Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fine French cuisine in Singapore: Les Amis

Les Amis at Shaw...a veritable name in French cuisine in Singapore. I have been eating here since its inception when Justin Quek and Ignatius Chan were at the helm. Excellent excellent restaurant then. It want through a phase where the cuisine was a bit shakey, especially in the face of competition rising in the early 2000s. But recently, several tastings at the restaurant has restored my faith and love for their cuisine.

The evening's wine

When Parmigiani Fleurier asked Watchonista to organize a dinner event for collectors in Singapore to re-introduce the brand and celebrate their new partnership with The Hour Glass, Watchonista asked me to help and we decided to hold it at Les Amis.

Total of 24 guests. Private room upstairs. Dedicated wait staff. Dealing with Eileen Eng, the Guest Relations Manager was a, responsive, and informative.
My photographs, purchased by Parmigiani Fleurier on the walls.

The wines proposed had some favourites like the Domaine Dujac Morey St-Denis, the Chablis Premier Cru from Daniel Dampt & Fils and the well loved Oremus Tokaji Aszu. But the Bruno Paillard NV Champagne proposed was unknown to me. I went with the sommalier suggestion for the champagne and it turned out brilliant.

But I am getting ahead of myself...the amuse bouche

Not sure what it was...the waiter did not explain when he served...I spoke to the head waiter later and asked for the dishes to be announced...which they duly complied.

The white was a Premier Cru chablis...very elegant on the nose, and elegant on the palate, dry, but a fine finish.

The first course asparagus

While not the Konig Asparagus I had in Germany, these were German, and quite large samples. Nicely cooked, marinated...and with a serving of uni, chips and Gribiche sauce. The uni was a tad little, and I hardly tasted the delicacy....wished it was larger. But the asparagus was fine.

Next an excellent pasta dish

Homemade pasta with Japanese shrimps and black truffle infused stock. The truffle was light and delicate, only a hint to perfume the sauce, but not overpowering. The Japanese shrimps were a delight...with the shells on, they were crisp and crunchy, and had a beautiful flavour. Very good with the pasta.

For my mains, I had the char grilled black Angus beef tenderloin with mushrooms, broccolini and pommes rissolees

A nice size piece of beef. Often in the high end French restaurants, the serving sizes follow the haute cuisine portions...very small. But this serving of beef was substantial. Beautifully cooked...medium rare as I requested, though the outside was not exactly charred. But really nice piece of beef. Went extremely well with the red selected. The red was the star of the evening.

Some of the guests preferrred fish, which looked beautiful, with some broth...I did not sample any.

And for desserts, a chocolate delice with rhubarb and elderflower ice cream

Superb. The delice was a rich dark chocolate with shards of crisp chocholate embedded for a more interesting texture. The ice cream was soft, rich, creamy, and was melting away as most of the guests were busy admiring the watches which was brought out on trays.

And the magnificent Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos by Oremus. Dark, a bit moody, but rich, sweet and delightful.

Truly an excellent meal. I was a little sad to know that two days after our dinner, the chef de cuisine Armin Leigteb was leaving to return to his native Austria...and I hope the Group's Executive Chef Galvin Lim who will take the helm from June will retain the excellent cuisine which is now synonymous with the Les Amis name. Gives me an excuse to return to sample Galvin's cuisine later.

Les Amis
1 Scotts Road, #02-16 Shaw Centre
6733 2225

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