last monday is what people would call a bridge workday — an unfortunate work day stuck between the weekend and a public holiday. so the common notion would be to take leave and enjoy a mega long weekend. so take the leave i did, and i used the off day to bring my parents for an executive lunch at st pierre, since dinner options would have been scarily exorbitant.
st pierre is tucked away along magazine road, in a quite little corner where you don’t just chance upon the place. you have to know the establishment exists and actually go hunt for it. but i guess with celebrity chef emmanuel stroobant at the helm, its worthwhile to hunt for the restaurant. mind you, i hunted for this restaurant because i had gone for the more pared down, cheaper version of chef stroobant’s creations at picotin and thoroughly enjoyed myself and hence i wanted more stroobant. lol.
so the interior exudes a sense of classy, understated luxuriance. there’s an air of sophistication and quiet atas-ness that can intimidate casual eaters initially, but you are put to ease immediately by the maitre d’. speaking of service, i must really commend the maitre d’ for a class act, being able to put everyone at ease and remove any sense of pretentiousness that one would assume would be attached to a classy restaurant like this. you see, my dad was kinda not familiar with the dishes and their names but the maitre d’ instantly saw my dad’s troubles and deftly handled the situation, warmly explaining what the lunch menu entailed and introducing us the best picks from the menu without a sense of haughtiness and without losing any bit of professionalism. that’s singapore service at its best imo. ok lets get to the food.
the first amuse bouche was a smoked salmon concoction (see picture above). this was a nice refreshing start, the salt grains blending well with the salmon and tomatoes. i couldn’t catch the full breakdown of the ingredients sadly, because after the maitre d’ left, the ensuing waitress wasn’t too good at explaining the dishes in detail. =(
we were next served our bread and i must say, one thing i absolutely adore about french food is how the weave in design and aesthetic within food, be it in the presentation, the colors involved with the food and even how food is described in french restaurants. every dish feels like a visual art experience both literally and metaphorically. i mean, where else would you see bread being presented in such an interesting manner? and it was delicious bread i must say — we had milk bread on the top panel along with sourdough and a yoghurt bread at the side paired with salted butter and hazlenut butter (which my dad loved). each piece was warm and smelt heavenly, and the dabs of butter lent a complementary savory touch to the bread. yummy.
amuse bouche #2 – lobster carpaccio with zucchini. again, i’m kinda annoyed because i couldn’t fully understand what the ingredients were thanks to the mumbling of the waitress. the lobster carpaccio was fresh, refreshing and delicious, the salty seafood flavor blending well with the zucchini.
appetizer – classic foie gras – pan fried foie gras with caramelized green apples and old port sauce. HEAVENLY. the best foie gras i had tasted in a long long while that truly melted in your mouth thanks to the warm sauce poured atop of the foie gras (that i assume melted the foie gras slightly). really complex, intense flavors. between this rendition of the foie gras and kinki’s foie gras and salmon sushi, i’m seriously starting to become a fanboy of foie gras.
another classic from the restaurant, the cabillaud au miso, miso braised black cod with bacon pancakes, pan fried endives and parmesan emlusion. when i saw this in the menu i instantly gravitated toward the bacon pancakes which sounded so good. when this was served, i was awed by the size of the black cod – almost completely justifying the price of the entire meal instantly. the cod was perfectly done, flakes falling off cleanly and tasting fresh and wonderful. but what really sold the dish to me was the combination of the bacon and the cod – wow, i wouldn’t have thought of such a combination but this really worked. somehow the salty flavor of the bacon juxtaposed perfectly with the nuanced, more balanced flavor of the cod, and enhanced the flavor of the cod, giving additional complexity to the dish. amazing stuff.
ahh desserts – chocolate cake, grandma stroobant’s flourless belgian chocolate with raspberries and orange zest confit. ya’know, i get immensely jealous when i see grandman’s blah blah.. on menus because i wish my family had a long heritage of amazing chefs or something with many treasured recipes to pass down. lol.. wouldn’t it be amazing to head home and smell this baking in the oven? the chocolate was just the right amount of richness and complexity. yum.
petit fours (french translation of “small oven”, usually small confections served at the end of a meal) – for this we had passionfruit macaroon, some sort of meringue and.. sigh.. i can’t really remember because the passionfruit macaroon dominated my taste buds memory. haha.. the macaroon was delicious and light, not as creamy as Canele’s renditions or as intense a flavor as La Duree, but somehow it felt just right in terms of the lightness and how it tied the entire meal together.
all in all, a beautiful gastronomic experience. i think only in french food would you call a meal beautiful, and this is one such case. the damage to your wallet? well, for set lunches, dessert+main course goes at 32, appetizer+main course goes at 42, with a supplement of 8 if you order the foie gras (do it), and the entire trio goes at 52. methinks its really pretty value for money considering the food you eat. its not those stingy bite sized portions, but sumptuous and yet nuanced dishes that excite your palete and bring you on a gastronomical roller-coaster ride. come here once for the real deal. 8.75/10
st pierre the restaurant | 3 Magazine Road Singapore 059570 | french, fine dining, desserts, contemporary