La Belle Époque: Waterfront dining at Boat Quay with tastes from all over Europe

Personal, fresh, handcrafted. These 3 descriptions come immediately to mind when I recall my lunch at La Belle Époque. Nestled in a scenic corner on Boat Quay along the Singapore River, this classy restaurant has yet to be open a year but is making waves for the right reasons.

lbe - exterior

lbe - interiors

At the helm stands celebrity chef Firdauz Nasir, as comfortable in the heat of the kitchen as he is in front of the camera. Chef Firdauz presides over a relatively cosy setup. The restaurant has alfresco seating for 20, indoor seating on the first level for 10, indoor seating on the second level for 30 and patio seating for a further 12.

That intimacy pales in comparison to the personal care and attention that goes into creating every dish, no matter the size and complexity.

Close to every ingredient is prepared in-house, including the sauces. Each herb you espy on your plate was, until quite recently before that moment, swaying in the breeze in La Belle Époque’s herb garden. Every morsel of meat served undergoes a painstaking curing process under their roof.

Curiosity piqued and appetite whetted, I was ready to dig in.

What I tried at La Belle Époque

lbe - collage of dishes and cocktail
Credit – La Belle Époque

La Belle Époque has just revamped its à la carte menu. It’s not an arbitrary change for change’s sake but a thoughtful process inspired by customer feedback. My first taste of it was the bar.

lbe - cocktail

Violette Sour (S$20) comes in a martini glass filled almost to the brim. Widges organic gin, elderflower liqueur, Tempus Fugit Violette, fresh lemon and egg white create an opaque white concoction that I found exciting.

lbe - cocktail at bar

It was bright and sunny outside and I was already having my second cocktail of Butterscotch Sgroppino (S$20). It’s made with Tried & True organic vodka, Madagascar vanilla gelato, butterscotch liqueur and Prosecco. This was like a cross between a milkshake and cocktail. Light drinkers like me, this one’s for you!

lbe - cheese and ham platter

Our drinks were a pleasant accompaniment to the Charcuterie and Cheese Platter (S$40). You can opt for any 4 selections of cold cuts and cheeses. The Smoked Salmon gravlax cold smoked with red wood with lemon, orange and dill was particularly superb, as was the Comte Rivoire, a type of hard cheese which abounds with nutty and caramelised flavour. 

What was refreshing was the addition of the sweet orange, grapefruit skin and the watermelon rind, which not only enhances the flavour but is also part of the restaurant’s efforts to create zero waste recipes to promote sustainability. The beautiful array of colours on the platter was just the cherry on top.

lbe - fish and chips

lbe - close up of fish

A touch of the ocean followed, in the form of Seabream & Chips (S$25). Fried to absolute perfection in light and crispy smooth batter, the tempura seabream was just divine. No fishy smell or taste at all. The sides of french fries, garlic aioli and lemon wedge were ideal.

lbe - lamb chops

Arriving next at our table was the Barbecued Lamb (S$26). This super-tender grilled lamb shoulder turned out to be my favourite dish at La Belle Époque.

lbe - close up of lamb

It is prepared to just the right thickness so the meat is easy to cut and eat while still substantial. The sauce was incredible and the creamy mashed potato even better. I cleaned my plate!

lbe - duck

I don’t fancy duck but the Canard du Ciel (S$29) of braised duck leg, duck breast and seared foie gras didn’t possess the intense flavour that turns me off. The pommes yam (puree) and coriander port wine sauce were so well done, though! Both my dining partners adored this dish and it was easily their favourite of the afternoon.

lbe - chicken and potato salad

From the ‘Communal’ section of the menu came Poulet Rôti (S$32). This is French whole roast chicken with potato salad. Super moist and soft, the chicken meat was elevated even further by the amazing special marinade. Still, it was prepared light enough that you can have this as a shared dish while still enjoying your own main.

Chef Firdauz, please add more marinade! It was just too good!

lbe- chocolate tart

An afternoon of highlights was brought to a close by the Aux Chocolate Tart (S$15). With bourbon cherries and mascarpone mousse, this sweet and dense, chocolatey tart has an intense cherry flavour. That addition of cherry makes this especially interesting.

Final thoughts

“La Belle Époque is a wonderful waterside spot to chill,” I thought to myself as I leaned back in my comfy chair after my taste of their fantastic new menu. A light breeze was blowing, birds were literally chirping and gentle ripples on the river’s surface caught the sunlight mesmerisingly.

lbe - table of dishes

What a day of discovery. Memories of the Barbecued Lamb still entertain me and I long to uncover the secret of the marinade from the Poulet Rôti. La Belle Époque is well worth a return visit.

That may come sooner than I’d initially thought with their Christmas Menu Set Course (S$78++) of amuse bouche, appetiser, main and dessert.

lbe - cauliflower wellington

lbe - pouring gravy over wellington

The Le Chou-Fleur De Wellington is Cauliflower Wellington with crispy brussel sprouts and vegetables demi-glace. I found the crust very light and flaky and it was just stuffed with cauliflower.

lbe - pie

Banofee Pie is saccharine heaven with dulce de leche, roasted banana, chocolate snow and cinnamon tart. This was not too heavy but very sweet, just like it should be. Presentation wise, a 10 on 10.

lbe - fruit cake

The Black Fruit Cake turned out to be my favourite dessert of the day. It’s a spiced tuile covered in cinnamon snow, served with vanilla ice cream. Good fruit cake is hard to come by in Singapore. What we usually get is very dry but this was light, fruity and not overly sweet. I loved that the cinnamon powder gave it a Christmas-y feel!

Expected damage: S$30 – S$80 per pax

* This article was brought to you in partnership with La Belle Époque.

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

La Belle Époque

63 Boat Quay, Singapore 049851

Our Rating 4/5

La Belle Époque

63 Boat Quay, Singapore 049851

Telephone: +65 6732 1687
Operating Hours: 12pm - 11.30pm (Mon to Fri), 4pm to 11:30pm (Sat), Closed on Sun
Telephone: +65 6732 1687

Operating Hours: 12pm - 11.30pm (Mon to Fri), 4pm to 11:30pm (Sat), Closed on Sun
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