Sep 2017 update: For my latest review on Citrus By The Pool, check out this post and see what’s new on the menu.
I come to Woodlands quite often but have never ventured beyond Causeway Point and Woodlands Civic Centre. Even when looking out for food options, I tend to only confine my search within the mall which is just getting a little boring.
Recently, I was invited to a food tasting session at Citrus By The Pool and I jumped at the opportunity to finally explore the neighbourhood.
To get there via public transport, you can:
1) alight at Marsiling MRT station and walk along Woodlands Ave 3 then turn left to Woodlands St 12. (approx. 15-min walk) OR
2) alight at Woodlands MRT station and take bus 911 from Woodlands Bus Interchange then drop off at the bus stop opposite Blk 101 OR
3) alight at Woodlands MRT station and walk across the open field towards the direction of Blk 101 and turn into Woodlands St 12. (approx. 15-min walk)
Initially, I had thought I would be coming to a humble canteen within the premises of the swimming complex but obviously it was more than that.
Citrus By The Pool is a halal-certified casual dining cafe and restaurant that serves up western cuisine (some with a fusion twist), Asian delights and sweet treats. All prices here are NETT with no GST or service charge – now that’s a bonus 😉
Let’s take a look at the menu:
Get the most bang for your buck here because every main course comes with a free can drink. Sweet. You can pick your choice from the different drinks available in the chiller fridge here and help yourself after you’ve placed order and made payment at the counter. The food will be sent to your table when ready.
We kicked off the meal with the Mushroom Soup (S$4.50) that was nothing like a canned soup.
This mushroom soup was made fresh from scratch. It tasted earthy with plenty of mushroom bits that gave a nice texture to it. I thought it was a little under-seasoned with salt but the flavour was immediately lifted with just a touch of pepper. It was thick and creamy but not overly rich so overall it was still quite light on the palates.
The Tom Yum Seafood Pasta (S$9.80) looked like laksa at first glance. The gravy was rich, thick and creamy like a robust curry but at the same time, there was tang to balance the flavours. The seafood consisted of clams, squids and a whole prawn on top. Generous portion but a pity the seafood were overcooked so they were slightly tough. On the other hand, the linguine was cooked to perfection. Peeps who don’t fancy spicy food might want to skip this dish because the spiciness somewhat crept in slowly which I didn’t mind as I thought it was quite shiok.
The Teriyaki Chicken with Tomato Pasta (S$9.80) came with a big and thick piece of juicy boneless chicken leg/thigh. Again, the linguine was cooked till al dente in this dish. I loved the extensive use of finely chopped garlic in this. This pasta was different from other tomato ones I had because the flavour of this was more balanced without being overly ‘tomatoey’ and the aroma of the dried herbs just added extra dimension to it. While the chicken was succulent and tasty, I couldn’t quite taste the distinctive flavour of any teriyaki sauce.
The Grilled Chicken Steak with Calamari, Salad and Home Fries (S$9.90) was just like the regular chicken chop meal. Boneless chicken leg/thigh was used and the meat remained moist and juicy. I didn’t appreciate the fried calamari which were out of a bag as they were rubbery but the well seasoned fries were nicely fried to a crisp while the interior was still somewhat fluffy.
For a moment I thought this looked like a duck confit. It wasn’t an overstatement to say this Grilled Free Range Chicken (S$12.80) was one of the best chicken mains I ever had. The chicken was first cooked sous vide and then grilled. The meat was so moist and tender and the outside skin was like a crispy crust with hardly any fats underneath. When paired with the citrus sauce, this was just moreish. Highly recommended dish!
And now moving on to the highlight of our meal which was also the reason why I was here for a food tasting.
Presenting the new dishes that would be launched today (4 Nov)…
The Citrus Ribeye Steak (S$18.90) was a 200g ribeye steak done medium well and served with potato wedges, seasonal vegetables and homemade Worcestershire sauce.
The steak was well seasoned and very flavoursome. While the outer edges were tender, it became more tough and chewy when I gradually got to the middle part. If not for that, this steak would have been flawless. The Worcestershire sauce lent a contrasting sharpness to the brown sauce which made it really tasty. I also enjoyed the accompanying vegetables that gave a good crunch.
And this was the star of the entire meal! The Citrus Cajun Lamb Rack (S$18.90) came with 3 thick lamb cutlets pan-fried with cajun spices and served with seasonal vegetables in a brown sauce.
Though the dish was a little heavy on salt, the lamb rack was just flavoursome. The meat was very tender, almost effortless to chew on. Even the fatty parts of the cutlets were equally enticing because the exterior was pan-fried till it achieved an aromatic crust. The taste of lamb was strong but not in a bad gamey way. The portion was very generous (very value-for-money too!) and the brown sauce was tasty. The mash was thick but very well seasoned. This lamb rack was simply impeccable. This is a must-order dish if you love lamb! Now that I’m writing this, my mouth is starting to salivate!
To end the meal, we had the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream (S$8.80) and I thought it was quite sweet to have my name on it. If you have any special request for different wordings to surprise that someone special, the folks at Citrus By The Pool will be most happy to customise for you. Now that’s what I call, service. 🙂
I don’t think a molten chocolate lava cake can go any wrong. Just look at that oozing lava. I loved the combination of the warm cake with the cold ice cream that really gave a soothing sensation. The chocolate lava wasn’t very sweet and it paired beautifully with the accompanying vanilla ice cream that was slightly on the saccharine side. Heavenly.
I’m really excited that I now have a new dining spot to go to next time I’m here in Woodlands. While some dishes fared better than others, I would say overall food quality was good for such friendly price tags. I highly recommend the lamb rack, grilled free range chicken, tom yum pasta and molten lava cake. Will I be back? A big, fat YES! 😉
Citrus By The Pool
3 Woodlands Street 12
3-3A Woodlands Swimming Complex
Tel: +65 6366 6581
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Citrusbythepool
11.00am to 11.00pm (Mon-Fri)
9.00am to 11.00pm (Sat-Sun)
Disclaimer: This was an invited food tasting session. All opinions expressed here are my own personal views.