Lé Fusion: Fusion or Confusion? Modern Chinese Dishes at Robertson Quay

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If fusion food gets you going, then you’ll probably have heard about the newly-opened Lé Fusion at Robertson Quay, the brainchild of a husband-and-wife duo.

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Inspired by their past travel experiences, they try to bring the East and West together in Lé Fusion. The restaurant-bar offers al fresco, riverside seating, as well as cosy indoors tables within the dim space decorated with Chinoiserie-esque murals.

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The neon signs, hanging red lights and wall murals all add up to an edgy, neo-Asian city atmosphere. Classic Cantonese songs croon from the speakers—a point towards its Shanghai Night vibes.

Note: the ‘‘ in the restaurant name is actually standing in for the Chinese character 乐, which means ‘joy’.

At first glance, I didn’t quite know what to make of the menu, which confusingly combines Chinese, Filipino, French, Italian influences—they weren’t kidding about the ‘fusion’ part of the name.

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Instead of the usual complimentary bread at most restaurants, Lé Fusion mixes things up with the Focaccia Rose Mantou. The mantou is made from a blend of pumpkin and original flour, crafted in layers to create a visually pleasing yellow-and-white “rose”.

It comes with vinaigrette dressing on the side, but my personal recommendation is to enjoy the mantou on its own and skip the vinaigrette. Sadly, the mantou was nothing out of the ordinary either, though I liked the hint of oregano.

Not off to a promising start, but I was hopeful that the other dishes would prove me wrong.

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The Crispy Pork Belly Mantou (S$12) comes with two pieces, so you can share it with your dining companion if you wish. Crispy, crackling, and absolutely divine, the pork belly skin crunched into greasiness like pork lard, while the melt-in-mouth layer of fats beneath complemented the tender meat well.

Although I’m a huge fan of crispy, crackling pork belly, this dish left me quite conflicted. Aside from the fluffy mantou and amazing pork belly, it also came with pickled veggies and mayo—an odd combination to be sure, especially with crushed peanuts which proved to be surprisingly sweet.

I believe the Crispy Pork Belly Mantou would work better sans mayo. A pity, as it didn’t manage to do justice to the pork belly.

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For the customary soup course, we had the Imperial Boiled Soup (S$28) with a shot of nu er hong on the side.

You get to decide if and when you want to add in the boozy shot. This luxurious version of the classic Buddha Jumps Over The Wall includes ingredients like scallops, abalone, dried oyster, chicken, and lots of wolfberries.

Served in a beautifully-patterned soup tureen, the double-boiled broth, unfortunately, didn’t have enough depth and complexity to match the rich ingredients. Add in the nu er hong for more sweetness—I definitely recommend it.

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In the spirit of experimentation, Lé Fusion has come up with the Rougie Foie Gras (S$25). The presentation was certainly intriguing. Aromatic smoke wafted from the glass dome, revealing foie gras served atop Chinese glutinous rice and drizzled with house-made tangy sauce.

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Creamy, gamey and melt-in-your-mouth, the foie gras was definitely the star. I loved the addition of tobiko too, which provided crunchy bursts of brininess. The glutinous rice worked as a decent backdrop to the richer flavours.

However, the strangely sweet, tangy sauce clashed with the other elements. This Chinese-French fusion might have worked better sans the tangy sauce.

Lé Fusion’s signature dishes include Lé Fusion Crispy Pork Roulade (S$32), Asian Crusted Provencal Lamb Rack (S$46), and Tsingtao Beef Fillet (S$42).

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Showcasing their crispy pork again, Lechon-style, in the Lé Fusion Crispy Pork Roulade, the pork belly centrepiece is stuffed with uncased sausage meat, then oven-roasted. It’s accompanied by baby tomato soaked overnight in Shanghainese plum wine and yuzu emulsion.

This was possibly one of Lé Fusion’s best dishes. I was grateful for the preserved fruits and lip-puckering sour sauce which helped to cut through the grease. The pork belly skin was so crispy it felt like I was eating an exceptionally huge piece of pork lard.

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I was quite excited to try the Tsingtao Beef Fillet, with the promise of Tsingtao beer-infused beef. The dish came with creamy cauliflower pommes mash, and papadum, though the latter didn’t really go well with the dish.

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After a 12-hour infusion with Tsingtao beer, the grilled Australian Augustus beef tenderloin actually had a distinctive hoppy zing. Unfortunately, the beef was rather dry and tough, requiring quite a bit of jaw-work.

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The Asian Crusted Provencal Lamb Rack was another dish you should order here. Crusted with breadcrumbs and herbes de Provence, the lamb rack came with a tangy, minty sauce and asparagus.

Slicing into the lamb revealed a blush-pink centre, and I appreciated the lean cut which held a decent bite. One of my favourite parts of the dish was actually the asparagus. Soft and refreshing, this was a much-needed palate cleanser after the meats.

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Moving on to the customary rice dish, the Braised Abalone Seafood Rice (S$38) is essentially Chinese mui fan upgraded with a premium seafood medley—Tasmania six-head abalone, scallops, fish, squids, prawns and mussels. This was a comforting dish, and it’d be perfect for rainy days.

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Craving something more Western instead? The Trio Pasta (S$34) lets you try three types of pasta—green pesto, chilli crab, and sesame squid ink—on one plate. My favourite was the green pesto, which was very aromatic (though a little unnaturally green).

The black squid ink pasta wasn’t terribly impressive. It certainly isn’t a first date dish; my teeth and lips were stained by the squid ink.

For spice lovers, the chilli crab pasta actually packed a punch, though it was very fishy as well.

Dessert brought a timely end to the meal, and we tried the Lé Fusion Chendol (S$14), and the Panna Cotta With Sweet Glutinous Rice (S$14).

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A three-layered concoction of kidney beans, green chendol jelly, attap seeds and crushed ice drizzled with coconut milk and Bailey’s cream, the chendol was actually fairly refreshing. The green jelly was actually stickier and denser than most other stalls, so it depends on whether you like the texture.

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My preferred dessert of the two is the Panna Cotta With Sweet Glutinous Rice. It brings together classic Italian dessert with traditional pulut hitam, and comes with crispy and thin lotus seed tuille. Give this a try if you still have tummy space; it wrapped up the meal nicely.

While Lé Fusion tries to bring together Western and Asian influences in its dishes, I can’t say it was a roaring success. At best, the dishes managed to muddle through with quality ingredients. At worst, it was confusing, to say the least.

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Would I return? Probably not. Something tells me they might actually have done better, had they picked a cuisine and stuck with it.

Chope Reservations

Expected Damage: S$40 – S$60 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Lé Fusion

80 Mohamed Sultan Road, The Pier @ Robertson, #01-07/08/09, Singapore 239013

Our Rating 3/5

Lé Fusion

80 Mohamed Sultan Road, The Pier @ Robertson, #01-07/08/09, Singapore 239013

Telephone: +65 6363 9966
Operating Hours: 5pm - 1am (Mon to Sat), 4pm - 10pm (Sun)
Telephone: +65 6363 9966

Operating Hours: 5pm - 1am (Mon to Sat), 4pm - 10pm (Sun)
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