Horizon Bistronomy: somewhere in the middle of no where

The latest addition to North Eastern dining on our sunny island is the Punggol Settlement. A dining collective of food and beverage establishments housed in a rebooted colonial settlement  that is set to charm the hearts of locals with its natural ambiance in cahoots with its natural surroundings of flora and fauna.

We were privileged enough to get a first hand look at the newly opened Horizon Bistronomy spearheaded by Chef Chris Fong who has received tutelage from renowned Bruno Menard and helmed his first bridgade at Anthesis at Roberston Quay. His vision to introduce fine food to the masses at affordable prices with no compromise on quality has now translated into a casual restaurant joint, Horizon Bistronomy, tucked away on the 2nd level of the Punggol Settlement.

Not being very familiar with the culinary scene in Punggol, I took to the opportunity like a fat kid to cake. We were first presented with the Homemade Bread Selection (mini brioche $2, mini walnut and raisin bread $2). For starters, these didn't quite meet the mark, the brioche yearning for a heavier touch of butter and the slightly raw doughy innards of the raisin bread quite unpalatable.

Appetisers got us revving with Chilled crab meat angel hair ($11.90), truffle angel hair topped with jumbo crab meat infused with chorizo oil finished with salmon roe. Reaching familiar grounds with its seasoning and flavor combination, I reckon this would be a hit both with the adults and the young ones. It's execution was spot on, serving temperatures accurate to highlight the delicacy of the dish and the salmon roe is kryptonite, lifting the dish and introducing fresh sea worthy flavors.

The Assorted tomatoes salad ($12.90) on the grand scheme of things was a very pleasant dish with classic flavors of tomatoes, red pesto and burrata arranged with skillful artistic flair on a plate. I relinquished in the fact that the bare minimal was done to showcase the provenance of the produce but wished for a slightly creamier burrata cheese.

Our selection of main courses from the tight menu, were first of all, the King of the sea ($22)
Miso infused torched king salmon and king prawn sided by a mound of vegetable ragout that added considerable layers of flavor complexity to the dish. The Achilles heel of this offering is definitely the overcooked salmon and prawn, the slight chalkiness of the finished product paling in comparison to the robust bouillabaisse type broth that had pooled at the bottom of the plate. 

I preferred the Horizon Pork 2 ways ($25), an affordable dish with an affable presentation that showcased 24 hrs slow braised pork belly and kurobuta pork tenderloin. The Pork tenderloin was cooked perfectly and went extremely well with the piquant grape mustard; the braised pork belly however could have benefited from more attention to detail, the unrendered layer of fats glistening on the top, slightly unappetising. For me, the weakest point on the plate is in the cauliflower puree that had acquired a murky grayish color tone from the roasting process. It's feeble flavors failing to comply with the stronger tasting protein. To make matters worse, the black pepper sauce as promised on the menu was non-existent.  

Desserts soothed quivering tongues, the Citrus White chocolate  mousse ($12) wining instant fans with its impressionable portion sizes. Here, white chocolate mousse and lemon curd is layered upon a pate sucree base. This is served with orange creme anglaise and a fastidious pile of white chocolate soil. In the grand scheme of things, this was an amazing assemblage of summery flavors with a right balance of citrus notes to pique the interest of the diners. 

The same can't be said about the Fig and Bacon Sabayon ($9.80), expectations were dashed with a limp piece of brown sugar crusted bacon. Past experiences with candied bacon have suggested that a longer time in the oven with a thick crust bacon and LOADS and LOADS of brown sugar would render a glistening caramelised crust and bak kwa like flavors; shame that this didn't deliver. The meagre fig that had been poached till meltingly soft but it wasn't exactly my idea of a compote; a name that suggests that it had been macerated or blitzed till pulp, I reckon with that in motion, the dessert had a better shot at success, the champagne sabayon calling out for a little bit of the matured sweetness from the figs with every bite. Novel idea but not so successful in execution.

The Gardens by the Bay ($14), a new dessert on the menu was aptly named so, taking riffs from the arduous amount of time spent constructing it. Structured like an edible garden, fresh strawberries and kiwis are layered with vanilla mousse on top of apple compote slow cooked in cranberry juice; finally the top soil of chocolate crumbs are strewed over the top and microherbs painstakingly grafted into place. To be honest, this dessert isn't worth it's waiting time, the overall creaminess resulting in jaded taste buds, However, I did like the chocolate soil, the slight tinge of salt elevating it's humble flavors.

Horizon Bistronomy as the new kid on the block for French inspired bistro fare in Singapore, does so in a mainstream style, churning out affordable hits of deliciousness. With a few readjustments to it's recipes, the little restaurant has a real potential to shine as a hidden romantic hot spot in secluded Punggol.

Horizon Bistronomy
3 Punggol Point Road
The Punggol Settlement
t: 6702 2855

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