Hello readers! Another review from the Two Bears’ friend Alex, all the way in Singapore! This time Singapore’s only three Michelin starred restaurant, Joel Robuchon at RWS. I have wanted to dine here for years, ever since I heard stories about it’s quality from a pastry chef I worked for who had spent two years training there. She spoke so highly of it, I knew I had to get there while I was here. And so I did, the night after dining at L’Atelier. How would they compare?
I must point out that the sequence of service here is slightly different to most other restaurants. Not necessarily in terms of numbers of courses, but the way they are served. The degustation menu is broken up into ‘services’, where you’re served two or three dishes at a time. This allows you to eat at a steady pace, and not spend 4 or 5 hours to get through all the dishes. I like the idea a lot.
For this dinner, I had the degustation with the wine pairings.
OK, here we go, from the top!
The first course is a Robuchon classic, a legend in it’s own right. I’ve eaten this before, and this iteration was as visually beautiful and delicious as I’d remembered it. Imperial caviar and king crab, refreshed with crustacean jelly and light cauliflower cream. Stunning. Oh yeah, the 2009 Dom Perignon was pretty good with it too.
Now we have the ‘first service’, a set of three dishes. First, chilled lobster in sweet and sour turnip ravioli with fresh rosemary. A wonderfully light dish, that really showcased the lobster perfectly.
Second, shaved foie gras with french green bean salad and shaved parmesan. I loved this, the beans were perfectly crunchy and provided the perfect texture and freshness to compliment the foie gras and parmesan.
Lastly for this section, white asparagus blanc manger with a fresh tomato coulis. The tomato was incredibly concentrated, and provided a beautiful saltiness and sweetness to enhance the bitterness of the asparagus ‘foam’ (For lack of a better description)
The ‘second service’ was two dishes, first, crispy frog leg with garlic puree and vegetable miso emulsion. I understand frog leg won’t be for everybody, but this was delicious. The black garlic puree was a wonderful accompaniment. Plus, it was fried and crispy, what’s not to like?
Second was a semi-soft (a misleading description if I’ve ever seen one) with eggplant compote flavoured with coriander. This one was a little strange for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but it felt a little out of place. The egg was very soft (Which is great) but the eggplant was a deep red, and almost tasted like it was a middle eastern chili paste. The fried kaitifi pastry added a wonderful crispy/salty element. Certainly delicious, but a seemingly strange choice.
Service three. Three more dishes this time. Firstly, sea urchin and white asparagus (Sound familiar?) with chateau chalon sauce (Sound familiar?). I had these elements last night at L’Atelier, but I was certainly not disappointed to taste them again.
Pan seared langoustine with zucchini and almonds, refreshed with mint was a true delight. The langoustine was perfect, the zucchini crisp and the mint fresh. I loved it.
Lastly, a pan seared scallop, with spiced coconut milk and natural coriander. A perfectly cooked scallop, with a delicious sauce. I just found myself wondering, why so much sauce? I had no spoon to finish it, and certainly the scallop didn’t need it. A curious thing, but nothing more than that.
The fourth service brought me three more dishes. First, crispy amadai with a ‘bouillabaisse’ sauce and spicy flavours. Again, this was reminiscent of the dish from L’Atelier, but just different enough. Again, the adamai was cooked perfectly, and everything else balanced out to be wonderfully aromatic company.
Secondly, light artichoke mousseline with a cappuccino of chickpea and tumeric. Only the second vegetarian dish of the night, but this was one of my favourites. It’s fragrance was unmistakable, and it was only a shame that it’s serving was so small!
Lastly, probably my second favourite dish of the night, light ginger chicken broth with confit daikon and comte cheese ravioli. I loved it. Loved it. Loved it. A wonderfully rich broth, tender daikon and richness from impossibly small ravioli. I wanted more, but on reflection, I’m glad the portion size was as it was.
Now, onto the main. A single dish, and that was all it needed to be! Beef châteaubriand with foie gras, ‘Rossini’ style with port wine reduction. Wow. Thats all I can say. Wow. Perfectly cooked beef, carved tableside. I didn’t realise as it was being carved that it was, with no exaggerations, half beef and half foie gras. Two of my favourite things, meeting perfectly together. Everything about this main course was perfection.
As a side, what else, but Mr. Robuchon’s signature pommes puree. Two beautiful, silky, buttery spoonfuls appeared on my side plate. I will be eternally in love with this humble dish, brought to such amazing heights.
I had to take more than a few minutes to finish my wine and let everything settle a little. Luckily, some sorbets appeared, one yoghurt and one mango. Both freshly churned and delicious, perfectly serving their purpose as a palate cleanser.
Now, on to dessert. Three dishes. First up, Rice crispy with Sudachi lime jelly and Chitose strawberry. I quite enjoyed this, the classic combination of lime and strawberry was in full effect here, and the rice crispy was a nice touch.
Secondly, raspberry lightness, coconut ‘dacquoise’ and Japanese strawberries. It certainly lived up to it’s name, it was light! This was a visual delight, and it was certainly not lacking in flavours!
Lastly, cocoa nibs ‘grue’, Araguani creamy chocolate, chocolate sorbet. Certainly the richest of the dessert trio, the portion size was great, any bigger and I think it may have been too much. The chocolate sorbet was a highlight here, it was delicious.
After thinking I was done, it became apparent the kitchen and floor staff had other ideas! A trolley, with all manner of tarts and pastries on offer. I am always in for mille feuille, and St. Honoré, and luckily for me, both were on offer! Both were wonderful, these classics were a perfect finish for my meal.
I was offered numerous petit fours on a trolley to accompany my coffee, but I was far too full to take the staff up on their offer.
Overall, this was an amazing meal. The food was fantastic, and the wonderful sommelier has put together a tremendous wine pairing. The staff were incredible, and both their and the kitchen’s timings were impeccable. Plus, an utterly stunning dining room made for an incredible experience. I will say, this was a very expensive meal. My bill as a solo diner having degustation with wine was SGD$1100 (AUD$1084 at current exchange) including tip, so it certainly is a restaurant that takes serious dedication and interest to book at.
Value: N/A – (I feel this is highly subjective. I think my bill was worth it, but I know lots of people will disagree with me.)
Atmosphere: ★★★★☆ – (Again, the restaurant was very quiet. More diners, this is an easy 5 stars)
Address: 26 Sentosa Gateway, Hotel Michael, #01-104 & 105, Singapore 098138
Tip! Use the sommelier. I didn’t catch his name, but he was certainly full of knowledge and more than willing to steer you towards what you’ll like.