Having tried many of the other restaurants in this stretch of shophouses along Greenwood Avenue, we finally had dinner at the one with the unusual name of Shelter in the Woods. From the name and the outlook of this place, it is quite hard to figure out what to expect, so we stepped into the restaurant with no expectations at all.
The interior of the restaurant was not what we had expected. We had a mental image of a cozy, cute Snow White type of cottage decor to match the name. The actual decor was quite different. Yes, there were references to the woods in the form of the forest wall feature and the mock fireplace. But bare concrete floors and banks of wine cellars did not seem to gel with the theme. Anyway, enough of the decor – we were there to eat, not to discuss interior design.
The menu looked promising. We checked with a waiter about the Seafood Casserole ($39) which had the comment “to share” on the menu. He confirmed that it was a large dish to be shared by two but suggested we ordered a starter to eat while waiting as the cooking can take some time. We decided on a Shelter Quiche ($14.50). The quiche arrived. It had a good taste of mushrooms and herbs and was enough to keep us going till the main course arrived.
Shortly after that the seafood casserole arrived. We were expecting a large portion enough to be shared by two. In fact it was a big pot but with contents hardly enough for one. One scallop, two prawns, small pieces of fish and some mussels and clams. There was not much broth, just enough to cover the base of the pot. To be fair, the taste was good. We checked with the waiter to see if we could order something else. We were gently persuaded not to, as it was getting late and cooking anything else would take some time. The only thing that could be prepared quickly was the rotisserie chicken and that was sold out. That left us with the dessert menu. We decided on the pear tart with ice-cream ($12). It was a well made tart – in fact the best dish of the day.
In the end it was not an enjoyable evening. Clearly the chef and those in the kitchen have the talent to create some delicious food but the dining experience was let down by the description in the menu and the service which were disappointing to say the least.
SHELTER IN THE WOODS
22 Greenwood Avenue
Open for dinner only. Closed on Tuesdays.