Tue - Fri: 12:00 - 14:00
Tue - Fri: 18:30 - 22:00
Sat: 18:00 - 22:30
Closed: Sun, Mon
Nicolas Le Restaurant is set up by Nicolas Joanny whose style of cuisine is traditionally French with great usage of products from the Provence.
I had a great meal at Nicolas Le on Friday night which left me wondering what took me so long to return! I was a real fan of chef Nicolas Joanny when he used to helm Les Saisons back in 2003/2004. The restaurant is cosy and unpretentious, a great place to unwind after a long day at work with good wine (the sommelier recommended a great bottle of pinot noir) and food. Service is competent and non-intrusive or push and the sommelier made a good wine recommendation.
Nicolas Joanny's cuisine is traditional French but interpreted in a lighter, delicious contemporary way. His always keeps it very ingredient forward - his culinary skill is really in keeping the flavours and textures balanced and retaining the natural flavours of the ingredients without overcomplicating things. The meal started off with his homemade duck terrine (with the right amount of oil to give it a lovely all-round smoothness) with crispy bread which really served to do its thing which was to whet our appetites. I did not note down each of the courses and frankly can't remember everything I ate but suffice to say each course pleased both myself and my (fussy) dining companion.
I'm not sure why Nicolas Le is not often a name that comes up when one talks about French/European fare in Singapore. Yes the decor and service is simple (and as the previous reviewer noted, could be sexier), parking can be a bit of an issue, but I was really happy with the food especially the execution and I thought at $98 the tasting menu was well worth it. The next time I'm going to try the Surprise Menu (8 courses at $125). I understand that he changes his tasting menu every month although I must say I really enjoyed what he is offering this month.
There is also a private dining room available.
First thing first, alot of what they were trying to serve as home made tastes and probably is... industrial. List of a few things that tastes industrial, bread and crackers from the starters, and the cakes for the desserts even the rillette they were using for the starters tasted like it came out from a can. The entire experience was inadequate. The food was pretentious and unappetizing. Poor and uneven seasoning which makes some things bland and most of others salty. Granted that the quality of the meats in the mains were good, but good ingredients also requires good seasoning and proper treatment. Alot of what they were trying to create didn't make sense visually or even in the mouth. And of course the worst experience comes with the price that they are charging for their food. Way too expensive for what is being served. I had seen the share of bad reviews of the place from others before we went in, but i was not prepared to be disappointed to the point of leaving this review.
I can't think of that many restaurants in Singapore where you are served real perfection, in fact I can count them on one hand. This is one of those few.
The Chef has an excellent control of the kitchen, consistently delivering perfection with every dish, maintaining the right balance between creativity, tradition and taste. I would consider without a doubt this to be the best fine dining French in Singapore (setting aside insanely priced "celebrity" restaurants), only having Jaan as a worthy competitor.