Saveur Art @ Ion Orchard -Affordable French Dining

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Dining at the higher floors of Ion Orchard is often regarded as a lavish affair, encircled by elite brands that contribute to the upscale reputation of the mall. One would imagine to be paying at least $150 each for a meal at a French restaurant, especially at Ion Orchard where rental rates are expected to be extremely high, but Saveur Art @ Ion orchard contradicts just that.


Salmon Confit ($11) – with marinated ikura, cauliflower, horseradish

Saveur’s first foray into the Singapore food scene was a huge hit; it extinguished the intimidation of French dining and made it affordable to the masses. The Saveur Group’s latest venture, Saveur Art, is an upscale version of Saveur, starring a different set of menu exclusive to this outlet. Saveur Art features deluxe ingredients such as white and black truffle from Alba, Italy, langoustine and wild game like pigeon, without the exorbitant pricing. It also carries a larger range of wines compared representing different regions of France, which also includes two dealcoholized white and red wines. Fervent fans of Saveur can still find their favourite items like Angel Hair Pasta and Duck Confit at Saveur Art, albeit with slight twists. Continue reading

Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

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Joël Robuchon, a renowned culinary figure whom has accumulated a total of 25 Michelin stars in different parts of the world including Singapore, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Macau, Monaco, Paris and Tokyo, whose restaurants are on the top of every gourmand’s checklist, is a man of firm principles when it comes to French cookery. Speak to him about “molecular gastronomy” and expect a long face.

Seen as a stern and austere man, who allows no inferior work to leave the kitchen with his knowledge, those who have secured a position in his kitchens ought to be no less than the top of the line with great ambitions and talents. I can imagine the workspace spiralling into a frantic pace with each visit he makes, but his very appearance is also what many would eagerly anticipate –a rare occasion to meet the culinary legend that we worship endlessly. Even the staunchest fan may not have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of him.

I felt so privileged to be able to meet him in person, two years ago, when Resorts World Sentosa organised the RWS Food Affair, in which the RWS Celebrity Chefs Dinner brought together six prominent chefs including Joël Robuchon.

Dining at Joël Robuchon Restaurant may not be that far-fetched a dream. While it can cost up to an intimidating $500 per person for dinner, fans can get a taste of Joël Robuchon’s culinary finesse for just under $60. Turn to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, a relaxed concept adjacent to Joël Robuchon Restaurant underlining a heightened level of interaction between chefs and diners with just a (wall-less) counter separating the kitchen and main dining area. Lunches are priced at $48, $68 or $108 per person, and dinner at $68, $98 or $138. The a la carte menu also offers tasting portions.

I headed to Resorts World Sentosa with great anticipation that Saturday afternoon, all eager to be impressed all over again at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon where I visited two years ago, only to find out that I have gotten the date wrong. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon was closed; it is only open for lunch on Sundays (operates for dinner from Thursdays to Mondays). Joël Robuchon Restaurant on the other hand opens for lunch on Saturdays (operates for dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays). I was dressed for L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and underdressed for Joël Robuchon Restaurant, and so was my dining companion. The front of house crew were gracious and ushered us to the seating area without any air, while a table at the swanky Joël Robuchon Restaurant was being prepared for us. I took awhile adjusting to the situation, having to strip off the casual persona and gradually starting to believe that I’m going to dine at Joël Robuchon Restaurant. Lunch at Joël Robuchon Restaurant is far more affordable than dinner, starting at $78 to $118 per person. The versatile menu allows diners to compose their own meals by picking and combining items from a list of appetisers, mains and desserts. For instance, the $118 per person meal includes the Amuse-Bouche, choice of 1 appetiser, choice of 1 soup, choice of 2 main courses, choice of 1 dessert, and coffee or tea served with petit four. Dinners are priced at $228 to $428 per person.

Quoting Joel Robuchon, “Innovation, Modernity and Tradition are the three words that inspired me to create this menu…” “You can adapt as you wish by choosing one, two, three or four services, depending on your appetite, your desires, and discover a multitude of flavours.”
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Lewin Terrace -Romantic Dining Spot in Singapore

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Lauded as one of the most romantic dining spots in Singapore, Lewin Terrace is no longer a secret notwithstanding the fact that it is being concealed by exuberant greenery and tucked away from sight. Here is where many marriage proposals, weddings and anniversaries happen; its close proximity to the ROM (Registry of Marriages) makes this spot even more popular for celebrations of love.

Perched on the edge of Fort Canning Park accessible by a flight of garden steps, the restaurant is housed in a stately 100+year old black and white bungalow, serving up refined cuisine that marries French culinary techniques with the brilliance of Japanese ingredients.

Many are intimidated by its formal aura, but you’d be glad to know that lunch sets begin at an affordable $38++ (4 courses). Wine pairings are available from $38 for 3 glasses, while sparkling or still water comes at $8 for unlimited flow. The following courses are part of the Omakase-style menu priced at $108++ per person.


Buri Daikon (part of the Omakase set meal)

Judging from the food he presents, I can tell Chef Ryoichi Kano of Lewin Terrace is one who respects ingredients and is strict on quality. The starter of Buri Daikon is a playful combination of Japanese and French, with the clean tasting Japanese yellow tail matching the classic French ratatouille seamlessly.


Foie Gras Terrine ($28)

The artfully plated Foie Gras Terrine has got to be one of regulars’ all-time favourite, seemingly becoming a staple on the menu. The rich and creamy foie gras terrine is wrapped in pickled radish (bettaraduke/Japanese pickles), served with a paper-thin crystal chip (potato chip) accompanied by a mango and passionfruit puree and lemon charcoal on the side for dipping. The idioms that go “good things come in pairs” and “good things come in small packages” both apply in this case. Continue reading

Burlamacco at Amoy Street

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A quaint Italian eatery sits along the stretch of Amoy Street, headed by a true-blue Tuscany-born Chef Gabriele –an indication of the authenticity of its cuisine. Already clinching the approvals of foodies, backed up by rave reviews, Burlamacco impresses with great culinary flair, with no pretentiousness involved.


Hand Chopped Red Tuna Tartar served with Avocado “Battuta” ($26)

Chef Gabriele’s approach to food is fun yet professional, staying true to his Italian roots while adding a few modern touches. He takes pride in the aesthetic aspect of food, with each dish making a visual impact.

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Duck Specialties by Roast Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato at Shisen Hanten of Mandarin Orchard Singapore

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One of the best things that’s happened to Singapore’s dining scene this year is the opening of Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Shisen Hanten (or Akasaka Szechwan Restaurant) is an establishment of great esteem, started in 1958 by the late Chen Kenmin who is regarded as Japan’s “Father of Sichuan Cuisine”.

A bit of history: Born in the Sichuan province of China, Chen Kenichi perfected his craft in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China before settling in Yokohama, Japan. The legacy is passed down to his eldest son, Chen Kenichi, who is one of Japan’s most celebrated iron chefs. To date, there are a total of 14 Shisen Hanten branches in six cities across Japan. Chen Kentaro, son of Chen Kenichi, picked up the tools of the trade through observing his father in the kitchen and learning by experience. He further honed his skills by working in Sichuan restaurants around the Sichuan province in China from 2005 to 2008.

Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard Singapore is its first debut outside of Japan. The extensive menu features innovative and modern Sichuan cuisine, as well as dim sum favourites, seafood and all-time favourites (such as Ma Po Dou Fu, Gong Bao Ji Ding, La Zi Ji and more).

Set lunches are priced at $42++/$50++ per person. Set diners are priced at $68++/$98++/$138++ per person.

This August, Barbecue and Roast Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato presents a special line-up of signature duck specialties, which include the Shisen Hanten Roasted Duck ($16 per portion/$32 for half/$62 for whole), Szechwan Tea-smoked Duck ($16 per portion/$32 for half/$62 for whole), Osmanthus Pipa Duck ($32 for half/$62 for whole), Whole Duck stuffed with Hokkaido Rice and Goose Liver ($78 for whole), and Duo Braised Duck, Local and Hong Kong Styles ($20 feeds 2-3 pax/$30 feeds 4-6 pax/$60 feeds 7-10 pax).

Chef Kentaro travels to Singapore frequently to oversee the restaurant to ensure that quality remains at the high standards they’ve set. So fortunate to be able to meet him in person!


Osmanthus Pi-Pa Duck ($32 for half, $62 for whole)

Shisen Hanten serves Pi-Pa duck at its best. Coated in a sweet savoury glaze, the Osmanthus Pi-Pa Duck is roasted together with osmanthus flowers with aroma that seeps into the meat during the roasting process. The result is tender succulent meat with a floral hint. The accompanying osmanthus sauce may come across as overwhelming to some with its excessive sweetness and overly generous osmanthus specks. The meat itself needs no sauce –it’s perfect on its own.


Cold sliced jellyfish with sweet & sour sauce

While you’re there for the glorious roasted duck, don’t forget to check out the rest of dishes on the menu, which are equally impressive.


Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup ($28)

The Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup is a must-try. Multiple hidden layers include foie gras at the bottom followed by smooth silky chawanmushi, topped with a thick and chunky crab roe soup. Amazing.


Stewed fish fillet in super-spicy Szechwan pepper sauce ($26/$39/$52)

The stewed fish fillet in super-spicy Szechwan pepper sauce is another dish ubiquitous on any Sichuan restaurant menu. Tender succulent and thick slices of fish are served in a broth laced with spices. Here, the spice level is slightly toned down to cater to the constant stream of Japanese clientele.

Chen’s Mapodoufu “Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavour meat sauce served in Claypot ($20/$30/$40) is expertly done. One would usually consume Ma Po Dou Fu with plain rice. Here, rice is served in a stone bowl that’s topped with some vegetables and beansprouts. Chen’s Mapodoufu “Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavour meat sauce is poured over the rice and mixed up like a “bibimbap” (Korean mixed rice).

This ingenious way of eating Ma Po Dou Fu is oddly delicious and comforting.


Chen’s original spicy dry noodle ($12)

Another staple on the menu would be Chen’s original spicy dry noodle, tossed in an assertive sauce with bits of well-marinated minced meat.

Shisen Hanten truly impresses, with Sichuan cuisine executed with the finesse of Japanese cooking. Singaporeans are in for a treat.

The Roasted Duck Specialties menu by Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato is available for a limited time only from 12 August 2014 till the end of the month. For reservations, call 6831 6262/6266 or email shisenhanten.orchard@meritushotels.com