Dinner @ Lerouy

April 17, 2018 in French by thywhaleliciousfay

Due to my heavy traveling schedule in January and February, the earliest I could check out Lerouy with my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) was March. And yes, call us kiasu because we made our reservation at least 1.5 months ahead via Chope. Keke. And to secure our online reservation, I was required to submit my credit card details.

And a little about head chef Christophe Lerouy… He was formerly the executive chef at Alma by Juan Amador. And I read that he was the chef responsible for bringing Alma its first Michelin star. But of course, he left and partnered with chef-owner Willin Low of Wild Rocket and chef-owner Gwen Lim of Patisserie G to open Lerouy in November 2017.

Remember how I mentioned (earlier in the post that) we made our reservation 1.5 months in advanced? An impromptu work trip had me needing to reschedule our dinner at the very last minute. Sob. So when my IGGF and I finally arrived at Lerouy, I couldn’t help but wonder if the unfavorable seats which we were assigned to was because of that.

The only table in the restaurant was a counter top. And because the unit which the restaurant occupied was long, the counter which was designed to stretch from one end of the room to the other meant parties seated at the two (far) ends won’t get to witness much kitchen action as that happened at the middle of the space. And yes, my IGGF and I were assigned counter-end seats. Sob.

The menu at Lerouy was simple; A piece of paper with the prices (5 courses at $98 and 7 courses at $128). And from the menu, my IGGF and I ordered:-

1) Grand, $128 comprised of:-


(A) Bread, Complimentary (above) – Sourdough with 3 types of butter. Charcoal, beetroot and natural butters. We really loved the bread.

(B) Canape #1 (above) – Pita bread with red pepper cream and shrimp (sakura ebi).

(C) Canape #2 (above) – Squid ink cracker with seafood foam, cured egg yolk, salmon roe and smoked fish hidden within the foam. I was busy taking pictures since the bread and 2 canapés were served at the same time when the staff came up to us and said we should eat this first (and fast) before the foam deflat. Oops.

(D1) Dish #1 (above) – Beef tartare topped with miso ice cream.

(D2) Dish #1 (above) – And because I don’t eat beef, I was served scallop carpaccio instead!

(E) Dish #2 (above) – Huge meaty oyster with a thin layer of lardo on top and foie gras cubes in hearty Jerusalem artichoke broth. Nice.


(F) Dish #3 (above) – Tiger prawn with yuzu gel, pistachio cream and cauliflower.

(G) Dish #4 (above) – Salt-baked cabbage, pork crackling and sauce made with garlic and pesto. And yes, with a thin layer of lardo too. Somehow, I couldn’t help but be reminded of MUME’s burnt cabbage dish. Somewhat similar (in ingredients used) but not (in taste).

(H) Dish #5 (above) – Tooth fish in vinegary squid-ink sauce and topped with vegetables and raspberry. I didn’t really like this though.

(I) Dish #6 (above) – Pigeon with chestnut crust and raspberry purée sauce. Definitely a first for my pigeon dish to be served in this manner. Wasn’t quite used to it cause the chestnut was a little too empowering.

(J) Dish #7 (above) – Passionfruit tart.

(K) Petit fours (above) – Chocolate truffle, chocolate chip, and (mini) yuzu madeleine.

Unfortunately, the meal failed to impress. And that was disappointing because I read so many raving (instagram) posts about the place prior to our dinner appointment.

First, it was our assigned seats. And by that, it’s not just about us being placed at the end. The restaurant was running at full house that night and it seemed like they may have accepted 1 too many reservation because it was way too cramped. At least at our end of the counter where my IGGF and I were literally joining the group of 5 (that’s beside us).

Food wise… It was good but not to the extent where we were blown away. I guess it didn’t help that we came to Lerouy with high expectations created from the hype. My IGGF and I also noted ingredients were repeated way too often to the extent we felt ingredients were… Recycled? An example would be the Yuzu gel. We remembered it because it was really sour. And the yuzu gel made its appearance at least twice thereafter.

But despite the above, I would not totally rule out Lerouy and say the restaurant is not worth checking out. Food was pretty affordable and service was good. My IGGF and I were surprised when head chef Lerouy popped his head out of the restaurant to say goodbye to us. Maybe give the restaurant abit more time?

LEROUY
3 Stanley Street, Singapore
6221 3639, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Fri : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 21:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Saint Pierre [Revisit]

March 5, 2018 in French by thywhaleliciousfay

My IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) was excited much when she saw pictures of Michelin-starred Saint Pierre’s alphabet course. But having just dined at Saint Pierre in August 2016, I requested to delay our visit to Saint Pierre as much as possible. I don’t like visiting the same restaurant too soon. And with that, my IGGF assisted to make reservation for December 2017 through phone instead of via Chope.

Upon arrival, we were led to the private room instead of the main dining area. The staff explained a booking was received for a really big group. And because we made our reservation months ahead, the restaurant decided to host the big group in the main dining area and us in the private room instead. While we understood their good intention, we unfortunately didn’t like the arrangement. My IGGF and I somehow felt our private room was treated like a storeroom. Ie, items which were not required in the main dining area were shifted into our private room. Or rather, items which are better removed were left in our private room.

And to add to our disappointment, we learnt the alphabet course was no longer available. When we made our reservation months back, my IGGF specifically enquired if the alphabet course would still be available in December. To which, the staff assured us it would be. But… Sigh.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Bread, Complimentary (above)

2) Adventure, $248 comprised of:-


  
  

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Appetisers assortment of i) tomato, parmesan, ii) red pepper crisp, smoked eggplant, miso, iii) smoked trout cannelloni, iv) Hokkaido corn, lime oil and v) nasu, sesame.

(B) Dish #2 (above) – New harvest aquitaine oscietra caviar, parsley royale.


(C) Dish #3 (above) – Hay-smoked buri, ponzu, leek, myoga.

(D) Dish #4 (above) – French petit violet artichoke, turmeric.

(E) Dish #5 (above) – Steamed hairy crab, corn, lemongrass.

(F) Dish #6 (above) – Live Hokkaido scallop, almond, curry oil.


(G) Dish #7 (above) – Blue lobster, apple, kabocha pumpkin, beurre de cidre.

(H1) Dish #8 (above) – Altantic cod, miso, oxtail, roots.


(H2) Dish #8 (above) – Altantic cod, miso, oxtail, roots. Since I don’t eat beef (in any form) and oxtail was used in the original broth, mine was slightly altered. Though I have to admit I was disappointed to see the (thus) new presentation of my cod dish hugely similar to the blue lobster’s (dish #7).

(I1) Dish #9 (above) – Ohmi beef, salsify, hazelnut.

(I2) Dish #9 (above) – Again, because I don’t eat beef, mine was replaced. However, it came with much disappointment. The kitchen replaced my beef dish with a vegetable dish! Like what!?! First, it was not a 1-to-1 substitution. Secondly, one could easily see it was carelessly put together with leftovers. Ie, ingredients from previous dishes were used. After taking one bite, I refused to continue with the vegetable dish. Fortunately, the staff who was assigned to our room sensed something was amiss when she overheard I was done with my almost-untouched dish. She got her manager who came into our room and asked if it would be fine for the kitchen to prepare something else. And in less than 5 minutes, the manger returned to say the kitchen was in the midst of preparing sea bass with chestnut truffle. Which honestly, the kitchen should have done that in the first place. It was disappointing to even be served that vegetable dish, honestly.


(J) Dish #10 (above) – Royal pigeon roasted on the bone, wild mushroom, nori.

(K) Dish #11 (above) – Unfiltered strawberry juice, sorbet.

(L) Dish #12 (above) – Blood orange, chocolate, honey tuile. This was really good.

(M) Dish #13 (above) – It’s either they have done away with the dessert trolley or it’s inconvenient to push it into the private room that our petit fours were served on a plate. Assortment included walnut tart, chocolate hazelnut, chocolate royce, yuzu-orange macaron, chocolate macaron, blackberry jelly, peach jelly and vanilla marshmallow.

Compared to my previous dinner at Saint Pierre, it seemed that much has changed. Unfortunately, it was a change for the South. Pretty alarming given that my IGGF and I were dining after Saint Pierre was awarded 1 Michelin star.

Will I recommend Saint Pierre? Well… I ain’t too sure (I would) this time round.

SAINT PIERRE
1 Fullerton Road, One Fullerton, #02-02B, Singapore
6438 0887, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tue – Sat : 11:30 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tue – Sat : 18:30 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon & Sun

Dinner @ RAW (Taipei, Taiwan)

January 18, 2018 in French by thywhaleliciousfay

When I was planning my maiden trip to Taiwan, I had 4 restaurants on my to-try-list. And 1 of the 4 was none other than RAW. Having enjoyed myself at Restaurant Andre, it comes with no surprise that I wanted to check out RAW; A restaurant conceptualized by Restaurant Andre‘s head chef Andre Chiang and his Taiwanese team.

As taken from RAW’s website, RAW is a 60-seat lifestyle restaurant serving which aims to bring ‘The New Interpretation of Taiwanese Flavor’ to the table by highlighting Taiwanese seasonal produce through innovative food and drink.

Now… While I know RAW is a very popular restaurant, I didn’t realise it was that difficult to secure a reservation till my foodie-friends gushed about how fortunate I was after seeing pictures of my meal at RAW. I guess I have to thank the kiasu-ness within me and of course Lady Luck. =) Knowing that RAW accepts reservation up to 2 months ahead, I sent my request on RAW’s website once the slot of my preferred date opened. And yes, I meant sending (my reservation request) at the stroke of midnight. I exaggerate, not.

And in our reservation request, we were also required to make our menu selection. So between the NT1850 and NT2680 dinner set menus, I opted for the latter. And within 2 days, I received an email from RAW confirming our dinner appointment. Yeah! And the countdown to our dinner in September 2017 excitedly begun.

RAW was a 8 to 12 minutes from Jiannan Road MRT station (劍南路站). Occupying the first floor of the building, one could easily identify the restaurant not only by its name printed on the full-height glass, but also by RAW’s iconic wooden structure which was visible through the window. Deliberately placed at the entrance, the soft-angled, organically sculptured wooden structure is the centrepiece of RAW. And I fell in love with the interior; Of the flowy lines and curves.

The staff greeted us at the entrance. And after confirming our reservation, my Mom and I were led to our table. Having pre-selected our dinner menu, we started our dinner with:-

  

1) Bread, NT150 (above) – Bread remained warm as it was placed on hot pebbles within the sack. Butter served with the bread had cacao nibs, sesame seeds and chopped nuts. And it was interesting my Mom and I were not given any plate; The staff appeared with a (small) broom to swipe the crumbs that had dropped onto the table which got me receiving the eye from my Mom since my superstitious Mom thinks it’s bad luck to have a broom in one’s face. Keke. And it was a nice and thoughtful gesture when the staff offered to pack our bread seeing that we had difficulty finishing ours.

2) Dinner set, NT2680 comprised of:-

  

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Fruit corn, Taiwan miso and taiken 9.


(B) Dish #2 (above) – Watermelon, tuna and beef tomato. Hidden beneath the tuna sashimi, compressed watermelon and dehydrated tomato was my favourite mozzarella cheese (skin)!



(C) Dish #3 (above) – Kailan, chick & yolk, and oyster. To avoid any confusion, what looked like oil in the third picture was actually the yolk!



(D) Dish #4 (above) – Pulled pork, potato and shichimi. We were told Taiwanese chef Andre grew up on Shilin Night Market’s cheese potato. And thus, this was his take of the night market snack.


(E) Dish #5 (above) – Octopus, sriracha and furikake.


  

(F) Dish #6 (above) – Capellini, crab fat and laksa leaf. Crab broth made with crab meat and crab shell was poured in front of us into the coconut which contained the sea urchin, crab meat and capellini. However, we were not given much broth as we were told to enjoy the noodles as a dry dish first. After we finished the ingredients, the staff continued to pour the remaining rich broth for us to enjoy it on its own.


(G) Dish #7 (above) – Veal Pork belly, yuba and baby squid.


(H1) Dish #8 (above) – Banana, toffee and espresso. It was interesting that the handmade pie crust had no bottom.

(H2) Dish #8 (above) – And because my Mom requested not to have banana, her dessert was changed to Sangria sorbet, berry ice cream and fruits hidden beneath a thin layer of herbal tea jelly. So pretty! I actually preferred my Mom’s dessert over the original dessert (item H1). The dessert even had sparkling candy in it. Wow.


(I) Dessert, Complimentary (above) – And it was a nice surprise when we were served bubble-tea flavoured wafer; Milk tea ice cream and pearl bubble. So lovely.

My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I appreciate how the price is kept affordable for the masses. Service was great. Staff Oliver was assigned to us and took great care of us despite only having joined RAW for 6 months. The only gripe I had was the quantity of deep-fried dishes on the menu. Too many. So yes, it was a little too heavy.

My verdict… One should always try to make reservation at RAW despite how difficult it may be. In fact, I reckon securing a reservation at RAW has gotten harder after chef Andre’s announcement that he’s closing Restaurant Andre in February 2018 to return to Taiwan. And of course, heading back to RAW. Sob.

And if one manage to secure a meal slot, don’t forget to check out the toilet too! It’a pretty cool! ;)

RAW
No. 301, Le Qun 3rd Road, Taipei City, Taiwan
+886 2 8501 5800, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Wed – Sun : 11:30 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Wed – Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon & Tue

UPDATE: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Taipei 2018.