Restaurant Review: 82 / 100.
Les Amis is a local dining institution in Singapore, currently helmed by the executive chef Sebastien Lepinoy since 2013, whom is one of Joel Robuchon’s proteges and worked at Jamin (before it was renamed Joel Robuchon) and also as the Executive chef of L’Atelier Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong. Quite a bit of credentials to back him up, and based on the menu, serves unabashedly classic French cuisine with the odd Asian twist.
I’ve always been a tad critical about the fine dining scene in Singapore, mainly due to the price point and not being comparable to the their Michelin starred counterparts in Europe, and the same goes for Hong Kong. This is my first foray into Les Amis, and was hoping that it might prove me wrong.
For lunch, I had for the opted for the le Menu Printemps, which was 7 course meal priced at SG$185. Not terribly overpriced for the number of courses served, but still not something one could possibly afford every week unless one finds a sugar mama or daddy. So yeah, not happening anytime soon!
We start off with some gougeres, which were warm and had a light cheesy flavour. Moving on, was a more impressive tomato tart that had a burst of concentrated flavor and a light pastry to boot.
The first course of the meal was the signature dish of cold angel hair pasta with kombu, caviar, and truffles. Now, this dish was definitely something else and lived up to its hype. It was delicate, yet the saltiness of the caviar, a flash of umami from the Kombu, and some earthiness from the truffles to lift up the dish with each component clearly presented. Very well executed and magnificent dish.
Unfortunately, the rest of the courses started progressing into the mundane. The next course was Langoustine from Loctudy wrapped with courgettes, served with caviar and an emulsion of extra virgin olive oil. The langoustine was well cooked and overall a properly executed dish, but it was rather one note and was missing something, perhaps some acidity or a component to uplift the flavours to another level.
Moving on, was a dish of white asparagus from Provence, which was roasted and balanced with spring bitter shoots. I do love white asparagus, and this iteration certainly had a lovely roasted flavours and a good texture that slightly gave way. Again, well executed dish but I wished there was some brightness to the dish.
This was followed by a line caught sea bass from Saint Gilles Croix-de-vie, which was quite a mouthful to pronounce. The dish was cooked Façon printanière, which seems to literally translate to “in the spring”, and presumably cooked to reflect that season. The sea bass had a nicely firm texture and the dish had warm flavours.
For my final savoury course, was sweetbreads cooked in a cocotte, asparagus, and morels. Sweetbreads had a rich flavour and the morels were also stuffed with some form of Bechamel sauce, which was also quite rich. Quite a decadent dish in terms of richness of flavour, and very classical French.
Finally, the dessert course was seasonal mango in a Vacherin with a tutti frutti sorbet. Vacherin is a type of cow’s milk, but didn’t get much of it in the dish. That said, it was a refreshing end of the meal with mango and tropical flavours.
I must say that the meal service was smooth and very warm indeed. I certainly felt welcomed and the level of hospitality was top notch. Food wise, the cold angel hair pasta dish was incredible, albeit the rest of the courses were good but not particularly great. It is, however, very classical French cookery and a lot of the ingredients were, I would imagine, painstakingly procured from France.
But is it worthy of two Michelin stars? I was not entirely convinced, and still doesn’t change my view that most of the Michelin stars in Singapore are overrated except for the very satisfying meal at Burnt Ends (Review Here). Stars aside though, it is a good French restaurant with amazing service, and would be great for a special occasion.
Location: Shaw Centre, #01-16, 1 Scotts Road. +61 6733 2225. Website.