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Singapore's legendary French fine dining under Robuchon's protege, Chef Lepinoy
Les Amis is a name which Singaporean old school fine dining lovers should be familiar with. This legendary institution has been around for 20 years – a unique feat given how tough gastronomy competition is in the island. My first meal here could be traced way back in 2006 leading by Gunther Hubrechsen. Ever since, I’ve been dining here in 3 other separate occasions. For my latest visit earlier this month, I felt obliged to (finally) write a review and share some pictures about my meal at Les Amis.
The meal began with an offering of several different kinds of bread and butter. My favorite bread was ham & mustard and I tasted salted and lemon olive oil butter. Les Amis served 3 tasting menu for dinner and I picked Degustation menu – the one in which the dishes having the most Tuber melanosporum on them. My favorite dishes were:
2nd: pan seared Hokkaido scallop, prepared until brown on the exterior and slightly raw in the middle, was sweet, tender and delicious. The earthy black truffle brought pleasant aroma and the caviar added some briny element. The “clear sauce” (probably from the scallop’s juice and seaweed butter) below was tasty 4th: onion tart with black truffle and quail egg was Lepinoy’s re-interpretation of his teacher’s famous dish. It did not disappoint at all – the onion with its thin crust was balanced & flavorful; the pungent ‘black diamond’ was very good while the egg white of the quail was creamy and a bit salty. 6th: Osaka beef cooked medium and perfectly prepared was simply marbled, juicy and pleasantly rich. I could easily ate lots of this tenderloin by itself. On the sides, I quite enjoyed many kinds of vegetables prepared by the kitchen: green+white asparagus, carrot, spinach and daikon.
The rest of the dishes were also fine but not quite at the level of the 3 things I savored above 1st: salmon tartar with generous serving of Caviar on top from Kaviari Paris. The caviar was among the finest quality I’ve ever had in Singapore. The salmon tartar was alright – fresh and not too rich.
The desserts created by an experienced local pastry chef, Ms. Cheryl Koh. Apparently, the sweet of the night was Millefeuille with vanila cream. The napoleon was actually nice – the most outstanding available in Singapore.
The dining room had a comfortably high ceiling with a bit formal atmosphere. Less than half of the seats were filled; there were 2-3 groups of regulars in the evening. The waiters were not too attentive – I had to waive my hands a few times when I needed something despite a slow night.
This dinner was the most satisfying one I’ve ever had at this restaurant particularly the food; my meal scored 93/100. In my notes, it’s about the same level as Amber HK. The 4-star award bestowed to Les Amis by Forbes travel guide is well deserving. For pictures, http://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/sets/72157641127008974/with/12593881444/
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