Best French restaurants in Singapore

Dish of “pure” at Restaurant Andre

Singapore has its fair share of French restaurants.
From old guards like Saint Pierre to celebrity chef outposts like Joel Robuchon’s twin eateries at Resorts World Sentosa, choices are abundant – limited only by the size of your wallet. 

In recent years, boutique eateries like Restaurant Andre and Jaan have emerged as firm favourites among Francophile foodies, thanks in no small part to the media spotlight cast by their listing on SP World’s 50 Best and, most recently, Asia’s 50 Best.

If you’re looking for French dining establishments in the lion city, here’s our selection of the finest:

Lobster bisque @ Saint Pierre
From as little as S$148++, you may feast like a king on Saint Pierre’s (31 Ocean Way, #01-15 Quayside Isle | Tel: 65-6438 0887 | www.saintpierre.com.sg) 10-course omakase menu that features Emmanuel Stroobant’s Japanese-inflected modern French cuisine – think petite portion of lobster bisque or the dish of yuzu-scented prawn tartare crowned with a tongue of uni. Another bonus of dining here is the priceless view of luxury yacht docked at the nearby quay.
Cevennes onion start with poached egg @ OCF
Equally affordable is OCF (1 Old Parliament Lane #02-02 | 65-6333 9312 | www.ocf-singapore.com).Perched on the northern banks of the Singapore River, the main dining room offers limited views of the said river through beautifully white washed French windows, but the light and wholesome modern French fare by Jonathan Koh more than makes up for it. Pick the terroir inspired tasting menu (7 courses, S$148++) highlighted by dishes like Cevennes onion tart with poached egg and potato capellini topped with Oscietra caviar. But if you can’t get through dinner without meats, menu Stamford (7 courses, S$148++) beckons with generous portions of meats and seafood.

Chilled angel hair pasta in truffle jus with Oscietra caviar @ Gunther’s (Photo courtesy of Gunther’s)

Gunther’s

Gunther’s (36 Purvis Street | 65-6338 8955 | http://www.gunthers.com.sg) by Gunther Hubrechsen, a Les Amis alum who trained with Alain Passard, also offers a bespoke tasting menu from S$150++ for 5 courses within the hushed and hallowed charcoal grey confines of his Purvis Street digs. While the menu is determined entirely by Hubrechsen (and your budget), must-haves include the intensely savoury chives-flecked chilled angel hair pasta in truffle jus crowned with Oscietra caviar and the legendary apple tart.
Tasmanian abalone in Iberico consomme with toufu and mustard seeds @ Keystone 
Alternatively, stretch your dollar at Keystone (11 Stanley Street | 65-6221 0046 | www.keystonerestaurant.com.sg). Merely 2 years old, this modern French eatery at Stanley Street has risen resolutely as a haute cuisine contender with the instalment of Immanuel Tee early this year. For S$155++, the table d’hôte menu arrests your senses with alluring plates like Tasmanian abalone in a savoury pool of Iberico consommé with sautéed silken toufu alongside crunchy mustard seeds. What’s not to like about Keystone?
Bone marrow with mustard on toast @ L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
For French dining with all the pomp and glam, there’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (8 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa | 65-6577 8888) at Resorts World Sentosa by the world’s most decorated Michelin starred chef, Joel Robuchon. Reserve a seat at the salon’s black-and-red swathed 28-seat counter that looks into a stainless steel-clad open-concept kitchen and ask for the Discovery Menu (S$240++, 8 courses). The ensemble of artfully plated creations – think bone marrow spiked with mustard served on a wafer of toast or the lone ranger of crisp langoustine tempura with basil pistou – is sure to please. Robuchon has carbon copies of the same concept in cities ranging from Paris to Hong Kong to Tokyo – isn’t this proof enough?
Le Mikan by Sebastian Lepinoy @ Les Amis

Les Amis

When perusing French eateries, don’t overlook Singapore’s fine dining stalwart, Les Amis (1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre | 65-6733 2225 | www.lesamis.com.sg), in the heart of Orchard Road. Yes, imported chefs – like Gunther Hubrechsen and Armin Leitgeb – have come and gone but Les Amis has yet another trump. Former Joel Robuchon Hong Kong executive chef, Sebastian Lepinoy, who presided over the now defunct Cepage – which closed in June 2013 – now call the shots with a triumvirate of tasting menus: decouverte (S$150++ for 5 courses), epicurien (S$205++ for 6 courses) and degustation (S$280++ for 7 courses). We suggest you skip lunch to savour Lepinoy’s Japanese accented French extravaganza via the degustation, which may feature L’Amadai (Amadai fish with scales served in an aromatic saffron-scented bouillabaisse with squid and sauteed lobster) and Le Mikan (confit of candied whole mikan stuffed with mikan panna cotta and sorbet on a light earl grey jelly.)
“Memory” dish of foie gras jelly with black truffle coulis @ Restaurant Andre
Equally if not more notable is Restaurant Andre (41 Bukit Pason Road | Tel: 65-6534 8880 | www.restaurantandre.com) by Singapore’s most feted chef, Andre Chiang. Restaurant Andre landed the fifth spot on San Pellegrino Asia 50 Best list in 2013 and was listed by New York Times as one of ten restaurants in the world that are worth a plane ride in 2011. Chiang’s 8-course Mediterranean-inspired French menu (S$298++), termed Octaphilosophy, is an expressions of his culinary inspirations interpreted as “pure”, “salt”, “artisan”, “South”, “texture”, “unique”, “memory” and “terroir” on the menu. While the dishes change seasonally, you can almost always expect to see the memory dish of foie gras jelly with black truffle coulis. Gear yourselves up for an epic meal: other than 8 mains, Chiang also serves up a parade of amuse bouche and numerous courses of sweets including an updated rendition of his now-famous Snicker bar dessert conceived during his 2-year stint with Jaan.
Confit of Arctic char topped with grated burnt bread @ Jaan
 Jaan
When Chiang left Jaan (Level 70 Equinox Complex, Swissotel The Stamford| Tel: 65-6837 3322 | www.swissotel.com)in 2010, some said his shoes were too big to be filled. French native, Julien Royer, proved detractors wrong. Not only did he build up a fan base with his heartfelt, artisan-inspired contemporary French cuisine, Royer swiftly won his way to the hearts of the Diners’ Club academy, clinching the coveted “One to Watch” award at the inaugural San Pellgrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013. To savour the best of Royer, ask for the 10-course Inspiration menu (S$298++) and you’ll be rewarded with dishes like 55-degree rosemary smoked egg with chorizo iberico or the avaocado cannelloni stuffed with chorizo-flecked Osiblu prawn tartare. Royer also serves an exquisite confit of Arctic char fish topped with grated burnt bread – it is, quite simply, the best fish dish in the world.
Crusty eel mille-feuille layered with smoked foie gras @ Joel Robuchon Restaurant
Perched right atop the price scale, Joel Robuchon reappears on the radar with his high-end Joel Robuchon Restaurant (8 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa | 65-6577 8888) sited next door to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. In the Pierre-Yves Ronchon-designed dining room decorated with Lalique vases and crystal chandeliers, feast on Le Printemps (14 courses, S$488++), one of Singapore’s most expensive – and extensive – tasting menus. Befitting the price and the setting, expect top-notch produce like Maine lobster with tomato jelly and spring vegetables or the crusty eel mille-feuille layered with smoked foie gras. And be bedazzled by the tastiest 4-wheeled vehicles in town, not least the bread trolley, the cheese trolley, the tea trolley and, best of all, the trolley of mignardises. Be prepared to spend up to 5 hours here.
© Evelyn Chen 2013

Please note that the reviews published in this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.

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