“The classic fine-dining giant”
A regular feature on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Les Amis is an award winning restaurant that was created to fill the lack of fine-dining options in Singapore in the early 90s.
Undergoing a $1.5 million facelift in 2015, Les Amis now houses a one-in-the-world customised Charvet stove-top island imported from France and designed by Executive Chef Sebastien Lepinoy himself. The oven itself could buy you a high-end luxury car in France!
The interior of the fine-dining restaurant now boasts new abstract paintings along with sleek, beige-grey leather chairs adding to the minimalistic theme of the atmosphere.
Seating capacity has also been increased 102 to accommodate more guests, including a 2nd floor with private rooms.
Les Amis, meaning “The Friends”, serves exquisite French cuisine combined with Japanese influence while still focusing very much on the natural taste of the base ingredients.
In fact, chef Sebastien Lepinoy is so meticulous about his ingredients that he insists Les Amis only source from 1 particular single-line fisherman from Île d’Yeu, an island in France. All the way out in this ocean region, there is a lack of pollution which results in great quality seafood.
This fisherman goes out every night to fish, and only exports what he has caught based on the season – ingredients seasonality plays a huge part in the creation of Les Amis’ dishes.
Post-renovation, the restaurant now has new lunch menus to provide options to different diners, with 3-course ($55++), 4-course ($80++) and even 7-course ($145++) menus.
Dinner will include a 6-course menu (including Amuse Bouche) at $165++, a 7-course menu (including Amuse Bouche) at $220++, and the 8-course menu (including Amuse Bouche and a cheese platter) at $280++.
Let’s go through some of the sophisticated dishes Les Amis has to offer, shall we?
Special Selection of Kristal Caviar – Cold angel hair in harmony with caviar and black truffle.
Added kombu stock gives even more umami to this signature angel hair caviar pasta, just reeling with oceanic flavour. The thin pasta strands not only retain a certain bounciness, separate out perfectly without clumping together. An absolute delight this is.
Steamed White Asparagus – White asparagus from Provence, France served with a traditional mousseline sauce.
The seasonal white asparagus tends to have a more bitter taste and a firmer body than its green counterpart, and thus goes really well with a rich, creamy mousseline sauce (similar to hollandaise but with cream) and that squeeze of lime to soften the heaviness.
The French are known to eat white asaparagus as a form of detox too.
Warm Lobster Rouelle – lobster and langoustine mousse encased within baby organic spinach, placed on a bed of classic fish bone sauce.
Christmas comes early with this green wrapped gift of crustacean delight. Chunks of lobster and langoustine just spill out upon breaking the spinach skin. When eaten with the ikura roe and fish bone sauce, the taste of the sea will tantalize your palate to no end, wishing this moment would linger on forever. Spinach adds that bit of bitter complexity to the dish so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
Taking Turbot fish bones, the fish bone is boiled down with butter to create that rich sauce base that ties the entire dish together.
Salmon Served Two Ways – wild Scottish salmon served in two ways with aromatiques vegetables.
The first method of cooking the salmon was a tataki, with the salmon being slow-cooked in confit then torched for that slight char glaze. This produced a soft pink centre that’s moist and still melts in your mouth. The other seving method was as a salmon tartare, with a completely contrasting texture to experience the salmon.
Baby Lamb – baby lamb rack from “Luberon” with ratatouille.
This here is a 21 day old baby lamb that has only been milk-fed and never grazed on grass before, thus producing a milky-white flesh. This baby lamb is arguably the best lamb I’ve ever eaten in Singapore and only available in specific seasons where the sheep start producing offspring.
I know it sounds kind of awful, but this lamb chop’s amazingly soft, tender flesh with almost no trace of usual lamb gaminess makes me forget whatever origin story this baby lamb had. Quantities are really small and the premium goes up to 2 or 3 times more than the usual lamb.
Tropical Fruits – in a sugar sphere with coconut sorbet.
The delicately thin sugar shell broke open to reveal a delightful alphonso mango puree with coconut sorbet for a smooth, refreshing end to the meal. Not overly indulgent and heavy like many chocolate desserts, this was a sweet ending I liked.
Other than the magnificent food, service remains top priority with waiters explaining the dishes when served (although a tad too meekly), but the ever vigilant restaurant manager is always ready to answer further questions and serve the needs of guests.
Establishing their reputation as one of Singapore’s oldest fine-dining classics, Les Amis proves why they are listed amongst Asia’s top restaurants which have stuck around for years, visited by celebrities and the elite alike.
Les Amis also boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in Asia and has been on the Wine Spectator Grand Award Winners for 18 years running, since 1996.
Never resting on their laurels, the major renovation has expanded Les Amis’ culinary capabilities and efficiency to dish out fine gourmet in Singaporea for years to come.
Expected Damage: $70 – $200 per pax