Fine Dining I Favour

Fine Dining I Favour

When you feel like spoiling yourself, these are great places to try.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

(Media Tasting) Singapore’s only underwater fine dining destination - @oceanrestaurantrws, has just reopened with a refreshed look. And a new Chef Patron who hails from Brittany, France: Chef @olivier_bellin who is also the chef-owner of two Michelin-starred L'Auberge des Glazicks.
The menu he has crafted for Ocean is inspired by its unique space and is therefore, seafood-focused, even as it demonstrates a commitment to sustainable gastronomy. You can enjoy it in the form of a multi-course lunch or dinner in the elegant comfort of the refurbished restaurant that commands unparalleled views of the @S.E.A.Aquarium. The sight of more than 100,000 marine animals representing 1,000 species across 45 diverse habitats, swimming gracefully right before your eyes while you feast, is as awe-inspiring as it is calming. I have always loved the experience, which is why @huatkaliao and I have dined at Ocean a few times over the last couple of years.
However, the food we were served at this media tasting, proved to be the most impressive culinary-wise. In my opinion at least, because Chef Olivier’s style of cooking really suits my palate.
Lunch began with a lovely cocktail - the “From Paris To Singapore”, a concoction of Grey Goose Vodka, berries reduction, lychee jus and @TWG berries tea.
Then, Chef @remivanpeteghem, the Culinary Director of @rwsentosa arrived with the first course. He also gave an introduction to Chef Olivier’s approach and philosophy behind the menu. In the meantime, Chef Olivier was busy in the kitchen because he believes in doing the actual cooking himself. So we got to meet him in person only after the meal ended.
Anyway, as it was explained to us, herbs and an element from the sea are always represented in each dish. The amuse bouche which playfully combined a warm squid ink sauce with cool textures of cauliflower and caviar set a fine example from the start. It was much more robust in flavour than it looked too. I was wow-ed.
Naturally, Chef Olivier’s sourdough and mini baguettes blew us away. We couldn’t stop schmearing on the salted and seaweed butters, and stuffing our faces with both breads.
A key practice in sustainability is to source ingredients locally, and to support that, frog legs for the next course came from Jurong in Singapore. They were breaded and fried till crunchy on the outside and juicy within, and plated with a cloud of garlic foam and black garlic purée. Again, audacious tastiness reigned.
Amazingly, it was a whole uncut lobster hidden in the huge Ravioli that came in a pool of sauce made from roasted lobster shells. Layering this creation with extra dimensions were Granny Smith apples and a chilled slab of foie gras terrine.
One of the standout courses for me was the Butter Poached Dover Sole swimming in an incredible First Harvest Tomato Marmalade. I wasn’t surprised when I learnt a little later that it’s the favourite of @rwsentosa’s Director of Corporate Communications.
Even in the meat course Chef Olivier incorporated herb and seafood elements - in the form of a pesto coulis and fresh sea urchin respectively. These complemented the stunningly done Wagyu - a smoky, Josper Grill-cooked medium-rare beauty, to perfection. So did the seasonal vegetables that graced the dish with a garden-fresh crunch. I was charmed as well by the potato which was rolled with seaweed.
Prepared and assembled a la minute, dessert was Chef’s take on the millefeuille and it was constructed from layers of crisp pastry, soft brown butter braised pear and a milk sorbet.
We took our time with the petit fours, nibbling them between sips of black coffee.
When we return with my parents in late July (yes - a reservation has been made), we plan to explore wine-pairing and ask Sommelier @djek for recommendations. I’m sure she will have great suggestions since @oceanrestaurantrws’ new wine cellar has over 400 wine labels, ranging from the big award-winning names to boutique labels.
Thank you very much again for the extremely tasty meal, Chef @oliver__bellin. We are fans of your style of cooking where flavours take centrestage and seasoning is gutsy. And thank you @rwsentosa for hosting.

1 Like

G I F T
Last Friday evening, T.H. and I got to feast on a wonderful dinner, thanks to @mamayeowdevito as she’d sent over one of the newly-launched set menus from @gemmasteakhouse.sg - the “Mediterranean summer steakhouse” opened by Michelin Chef-Owner Beppe De Vito at the National Gallery.
Although they are most noted for their bistecca Fiorentina and prime meats, GEMMA’s menu also encompasses many other fine-dining dishes showcasing fish, seafood and vegetables too. Thus, it was a lovely trio of appetisers from the restaurant’s Curing Room that we kicked dinner off with. I had to take a moment to admire the presentation of the gorgeous Tea-Smoked Atlantic Salmon with Shaved Zucchini Trombetta, Sheep Panna Acida and Arugula before digging in. Equally stunning was the 12-Spices Swordfish Belly presented with Grilled Green Asparagus, Romanesco, Baby Artichoke Aioli and Smoked Paprika. Both were light yet flavourful - delicious. The Challans Duck Prosciutto, accompanied by Burrata Campana, Medley of Beetroots and Taggiasche Olives, exuded just as breezy a vibe on the palate.
It’s apparent GEMMA takes great pride in their carbs - the loaf of Altamura Bread and Hand-rolled Trofie Pasta were the evidence we had. The former was a little crisp and chewy on the outside yet pillowy within, and when slathered in the housemade Whipped Alpine Butter with Tarragon, even more divine. Resistance was no less futile for the latter as the dish of al dente pasta in cream sauce punched above its weight in the flavour department, thanks to the use of Smoked Scamorza Cheese and meaty Roasted Maitake.
As impressive as everything that preceded it was, @gemmasteakhouse.sg’s Signature T-Bone Fiorentina Steak showed us who’s the real star of the show. Weighing about 700gms with bone-in, the meat was smooth, buttery and rich. Do note this cut of meat requires a top up of $80 as the default steak in the set menu is a duo of a Jack’s Creek Black Angus Tenderloin (140g) and F1 Wagyu Ribeye (140g).
The sides were classic favourites done with a touch of Italian pizzazz. So while the Whipped Agria Potato was enhanced with Purple Sage and Fermented Parsnip, the Charred Broccolini arrived dressed in Garlic Salmoriglio and Pecorino.
We had Gelato for dessert but again, it wasn’t straightforward. Instead, it was spoonfuls of cold creaminess in unexpected flavours of “Truffle” and “Smoke” that slipped down our throats.

If you are keen to order, please tap on @gemmasteakhouse.sg’s link-in-bio on Instagram.

2 Likes

(Hosted) At first glance, all seems to be the same at the ever elegant Three MICHELIN-Starred @lesamisrestaurant. But look a little closer and you will notice that the wallpaper has been replaced by fresh white marble powdered walls that are beguilingly cool to the touch and that you feel comfortably cool anywhere you are seated thanks to a new air-conditioning system. Lighting has also been re-designed to enhance the look and feel of the space. And in the Private Dining Room overlooking the kitchen, there is a custom-built, state-of-the-art cellar to hold their retail stock which includes French cheese, caviar from @kavisri_paris caviar (Les Amis is one of their biggest customers in the world) and the restaurant’s own line of housemade ice-creams.
Naturally, Executive Chef Sebastien Lepinoy has given their menu a revamp too. My host, Merissa Goh who heads Marketing and P.R. for the restaurant, and I had the “Le Menu Été Classique” ($375++ per pax) for lunch. With recommended pairings by Sommelier Fabien and the always top-notch service by Manoj Sharmahm and the team, it was nothing short of exceptional. Here is how it went:

1. Canapés and amuse bouche - Smoothly paced out were three stellar variations of the seasonal “Le Jardin de Rabeleis” tomato starting with a bavarois with bell pepper on an airy-light cheese puff pastry. The second, a favourite of mine and Merissa’s, had the tomato confit in extra virgin olive oil and seasoned in basil and thyme. The final variation was a chilled veloute that layered tomato soup seasoned with peppercorn and EVVO and cucumber in jelly and diced form. It came with a cute anchovy and basil croissant.

2. Bread and Butter - The legendary bread trolley of Les Amis does not quite fit in the Private Dining Room so a tray was brought in. I adored all the breads but the Sea Salt Brioche stole the biggest chunk of my heart. It’s so buttery it didn’t need any of the creamy and clean-tasting @beillevaire unpasteurised butter but that’s fine - more to spread on the other breads 😋😋.

3. Caviar - Resident Caviar Master Patrick Esteves had me hyperventilating with his trio of kaviari_paris caviar. Seems my visit couldn’t be more timely as the new Italian Sevruga caviar of which Les Amis has the lion’s share globally, had just arrived too. Patrick scooped generous helpings of each on mother-of-pearl spoons for us to savour in this sequence: the Oscietre (most briny), the Kristal (creamy and nutty) and the Sevruga (these tiny pearls which were the most complex and intense in flavour, comes from sturgeon fish found only in the waters of Italy).

4. “L’œuf poché en robe verte au caviar, navets glacés” - The other reason for the caviar sampling exercise was so I could choose one (I went for the Sevruga) to add to Chef Sebastien’s stunning new dish. A spin on an old classic that culinary students had to learn to perfect, it featured an immaculate poached egg with a “fountain of watercress” and crunchy turnip beneath.

5. French Sea Bass - Prepared in the Japanese-style of Ikejime to ensure its flesh is at its peak of tenderness and flavour, the fish was covered in paper-thin slices of mushrooms and served in Marinière sauce, surrounded by succulent mussels from the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay.

6. Wagyu Tenderloin - I found this utterly fabulous as the buttery tender beef was given brightness and crunch through a layer of aromats (think capers, mixed bell peppers, shallots and crispy onion rings). Enhancing the dish even more were a natural beef jus, the sweetest French carrots and salad of mixed herbs.

7. Cheese - After Resident Cheese Master Manoj presented the best of the season’s selection, we trusted him to curate a plate for us. And as always, it was perfect especially when accompanied by @chef_sebastien_lepinoy’s olive oil, some freshly baked bread (I love the new round fig rolls!) and the “off dry wine” Fabien chose.

8. Ice-cream - The flavours served in the restaurant are different from those you can buy to take home. So I had the Yogurt, the Pineapple & Rum (this had a strong alcoholic kick) and the Mixed Herbs with Lemon (very bold, it had quite a face-puckering effect on me - amazing palate cleanser though).

9. Dessert - A new creation, the almond-sprinkled Almond Soufflé with Cherries Jubilee (cherries in kirsch liqueur) and almond ice-cream was spectacular. I’d say it’s the best soufflé I’ve had there.

10. Petit Fours - Our 4-hour lunch came to a reluctant close in the loveliest way with in-season apricot tarts, canelés and housemade milk and dark chocolates.

Thank you so much Merissa for the invitation and for gracing me with your company.

1 Like

The classic Kaya Toast Set is redefined as a single bite at @spagosingapore. And as @sulyntan mentioned, it is a beautifully nuanced creation of savoury and sweet.
While the housemade kaya and brioche toast appear as more straightforward components, the chilled butter is replaced by a rich slab of foie gras terrine. And the sidekick of half-boiled eggs is distilled into blobs of golden egg yolk jam. Soya sauce and pepper, both must-have seasonings for the eggs, are re-imagined as a soya salt. It joins the streaks of coffee powder (which stand in for the standard accompanying cup of coffee) as a topping. But that’s only half of the coffee story because Executive Chef @gregabess also serves an exquisitely earthy and almost-chocolate-y Keluak Coffee to enjoy with the elevated kaya toast. A decaffeinated blend is used, so no one is going to be left sleepless in Singapore.

2 Likes

Expectations tend to run higher when a great night out to mark a birthday is at stake (in this case, it was for my god-daughter/niece Yujun who turned 22). The restaurant has to have a winning hand of great food, fabulous drinks, comfortable ambience and impeccable service. That’s why I picked @cutbywolfgangpucksg. I knew we’d be in the excellent hands of Executive Chef @gregabess and his team.
Shortly after we had settled into our seats, warm cheesy gougère arrived. We all loved them but the birthday girl, most of all.
Setting the tone for the evening were the first two snacks which sent us over the moon. I could’ve inhaled three of those buttermilk chicken sliders - they’re real flavourbombs with jalapeño aioli, jalapeño slices, pickle and honey. Not to be outdone was the apple apricot compote-dotted pork belly braised with Chinese spices and glazed in hoisin - it melted like butter in the mouth. I washed them down with the refreshing gin-based “London Calling” cocktail.
When the bread basket arrived, I attempted to not scoff too much but it was hard. The olive ciabatta, onion focaccia and German pretzel were a formidable trio of temptation.
In order to taste more items, we shared the appetisers. I chose the Maryland Blue Crab Cake with heirloom tomato relish and basil aioli (Yujun is a fiend for crab so I knew it would be up her alley), the Big Eye Tuna Tartare in wasabi ginger, served with thin, spicy togarashi crisps (surprisingly, this turned out to be her favourite), the brightly herbaceous Vietnamese-Style Beef Carpaccio plated with crunchy beef tendon, nước mắm vinaigrette and holy basil (my favourite!), and the Asparagus with Poached Egg on thin toast with mushroom marmalade, a lipsmacking bacon vinaigrette and bacon slice.
What has always impressed me at CUT is the attention they pay to the smallest details. Like serving us hot plates to eat our main course off.
@kndherb used to rave to me about the Rotisserie Baby Chicken at CUT, and of course I’d eaten it before but it was particularly well executed that night - immensely juicy, tender and flavourful. And let’s not forget those meaty chanterelle mushrooms.
Usually, deciding on a steak at CUT isn’t an easy task as they offer a premium variety but since I’d been floored by the Snake River Farm (an American Wagyu) when we had it at @spagosingapore (yes, they serve it up there on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands too), I made a beeline for its Sirloin cut. Everyone heaped it with praises too.
The other red meat I selected was the juicy ColoradoLamb Chops. Like the steak, each piece was perfectly cooked, and although a mini jug of cucumber-mint raita arrived alongside, it also tasted perfectly fine on its own.
That’s not to say we didn’t have fun mixing and matching the assorted sauces and condiments with our meats.
In all frankness, the side dishes deserve top billing. I was most smittened by the Tempura Onion Rings - each thin ring was ethereally light yet really crunchy. Even though they look similar, no other Creamed Spinach comes close to the version here that’s crowned with an organic egg. Proving highly addictive as well were the Mac & Cheese and the ridiculously silky and buttery Yukon Gold Potato Purée (if you love mash, this is a must-order).
Thank you Chef Greg for sending us the Spring Peas. I adored this seasonal side dish for its sensational mix of fresh peas, pea purée, ragu of peas, runny-yolked eggs, bacon and perky pea tendrils.
Naturally there was cake since we were celebrating a birthday. I’ve had the moist chocolate beauty before and it was as scrumptious as I recall. The team helped to slice and present it with raspberry sorbet and a macaron for us to enjoy. Besides that, I ordered the Apple Butterscotch Crumble to share. Served warm with toasted almonds and Tahitian vanilla ice-cream, it was very well received by everyone too.
The petit fours we nibbled on with our tea and coffee at the end, were also exquisite in appearance and taste.

5 Likes

For his birthday dinner this year, T.H. was clear about where he wanted to dine. And this decision was made a few months ago when our dinner at @basquekitchenbyaitor left him hugely impressed.
I know many people specifically visit this restaurant to savour their Txuleta and/or Turbot that are grilled on the Josper, but we had the Tasting Menu by Chef-owner @aitortxuchef. Leaving it to chefs to decide what to feed me has always been my preferred because I believe they would want to share creations that best represent them, not to mention those they are most proud of. And that’s how we spent the evening enjoying the following:

1. A yet-to-be-launched premium pintxo of mushroom glazed uni on toast topped with freshly shaved white truffle. Outrageously yum!

2. Another incredible premium pintxo of decadently delish “egg on egg on egg” action featuring caviar on a cured Japanese egg yolk and bottarga.

3. Piping hot and crunchy truffle croquetta with a creamy core of black truffle aioli and more white truffle to finish. I’ve always liked this a lot.

4. Very tender and flavourful abalone that’d been sous vide for 48 hours served on sourdough and blanketed in a “Donastiarra” sauce.

5. Housebaked sourdough with the restaurant’s as-fab-as-ever smoky butter.

6. An exquisite creation of poached Kegani hairy crab meat with Kaluga caviar, mixed greens and chive oil.

7. Hearty course of meaty cep mushrooms with cured japanese egg yolk and marigold - I simply couldn’t believe how satisfying this was.

8. An interesting dish starring sea anemone rice with plankton aioli and sea succulents - ice plant and sandfire.

9. Very flavourful pan-fried red mullet smothered in beef tendon crackling puffs and a sauce of its own bones, liver and such.

10. Tasting of the sea, a mussel consommé with creamy bouchot mussels and goose barnacles hidden under the foaminess.

11. For the meat course, T.H. had his favourite A5 Miyazaki Wagyu tenderloin with foie gras, autumn truffle, pumpkin purée and jus, while I got the incredible lamb that had bowled me over the last time. It was every bit as mind-blowing as I remembered.

12. To enjoy with our meats, we had what T.H. christened the “King Of Chips”. I must concur as the heap of huge and chunky, triple-cooked chips were perfection - mealy inside, crispy out. The white truffle shaved on was lovely but not necessary because frankly, the chips were outstanding on their own.

13. “Heaven on Wheels” rolled up next and Sham prepared for us a selection. By selection, I mean nearly every cheese on that trolley, including those from the Basque Country. You could probably have spotted my beaming smile from outer space. So great was my happiness.

14. Palate cleanser was a yellow-on-yellow vibrance of mango ice-cream, tangerine sorbet and marigold petals.

15. For dessert, Chef Aitor served a flan with the most luxurious mouthfeel, and it had the excellent company of housemade chamomile ice-cream and yuzu dust.

16. Petit fours were thoughtfully packed by Chef @ippinn_ for us to take home because after that cheesapalooza and desserts, we could not imagine taking another bite.

To pair with the parade of seafood and red meats throughout the night, @jaureguiberryvincent recommended an atypical red which we found really lovely.

Thank you Team @basquekitchenbyaitor for a most memorable dinner.

3 Likes

This lunch took place barely a month after I was at @metasingapore with my friend SZ but when every meal is such a pleasure, repeating it can only be a good thing. This time it was with TH who‘d never been and was eager to go.
Snack game, as always at this One-Michelin Starred restaurant, was really strong. I found the sablé cookies, whenever they appeared, to be exceptional, like the Parmesan-flavoured one in the bite that came topped with foie gras mousse and verju gelee, and the raspberry version as petit fours at the end. The “prawns in two ways” turned out even better than when I had it previously because the texture of the brioche was lighter. Extra tasty too was the modern haemul pajeon (Korean seafood pancake).
Familiar and much-loved courses followed - the compact but richly-flavoured, uni-crowned chawanmushi, Meta’s signature Irish oysters dressed with a Korean touch and the tuna akami tartare with egg yolk jelly, crispy feuille de brick and a dome of @caviarcolony’s kaluga caviar.
After that, since I’ve had the “abalone with grains” a few times, the chefs decided to prepare something yet-to-be-launched for me. It starred a giant Irish scallop with crab sauce and chive oil and was a revelation - its simple appearance belied the overwhelming tastiness.
Then my lunch returned to regular programming as the much-talked-about Samegarei (rough skin flounder) and razor clam arrived, trailed by one of my all-time favourites at #metasingapore - the BBQ Wagyu beef with burdock rice plus a bouquet of dressed fresh salad leaves to finish up with. All flawlessly executed.
To my surprise, we had new sweet endings. The pre-dessert had multi-spice-poached pear, pear sorbet, a white cloud of ginger espuma and a sprinkle of fruity Timor Pepper from Nepal. Then a mushroom creation which I will state for the record, is my favourite dessert to date by Pastry Chefs Gail and Rachel. In that were nashi pear lightly coated in kimchi powder, cocoa soil, shiitake mushroom ice-cream, cocoa nibs snow and mini shiitake mushroom meringue. I think I have a thing for mushroom desserts so this suited me to a T.

2 Likes

H O S T E D
The eloquent young chef who’s not even thirty years of age, draws heavily on his childhood memories in the Piemonte region in Italy for inspiration, specifically his beloved mama’s cooking, and uses seasonal produce married with Japanese influences to articulate his progressive style of Italian food at 28Wilkie.
Priced at $128++ and $198++ for the 5 and 7-course menus respectively, I consider them genuine value-for-money considering how most if not all of the ingredients @matteo.chef incorporates into his cooking, are imported from Italy and Japan. With the exception of the caviar as that’s from Singapore-founded @caviarcolony, whose CEO and Founder Benjamin Goh also happens to own 28Wilkie.
I had the privilege of trying the 7-course menu that evening, and it was enlightening to learn of the backstory of every dish as well as all the components that went into it, as they were presented by Chefs Matteo, @marcustky and @chef_shanelim.
Here is a quite overview of what I found the most appealing about the food:

1. Snacks - All three were enjoyable but the smoked ricotta cannelloni well and truly stunned me.
2. Seven-Cereal Bread - Good aroma and a pleasant chew, this I enjoyed a lot with Bordier butter and Maldon sea salt flakes.
3. Ancelin Oyster - Gorgeously creamy with a sweet-salty profile, it would have been wonderful naked but the Japanese-forward dressing worked nicely too.
4. Rosso di Mazara prawn and Trombetta zucchini - This course stood out for me. As Chef had learned from young about extracting sustenance from every ingredient, he applied those lessons very creatively on the deep sea prawn and the zucchini to stellar results.
5. Chawanmushi - Never had I met one with two levels of flavour till this. A bold concept that translated to solid satisfaction.
6. Tagliolini - It seems to me a few Italian restaurants around town do a version of this uni pasta dish too but Chef Matteo cleverly differentiates his with housemade Tajarin, a rougher type of pasta, and and the addition of acidic components of the rare light-sour butterfly cress from local company @farmdelight and pickled chanterelle mushrooms (done in the way his mama taught him) to counter the rich zabaione of uni and butter.
7. Trout - Hailing from Mount Fuji in Japan, the fatty fish with lardo tasted remarkably moist and soft. I liked how all the other elements on the plate provided a lovely contrast to it too.
8. A4 Ohmi Wagyu - There‘s no faulting the perfectly done beef from Shiga Prefecture in Japan. The smoked bone marrow and four textures of Roscoff onion it came with were positively ambrosial.
9. Strawberry Granita - It was great to have a not-so-straightforward pre-dessert, especially since I am very fond of that 25-years-old balsamic from Il Borgo del Balsamico.
10. Persi Pien - Chef Matteo’s contemporary take on his school lunch treat of “stuffed peach” had a lot happening but they harmonised pleasingly.
11. Petit Fours - Enjoyed the chocolate with caramel and praline most but the Super Mario-like E.V.O. Sable with white chocolate and raspberry bonbon and Torrone (Italian Nougat) were good too.
12. Lorenzini cantaloupe melon - What a treat it was to have a sweet slice of Sicily‘s summer.

To top it off, Sommelier @elginvincent chose a wonderful bottle of Amarone for us.

( H O S T E D )
Caviar, caviar and more caviar - to say it was an evening of unadulterated indulgence would still be an understatement.
The Caviar Experience menu at @28wilkie restaurant is not only luxurious but enriching as it also happens to be the best way to discover the nuances of the different caviar produced by @caviarcolony. Only when one varietal is tasted immediately after another is their distinct characteristics apparent and can be properly appreciated.
I was taught by Benjamin Goh (@the_caviar_king) who is both the CEO and Founder of @caviarcolony as well as the owner of #28wilkie, to scoop the glistening (but not wet) pearls with a mother-of-pearl spoon and place them on the side of my hand to eat off. Besides being a very sensuous action in itself, doing this, as explained to me by @mscelinetan, COO and Co-Founder, allows body heat to warm the caviar, and for its flavours to bloom. I did exactly that as I “travelled” through the five types of Caviar Colony offerings presented on a large tray of ice, starting with the Amur (one of my two favourites), before moving on to the Kaluga Hybrid (this is popular with chefs as they find it versatile and easy to work with), the Russian Hybrid (my other favourite), the Russian and finally, the Kaluga. The ideal method to savour these dark pearls is to press them against the roof of the mouth to extract their flavours, and then, allow them to slide down the throat. Slow and sexy is undoubtedly the way to go.
Sommelier @elginvincent popped open a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut, Vintage 2008 for the pairing, and it was glorious. So too the fragrant potato blini made in-house by Head Chef @matteo.chef that came with sour cream and chives to be enjoyed with the caviar.
If you want to spoil yourself or your loved ones, the Caviar Experience at 28Wilkie would be something quite extraordinary. Alternatively, individual tins of #caviarcolony can be purchased to have at home. To shop, just tap on @caviarcolony’s link-in-bio on Instagram.

Thank you again for hosting me, Benjamin, Celine and @sulyntan.

Can you believe One MICHELIN Starred @lerouy_ will turn 3 this August? Time has flown since my first visit where I recall being blown away by Chef-owner Christophe Lerouy’s modern French cuisine.

My most recent meal was just as superb, especially when a favourite dish showed up (who else loves that salted and baked cabbage? 😋😋). Once we sat down, Chef Lerouy got us rolling with a welcome glass of Crémant from his hometown in France and a series of four small but immaculately prepared bites that had me sighing blissfully. They were: a creamy foie gras with apple wasabi and smoked sardine, a delicate parsley root tart with ikura and grated parmesan, whipped Muenster cheese with bacon and cumin, and a tiny tube of Iberico pork and sauerkraut broth.

We then tore into a warm, crusty sourdough, darting between the four flavoured butters of truffle, sumac spice, bamboo charcoal and unsalted as spreads.

Chef @sara_lee1030 presented the appetiser, a light and refreshing creation showcasing Japanese mackerel, tomato, burrata cheese, sorbet of gazpacho and a drizzle of black olive oil.

Then Chef Lerouy reappeared with his long-time signature, the impossibly juicy wedge of cabbage accessorised with anchoiarde, lardo and lime. It’s pure joy to inhale.

If I had to nominate another favourite from that meal, the magnificent Carabinero would be a serious contender. Such extraordinariness of sweet crustacean, quietly confident spices, perky carrot, bright pineapple and slightly sweet, creamy butter milk.

Both TH and I found the large plump Kunihiro oyster wrapped in beef tongue very appealing too. Loved how it came decked out with girolle mushrooms in a lagoon of warm frothiness.

Following that, a course featuring pan-fried foie gras, Korean abalone, shiitake and black garlic in herbal duck tea. I did find the reduction liquid a tad salty to be frank, but tasty nonetheless.

Bringing up the rear for the savoury dishes was a flawlessly cooked Iberico Pork Pluma, plated with pimenton and eggplant purée. I was bowled over by the texture and flavour of the meat, and don’t recall having had pork feel like that in the mouth before. It’s utterly delicious.

Chef @inpikleon did the honours of presenting the dessert, a composition of Chisote strawberries from Cameron Highlands, sorrel sorbet, fromage blanc and light ginger sauce.

We also had some petit fours with our coffee. The raspberry fruit jelly, dark chocolate dome, “cream cheese” chouquette were lovely enough but the one that wow-ed me was the feuilletine “waffle”. I could eat a dozen of it!

2 Likes

( T R E A T )
What may seem like a small shift is seismic at its soul. Born and bred in France, Executive @ChefDavidThien officially joined the @cornerhousesg earlier this year, taking over from true-blue Singaporean Chef Jason Tan who helped this iconic establishment secure a MICHELIN Star (the latter is due to open his own fine dining place soon).
To definitively put his own stamp on Corner House’s new menu, Chef David drew on his French heritage and life journey which includes the last twelve years spent working with Chefs of MICHELIN-starred restaurants in Singapore. I was very impressed by his French-Asian food, especially in terms of how he frames many familiar ingredients in ways quite novel to me. Just to be clear, I had made reservations to visit as a regular customer but at the end of the meal, was told my bill “was taken care of”, so thank you again Chef David for the surprise.
With housemade sourdough, squid ink-marbled “you tiao” (dough fritters) and curry brioche rubbing shoulders, the bread basket paved the way for the rest of the meal. The French-Asian theme was signed, stamped and delivered with the accompanying unsalted Bordier butter and an ingenious #Belachan butter.
Our lovely server presented every course well but I was glad she also left a card with additional information. Written in Chef’s own words, they provided extra context which made me appreciate his creations even more. And that’s how I learned of the rationale behind the exquisite snacks named “Spirit Of Singapore” which comprised of a pappadum cradling Sri Lankan crab, vadouvan spices and dhal aioli, a lettuce cup with Grass-fed Beef Tartare dressed in Thai herbs and a French-Malaysia/Singapore brioche sandwich featuring comte cheese and a strata of “otah” made with Obsiblue prawns, local mackerel.
Also, the reason why Chef David chose to elevate the humble Achards (pickled vegetables) into a stunning appetiser with Japanese hamachi, burrata and a granita made from the bracingly tart and spicy pickling juice.
The charming backstory to his “P’tit L’ail” was revealed on another card. An immensely tasty dish which seemed to be one with the verdant surroundings, it featured chives broth with “wok hei”-perfumed rice noodles, scallops and Carabinero prawns.
If it wasn’t for the explanation, Chef’s take on the carb course could have left me perplexed. I doubt beansprouts have ever played such a major part in a MICHELIN Star restaurant but in that petite bowl, it shone with the company of Hokkaido uni, uni sauce, Parmesan and lemon.
Learning the reason for “Wagyu 2-Ways” brought forth a chuckle. And I must say, both of Chef David’s Japanese-influenced beef dishes sparked great joy in me. While the first, a contemporary take on Sukiyaki boasted silky A4 Wagyu and morel mushrooms, the second, a Wagyu Tartare Ochazuke with toasted furikake, was the gastronomic equivalent of a cuddle.
Rounding off lunch was a palate cleanser where herbaceous fruitiness ruled and dessert was the popular Mont Blanc, tackled through deconstruct with gently sweet Azuki red beans replacing the classic chestnut. But surprises lay in store. I shan’t spoil it for you as you ought to experience it yourself.
The meal ended with petit fours so gorgeous I felt a twinge of guilt eating them but of course I did. And they were fabulous.

Chef David will launch a Chef’s Tasting Menu soon enough but for now, lunch is available in 3 / 5 / 7-course Omakase-style options ($78 / $148 / $218) while dinner is offered in 5 / 7 courses ($168 / $218). For a point of reference, I had picked the 5-course.

2 Likes

Post-Circuit Breaker and Phase 1 Odette crackles with startling energy. From service to food, there‘s a palpable sense of eager exuberance. And that translated into what I will state for the record as the very best meal I have had at Odette to date.
As usual, nothing matters more to me than how the food tastes, and throughout that evening, flawlessness prevailed in every course at this Three MICHELIN Stars restaurant, which so happens to be sitting pretty at No. 1 on “Asia’s 50 Best” list this year and last. Chef Julien and his team certainly brought their A game and then some.
Dinner commenced with Grignotages which comprised of a modern, elegant gougère with comte cheese, a delicate smoked aubergine tartlette and house-cured sardine cradled in a crisp shell.
The Signature Mushroom Tea with Cep Sabayon blanketed by Manjimup truffles followed. I enjoyed the hit of deliciously-prepared earthy aromas very much.
When the breads appeared, I almost shed a tear of joy, and went at them like my life depended upon, alternating between the very special olive oil and whipped butter to enjoy them with.
Arriving next was Marukyo Uni to be partaken in two ways, with spot prawn tartare and Kristal caviar on a mussel cloud, and a dainty sandwich. I did as told - to start with the former, move on to the latter then return to finish the former. To say this course stunned would not be inaccurate.
Sous Chef Naka Xiong presented the cold Hokkaido scallop with horseradish, dill, and sago seaweed cracker, a dish that silenced our table with its exquisiteness.
It was then General Manager Steven’s turn to play “rainmaker” as he shaved a truckload of truffle over what I term a “Thicc French Onion Soup”, a delectable concoction of caramelly-sweet Cevenne onions, 40-months-aged Parmesan, Amontillado sherry and croutons.
The Limosin Veal Sweetbread (thymus or pancreas of a calf or lamb) which Chef Julien himself brought into our room, was a revelation. Simply roasted with garlic and thyme, and plated with vinjus sauce with a touch of sherry vinegar, it was easily the most delicious rendition I’ve eaten in a long, long time. Apportioned just right, the richness of the sweetbread was countered by a crunchy finish and the sauce. This is the kind of dish that can tip into “jelak” territory in a blink of an eye, so it has to be prepared with sensitivity. There’s no doubt Team Odette delivered.
Anyone who likes crustaceans would be blown away by the Langoustine and Foie Gras Ravioli. And the accompanying sauce, a lavish Laphroaig whisky-laced potion, left us gobsmacked.
I was particularly happy with the grilled Kinki fish plated with tempura zucchini flower and girolles mushrooms that was served next. Again, it was the fantastic sauce that floored me.
Before dinner began, during my chat with Chef Julien, I’d told him I wanted to replace the lamb course if there was one (yes, at that point, none of us knew what he had planned for our menu). But the good man convinced me to give it a try. So I did. Zero regrets. Although there was still a hint of gaminess, I hardly noticed because the perfectly cooked Axuria Lamb Saddle was shockingly smooth and flavourful. The Purple Artichoke, the Menton Lemon and the Jus “Tranché” contributed significantly to my overall enjoyment of the dish too.
When the cheese cart arrived, I couldn’t not indulge in a wedge of the Brie with Truffle and Walnuts, Comte and the sexy-stinky Aged Epoisses. They went well with the mini truffle-topped salad. You bet I was on cloud nine by this point.
The palate cleanser, a precise perfection starring muscat grapes was otherworldly good. So good, one portion wasn’t enough.
Not only were beautiful produce of white peaches from Fukuoka and raspberries used by Pastry Chef Louisa Lim in her dessert but the flavours and textures were artfully combined to the nth degree. I loved it.
Bringing our spectacular meal to a splendid end were petit fours of a lychee and raspberry Ice-lollipop, traditional Canele, sweet Japanese Melon, French Cherries and Chocolate Tart with shaved Tonka Bean.
Odette’s take-home gift, a lovely jam based on Chef Julien’s grandmother’s recipe, is always a welcome treat and a lovely way to extend memories of a meal there by a few days.
In case you are wondering, the total bill for each of us that night came to close to $550 per person inclusive of the two bottles of red wine recommended by Sommelier Vincent. Yes, it’s very expensive but I felt it’s worth every cent.

4 Likes

Follow me on Instagram (@veronicaphua) for richer content of videos and Stories! 😊

What To Read Next

Burpple Beyond Deals: Cafes
Burpple Beyond Deals: Cafes Who doesn’t love letting loose and chilling out at a cafe after a hectic day at work or school? Check out these marvellous cafes which are offering #BurppleBeyond deals!
Burpple
Receive An Exclusive CNY Bundle When You Join Burpple Beyond
Receive An Exclusive CNY Bundle When You Join Burpple Beyond Be sure to hop on this special Chinese New Year promotion!
Burpple
Restaurants Still Open During CNY!
Restaurants Still Open During CNY! Looking for restaurants that are still open despite the festivities? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Burpple
Burpple Beyond Deals: Chinese
Burpple Beyond Deals: Chinese With Chinese New Year just around corner, you'd probably want to be in the know about the Chinese restaurants which are offering #BurppleBeyond deals!
Burpple
ADVERTISE WITH US
ADVERTISE WITH US