Anyone looking for a testimony on how French cuisine is evolving uniquely – and successfully – in Asia will do well to look at a bijou eatery at Stanley Street, where the matching of ingredients is curiously unorthodox and the profiling of flavours unusually light yet incredibly punchy.
Welcome to Lerouy (read Le-Hwee), the eponymous eatery of chef-owner Christophe Lerouy (“Christophe”), created with the backing of renowned local chefs – Willin Low of Wild Rocket and Gwen Lim of Patisserie G. A native of Alsace, France, Christophe cut his teeth with Michelin stars-decorated chefs of old including Guy Martin and the Pourcel twins before he landed on our shores in 2007. Here, he first plied his trade at The Lighthouse Restaurant before he went on to famously snag a star for Alma in Michelin’s inaugural edition.
At Lerouy, the style of service at the 26-seat counter, which abuts an open concept kitchen, is carte blanche. This means that the chef has complete freedom to serve what he wants with the freshest seasonal ingredients available. There is no menu to speak of, only questions that you’d need to answer about your dietary restrictions.
For OCBC Gastronomic Adventures, Christophe has created a six-course OCBC menu for dinner only, showcasing the special OCBC dish of in-season White Asparagus and Sea Urchin. The plump white asparagus from France is steamed to retain its succulence, plated with tongues of Japanese uni alongside a cloud of espuma and dollops of veloute from the same white asparagus and served with smidgens of uni-onion sauce in lime juice-spiked dashi perfumed with chive oil. The subtle sweetness of the asparagus and the oceanic sweetness of the uni, paired with puddles of savoury sauces and a hint of acidity from the broth work together to form a deliciously cohesive whole, greater than the sum of its parts.
With Christophe in command, you will most certainly be assured that his signature Cabbage dish will make an appearance. Many foodies pick this humble dish as their vegetable of choice and it is not difficult to see why. The cabbage is baked in salt crust, portioned and enriched with a topping of egg yolk puree layered over with a sliver of lardo. In it, he embeds dollops of lime gel for that whisper of refreshment. But Christophe reserves the most compelling flavours for the last: a final rich-green blanket of blitzed anchovies, parsley, garlic and brown butter to coat the palate with a heady dose of umami and a concluding sprinkle of pork skin crackling for a contrast of textures.
While your fish-of-the-day is unlikely to be the same, it does not hurt to wow you with a fish dish that the French chef is capable of. Take this French turbot that arrives flecked with puffed rice alongside cubes of foie gras, its richness tempered by smidgens of green apple wasabi gel and chive oil bathed in a delicately savoury gambas ginger tea poured at the table. In true Lerouy style, an acidic counterpoint arrives by way of a riot of soy sauce and vinegar-dressed French sea lettuce.
Lerouy offers a special OCBC Gastronomic Adventures menu available for dinner on Tuesdays to Fridays and all-day on Saturdays (S$108++ for six courses) from 21st April 2018 to 20th July 2018 for OCBC Cardmembers. VOYAGE Cardmembers are entitled to a special Champagne pairing at 6 glasses for $118++ per person (usual price S$140++). Find out more about OCBC’s exclusively curated menus at ocbc.com/gastronomy.
This post is presented to you in partnership with OCBC.