Pollen is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay. The ground floor is a fine dining area where Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton’s modern European cuisine is served. On the upper level is Pollen Terrace which offers an all day bistro menu, afternoon tea and cocktails in a Mediterranean garden setting in the midst of lush greenery and beautiful flowers. It is really cool – it is like al fesco dining at sub 20 degree Celsius temperature.
We visited the Gardens by the Bay with a guest and decided to go to Pollen for lunch. It was a Sunday and the place was full. We were told that we would have to wait for another hour for the next seating. The greeter kindly suggested that we could have a light lunch at the Pollen Terrace instead. We were shown to a lift which took us to the second level right inside the Flower Dome. We did not realise that all guests of Pollen enjoy complimentary access to the Flower Dome.
Pollen Terrace has a fairly basic menu. There are a number of light snack items, 3 dessert items and 3 more substantial dishes – pasta, fish and beef. We ordered a bruschetta ($18) to start and the Linguini Carbonara ($25) and Seared Swordfish ($38).
The bruschetta came attractively presented on a wooden board. The porcelain white Buffalo Mozzarella on top of the tomatoes sitting on the squares of focaccia bread made a nice picture. The toasted bread was flavourful and the Mozzarella cheese was light and smooth. The contrasting textures and complex combination of tastes made the simple bruschetta quite enjoyable.
We had to wait quite a while for the mains to come. Iced water was served on request. The linguini came in a portion which was smaller than expected. On its own, it would probably not be sufficient for a complete lunch for an average person. The pasta had a nice firm texture and was lightly coated with a smooth and delicious sauce. The swordfish had a tomato based sauce which was well simmered with olives and capers. The rather large piece of seared fish had a tender meaty texture. The fish had a mild flavour and was slightly sweet and was enjoyable on its own. The sauce added a different dimension to the dish.
On the whole, we enjoyed our lunch at Pollen Terrace. The food was good and the experience of having a meal in a beautiful garden terrace with the temperate climate of the Flower Dome was great. In the evening the place should be enchanting. It is a pity that the Terrace Menu is rather limited and the prices are a fair bit high. They have an afternoon tea set for $38. We also saw a sign promoting the Terrace Special available till 3 pm, where you get a slice of the Cake of the Day and a cup of coffee or tea for $16. Considering that the normal entrance fee for the Flower Dome is $12, the Terrace Special may be a great deal if you want complimentary access to the Flower Dome.
Pollen Terrace (Renamed Fennel Cafe)
Level 2, Flower Dome
Gardens By The Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-09
Tel : +65 6604 9988
Opening Hours : 12pm to 9pm
Nearby Stations : Bayfront