Last Updated: February 17, 2015
Nestled away in the 5th floor of the Marriott Hotel lies Pool Grill, a trendy, resort-style al fresco dining bar/restaurant settled next to an idyllic poolside to match. A quiet moment is hard to grasp in this bustling city, much less at the heart of Orchard Road itself. This hidden gem at Marriott Hotel provides a breath of fresh air with its relaxing vibe, allowing us to temporarily set our inhibitions aside for a round of food and drinks.
We were fortunate to be able to try their newly launched Italian Business Set Lunch ($33.00++) for the first week of February at the Pool Grill. However, with a ever changing set lunch menu for each week, you’ll never run out of choices for a delectable yet value-for-money corporate lunch.
This inviting Italian gastronomy combines the talents of chefs Christian Frigo and Daniele Trivero, who want to bring a slice of Italy to Singapore using the best available local produce.
Service was pretty attentive at Marriott Pool Grill in my opinion, and our cutlery were changed with every dish. Staff were polite and well-mannered, inconspicuously topping up our drinks without intruding on conversations.
The Set Lunch comes with a choice of 1 starter, 1 main and 1 dessert, including a free flow of ice teas (peach, lychee, lemon) & hot beverages.
Along with the set lunch, we also had the opportunity to try their speciality. Marriott’s Pool Grill Caesar Salad ($19 ++), prepared alongside your table for the whole al fresco experience. Choose to add either grilled chicken breast, smoked salmon or grilled prawns.
Their special Caesar Salad is prepared from scratch (including the dressing), a blend of black and white anchovies, Olive oil and Worcestershire sauce, mixed with Romaine lettuce, Parmesan, boiled egg whites and yolk, bacon and croutons.
Personally, the blend was a tad bordering towards the fishy side because of all the anchovies mashed into the salad dressing. However, with generous and fresh servings of seafood and vegetables, it was worth the experience.
We then proceeded to start off the lunch set.
Starting with the Cacciucco (Ligurian style seafood broth with garlic croutons), it was a pretty pleasant entree for the mains ahead. Even though on that particular day, the squid was not as tender as I would prefer it to be, it was compensated by the thick yet soupy broth, laden with a strong but not overpowering tomato base.
Another choice on the menu was the Beef carpaccio, topped with parmesan cheese relish and baby greens. The fatty beef was sufficiently finely sliced and full of flavour without being too overpowered by rawness, as well as melt-in-your mouth goodness. To top it off, you can never go wrong with a traditional pairing with olive oil and parmesan cheese.
As for main course options, the bread crusted lamb loin, paired with mint, eggplant caviar, balsamic and honey sauce sat well with my palate. Initially, I was afraid that the lamb might be too rich and overpowering, but instead, it proved to be a refreshing and enjoyable dish.
An ingenious blend concocted with honeyed eggplant caviar, its subtle sweetness brought out the tenderness of the lamb loin perfectly. Paired with the usual mint sauce, this managed to achieve the delicate balance needed for a lamb dish to be well received.
Also served as an alternate main, the Sea bass (“acquapazza” style) was served with potato cream and gnocco fritto. Even though I would have preferred it more if the poached sea bass had held the taste of its light broth better, it still deserves a pat on the back for its fresh and succulent meat. Definitely a light and pleasant dish that you might want to try out, which is definitely very healthy.
For desserts, we had a soft panna cotta, complete with chocolate crumble and strawberry compote. If you have a sweet tooth, this would definitely be one for you! The chocolate crumble adds a otherwise firm bite to the soft but sweet panna cotta, and the strawberries are added for a refreshing twist.
You can also choose a healthier dessert option, which is the Fresh fruit plate, offering a pleasing cleanse to one’s palate after the 3-course meal.
Overall, I had a gratifying experience over at Marriott’s Pool Grill alongside its well-received yet affordable set lunch menu ($33++ per person) and a stellar ambience to boot. Definitely the place to go for a casual business lunch amidst the bustling city.
Expected Damage: $38 -$50 per pax