options available. Would recommend sitting in the main dining room for the best ambience

Favourite Dish: I loved the watermelon feta salad!

Price: $$$

Asian French Fusion Set Dinner

The Masses Restaurant Review

The Masses, at 85 Beach Road, describes itself as a Franco-Asian restaurant that serves food that Monsieur, Mademoiselle and Ah Ma would love. 

What we like most about it is that it has an innovative menu that changes fairly frequently. Other than a few popular staples, there are always new exciting dishes to try! The vibe is casual, with lots of posters, good music in the background (well, good for us 80s music-loving people anyway) and even French-style seating outside on the sidewalk to cater for the evening crowd. Picture the sidewalks of Paris whilst ignoring traffic and the building works along Beach Road. 

The ‘Chef’ Menu

Our group were all quite ravenous on the evening we visited, so we each ordered the ‘Chef Menu’ (only available at dinner) which is priced at $65. 

This started with homemade bread which included brioche and a very good sourdough, accompanied by umami butter, caramel kaya, truffle butter and miso butter.  The bread was good and the spreads were interesting and tasty.

This was followed by a one-bite snack: a choice of either one oyster or one kueh pie tee.  The oyster was really fresh, juicy and ours came with a traditional dressing (there was a choice of two dressings), and the kueh pie tee, served on a bed of roasted rice, was delicious too – filled with juicy sweet crabmeat.  Both snacks were small and appetising and a good start to the meal. 

Kueh Pie Tee


After the snack, there is a choice of one of three starters: Foie Gras, Escargot or Char Siew Lamb Rib. This was a difficult choice to make as everything appealed to us so we each chose one of each.  It was the first time we had tried the foie gras. It was cooked with cocoa nibs, spice and cherries which perfectly complemented the rich taste of the foie gras. This dish is one that we would definitely order again. 

spice and cherries which perfectly complemented the rich taste of the foie gras”

Chef Dylan is good in his combination of East-West flavours and this is evident in the excellent char siew lamb rib – another of the long-lasting items on the menu and obviously a favourite with the diners.  We have tried this on previous occasions and it was again cooked to perfection, falling off the bone and not overly fatty, which lamb rib can be. It was served with a delicious lebanese-style mint labneh ( a thick yoghurt).  

In addition, the final starter – the escargot, was new on the menu. There was a generous portion of escargot, beautifully presented with chanterelles on a hot plate and topped with a parmesan puff pastry. It was delicious, but a bit too rich and filling for us, as we are more accustomed to the traditional serving of escargot with garlic butter.

Escargot with puff pastry

Our mains

Of the four mains available, we chose the Dover Sole Meuniere and the Galician Striploin.  The other mains were pork chop, and croquelet, which we did not try. 

The dover sole was quite small, much smaller than the usual ones we see in England, but it was sweet and tasty, and deliciously served with clams, citrus fruit and capers. It is served on the bone, for those of you who don’t like fish on the bone, beware, as it is quite bony, but that was fine with us.  Would we order this again? The majority of our group (i.e. all but the one who does not like fish on the bone) said yes – as it was light but very tasty, and the bread, snack and starters had already started to fill us up.

Dover Sole Meuniere

The striploin was quite tough and, for that reason, not to everyone’s liking.  It was again served with a perfect complement of savoy cabbage, bone marrow, truffle rice, winter truffles and pickles.  However, the meat, though tough, was very tasty and was topped with a delicious scallion yorkshire pudding (not sure why, perhaps it was missing from someone’s croquelet where its rightful place should have been but we’re not complaining).  The verdict? Half of the group would order it again (the ones with stronger jaws) as it was really tasty, and the other half (wimps with weak jaws / blunt teeth) said that they wouldn’t. 

Galician Striploin


We were all really full by the dessert course, and most of us opted for the lychee martini popsicles. These were a delight to have – refreshing and a perfect end to the meal. It was presented as a beautiful little ice lolly, made with vodka and topped with lychees and fresh flowers.  In addition to this, one of our group had the valrhona chocolate mousse and mint ice cream which was also delicious. It was a heavier dessert, for those who still had space in their stomachs by the dessert course.

Lychee Martini Popsicle
Valrhona Chocolate Mousse and mint ice cream

Chef Dylan grew up in a family of hawkers, and trained in European cooking. His creativity in his dishes is evident, and the price of his food is very reasonable considering the seasonal ingredients and creative cooking techniques being used.  His combination of European and Asian flavours really works for us, and we would highly recommend a visit to his restaurant.

There are also wine pairing options for the Chef Menu for $34, and a choice of interesting raw wines and cocktails.

Our favourites

Other dishes we would recommend are the C&C&C&C pasta (crabmeat, chorizo, caviar, confit lemon and lobster sauce), zucchini flowers filled with cream cheese and mascarpone, purple cabbage (with scallop and ikura dashi and prawn head butter) and the duck confit served with wok-hey kuay teow.  We will need to visit another time to try other interesting sounding dishes like the jerusalem artichoke, vichyssoise and pork pithivier.

There are also two set lunch menus priced at $33.90 and $45.90 if you don’t have time for a long, leisurely dinner.

Overall: The service is always great at The Masses and the menu is constantly changing which means we are always coming back to try new dishes!

Favourite dish: The lamb rib! (But I normally love the non-set-menu C&C&C&C pasta!)

Price : $$

*Our meal was $65 pp for the dinner set lunch and there are also two set lunch menus priced at $33.90 and $45.90.