At the very top of PMQ lies The “new” Drawing Room, making a comeback after its two-year hiatus. Headed by Chef Gabriele Milani, TDR is aiming to become the “culinary art room of the city”. The spacious dining area doubles as an art gallery, showcasing a vast array of artwork from talented artists around the world. Foodwise, guests can choose between two tasting menus; the classic menu consisting of The Drawing Room’s signature dishes or the seasonal menu with more creative combinations.
Our visit to TDR was on a quiet Sunday evening. The restaurant was fairly empty, with only 4-5 tables of customers. For business this may be worrying but for us this was great. We were seated at a large table and pampered with attentive service.
The first thing that caught our eye on the table was the set of colouring pencils and paper. Paying homage to the restaurant name, TDR encourages their guests to get a little creative as well. Well renowned as “the Picasso of our age” (aka no one can interpret wtf I’m drawing), I quickly went to work on my masterpiece. My companions were a little more restrained, trying their best not to let their childhood innocence show, but eventually succumbed and joined in on the impromptu art contest after choosing their food.
After choosing our tasting courses for the night, we were quickly served with a selection of bread as well as our amuse bouche. The amuse bouche was a little bowl of diced peppers and mussels with potato foam on top. It was a bit like drinking a seafood chowder, except more airy and light.
My appetiser for the night was one from their seasonal menu, the pink shrimp were very fresh and marinated with a subtle hot and sour dressing. I am usually not a fan of the mushy texture of raw shrimp but this was nice and firm and actually quite pleasant. The avocado purée and green apple matchsticks further added to the flavours and textures of the dish.
My second course was back to the classic menu, going for the scallop and green pea soup. The scallop was seared beautifully and the bright green pea soup was deliciously sweet.
Next up was the pasta dish. The single small red prawn looked a bit lonely on the plate but was cooked perfectly, the pasta had a nice al dente texture but the sauce was a bit too salty for me. I also couldn’t taste the chilli at all, making the pasta quite one-dimensional in terms of flavour.
For my main I went with my favourite – beef. The tenderloin was cooked beautifully, with a nice crust on the outside and perfect pink in the centre. The ox tongue was very soft as well, but I personally prefer my ox tongue to have a bit of bite. Potato purée was very creamy as well. The magic of butter, butter and more butter.
For desserts the waiter recommended to try their signature brioche dessert. Brioche was well soaked with custard and had a delicious buttery flavour. Caramel on top was nice and crispy, and the vanilla ice cream was delicious.
Ending on another sweet note with the petit fours. Pineapple jelly, yuzu marshmallow, passion fruit macaron and white chocolate. Despite all the citrus fruits used, there was only really one flavour – sweet. After a very sweet dessert I didn’t really feel like more sweets, would’ve preferred some dark chocolate or something instead.
Overall I felt that the most of the dishes at TDR were well executed and cooked perfectly. However, I felt their “signature” dishes were a bit too conservative, with very traditional combinations of ingredients and flavours. This puts them at a slight disadvantage as there are simply countless restaurants out there that can do good beef and potatoes, prawn and tomato pasta etc. With a name such as The Drawing Room, I was hoping that their signature dishes would have more creativity and flair. Therefore my suggestion would be; if you are looking for very traditional dishes cooked well – go for the classic menu. If you want more interesting dishes, try out the seasonal menu.
The Drawing Room
Tel: 2156 0888
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 12:00-14:30; 19:00-22:30, Mon: Closed