So far on this channel, we have seen restaurants in the strangest of places. Iris took us to the middle of a Norwegian fjord. and we went to a stadium to visit Geranium. In this episode, we are back in Singapore for Alexander the Guest Supreme Court Edition. This magnificent building was finished in 1940 to serve as city hall and Singapore’s supreme court. Then in 2005, the Prime Minister made an important announcement. The historic building would be converted into the country’s National Gallery. One hundred and eleven architects from 29 countries threw their hats into the ring. The
winner was Studio Milou Architecture from France. They broke ground in 2011 and 4 years later welcomed the public for the grand opening. That day, the people of Singapore got more than just a National Gallery. They also got a new pinnacle of fine dining. Our restaurant for today – Odette. Leading the team is Chef-owner Julien Royer. Inspired to cook by his maternal Grandmother, she taught him to prepare food with love and respect. After chef training, he went to work for Michel Bras at his signature restaurant in Laguiole In 2008, he made the jump to Singapore to
serve as Chef de Cuisine at Brasserie Les Saveurs and then did 4 years at the Swissotel’s JAAN restaurant. In 2015, he went solo. When choosing the name
his paternal grandmother, Louise. And his mother, Claudine. In 2022 Odette won the Art of Hospitality award for it’s unbeatable service. In 2023, Chef’s on the 50 Best List honored Julien Royer with the Chef’s Choice award. What a gorgeous building. I can totally see it as a former courthouse. with country’s most important rulings made here After a warm welcome, we are shown to our table. I’m happy they put me here with this great view. I feel like a kid in the front row. The kitchen staff seem super happy to be at work. More evidence that a
good experience is coming. But first, drinks. The champagne trolley arrives and I take the sommelier’s recommendation. A 2018 Georges Laval ‘Cumiéres’ distinguished by it’s golden color. It’s a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier grapes. It’s powerful. There are 2 tasting menus. I choose the one called Épicure for 337 euro. and the wine pairing for 204 euro. Our server delivers the opening statements. At first glance, I see tacos and french fries. The french fry is actually a warm choux pastry filled with 30 month old comte cheese from France. The taco shell is made of lentil
flowers and it’s filled with lentil salad and pork belly that is slow cooked for 48 hours and then char grilled. With it are tartlets packed with flavor. It’s sorrel cream, cured Japanese trout, corn flowers and salmon roe marinated in dashi. Excellent appetisers. The amuse bouche is a collection of things made from mushrooms. Here we have a mushroom soup and brioche with mushroom tea. It was light and delicate but the flavors didn’t have the impact I would have liked. That said, it was good. I don’t usually have tea at 3 Michelin star restaurants, but this was
a nice warm up for the main event. It’s time for a top up on the drinks. The sommelier recommends a 2015 Brut Nature from Pascal Agrapart. Brut Nature or Zero Dosage means no sugar is added. The result is champagne as dry as they can make it. It was a dynamic one. Fresh homemade bread is next. We have a truffle brioche and sourdough. With garlic parsley butter and a delicious olive oil from Spain. Our first course arrives in three parts. We have uni from Hokkaido served in two ways. First on french toast covered with brown butter
and yuzu zest. and then with prawn tartar from Sicily. Third, we got a heaping spoon of French caviar to make things even more exciting. It’s served on a perfect cloud of mussel mousse. I love the dramatic presentation. All the angles are covered in terms of acidity, texture and flavor and the quality is superb. What’s interesting about this restaurant is 90% of the ingredients are imported. That means Odette will NOT be getting the Green Michelin star anytime soon. But the customer wins by getting the absolute best ingredients from all over the world. Since we are talking
about Singapore, it’s quite common here. Equally as good as the food so far, is the service. There are so many enthusiastic young people working here. Their attitude is amazing. Our first wine arrives. It’s from Castilla y Leon in Spain. It’s a 2015 natural white wine from producer Menade. This wine is celebrated for it’s color and expressive aroma. It’s full-bodied with a long fruity finish. It’s perfect for our next course. That would be Normandy Brown Crab paired with avocado, nashi pear, coriander cress and sugar snap peas. Elevating the flavors we have wasabi oil and fingerlime that
give it a fragrant citrus taste. Another strong dish from the chef. Then, a dramatic entrance from a signature dish. This is the Rosemary Smoked egg. We are told the eggs come from Japan and the hens eat a diet of mostly carrots. This is what gives the egg it’s deep orange color. I imagine these chickens must have really good eyes as well. This dish hits all the senses. Smoldering under the glass is fresh thyme. The aroma is unbelievable. It was really good. Not mind blowing, but this presentation is unforgettable. At one point, I spoke to the
sous chef who said that people in this part of the world are generally not fans of strong acidity and salt. And it shows. Let me be clear. This is a very high-level French restaurant, which is really strong in service, kitchen techniques, textures, temperatures and flavors, and in ingredients, of course. but for my taste, the balance between fat and acidity was missing. My next wine is another Spanish white. This one is from the Andalucia region where they make world-famous sherry. This wine comes from the pedro Ximenez or PX grape. It features warm tropical fruit with a
touch of oak. For next, I chose an extra dish. And thank god I did. This dish was created by Chef Royer for the Bocouse d’Or cooking competition. It’s langoustine from Mozambique. At the base is leek fondue and on top we have shiso leaf. The sauce is the servers favorite. It’s made from vin jaune and buerre blanc. As god as my witness, this was wonderful. I finally got the salt and acidity I was looking for, plus some nice umami at the end. More seafood is next. This is Scottish Blue Lobster served with a miso caramel, endive
dashi and finished with a sake beurre blanc. As he pours the sauce, the server can’t help express how he feels about this dish. “Beautiful” This dish is a throwback to classic French cuisine. There’s a great balance between the endive and the lobster and it has a range of flavors from sweet to bitter. Our next dish is steamed Japanese kinki fish with squid and sudachi in a prawn consomme infused with ginger and lemon grass. The consumme is delicious and the fish is full of fatty indulgence. This dish was exquisite. A Haviland knife arrives at the table
as evidence that the main course is next. It’s even engraved with the Odette logo. Nice touch. The wine for this one is something I’ve never seen before. It’s a malbec called The New Black Wine from the winery Jean-Luc Baldes in Cahors, France. Cahors is often called the birthplace of Malbec. It’s said that the Romans planted the first grapes here 2000 years ago. The result was a wine SO red it was almost black. Just like that, they had a name for it. Black Wine. And it’s perfect for our main course. It’s another Chef Royer signature dish.
Kampot pepper crusted pigeon from Brittany, France. It’s presented here first and then returned to the kitchen for plating. It arrives at the table dressed up with black garlic and puree of cherry from Japan. The pigeon breast is crusted with Kompot pepper from Cambodia, and the leg is cooked confit for 3 hours. The server tells us that around the leg of the pigeon we will find a message from the chef. Although I was expecting to get a fortune, it was great to see details of the big story told in this interactive way. The pigeon was super
rich but the sauce and cherries worked well to balance it out. The meat of the leg fell off the bone and had a wonderful texture. Our server keeps a close eye on us and as we get near the end, he delivers a steamed bao so we can get every drop of this delicious sauce. It’s a strong closing statement from the savory courses. The general manager Dan pays us a visit next and comes bearing gifts. Cheese. When he opens it, the strong aroma slaps you in the face. It’s some of the best cheese on the planet.
There is also a selection of fruit jam, nuts, crackers and honey. And a garden salad to finish. With it we have a showcase of three different port wines. Our table is full once again We take a break between the mains and the deserts with an apple and mint palate cleanser. It’s refreshing and does the job. Next, dessert has the floor. The first is made with strawberries from Japan. It’s a sorbet and on top is an ice cream from fromage blanc and lemon verbena. It’s finished with a rich strawberry reduction. Rounding out the sweet courses is
an ever evolving Odette classic. It’s a yuzu tart with shiso and basil. It’s super light and fresh. The petit fours are last. We have a cold apple lollipop, beautiful Japanese fruit and a perfect canele to officially close the proceedings. At the end of the day, a restaurant is a business. You need to make money so you can do your thing. Having 3-stars doesn’t mean anything if you don’t deliver what people want. For me, most of the dishes were a bit “flat”, Except the dish which was made for the Bocuse d’Or, and it was perfect. The
chef’s talent and knowledge is unquestionable. As I see they adapt to the regional taste, because at the end of the day, they need to satisfy local customers. Other than that, Odette delivers big. The service was outstanding. It was refreshing to see warm, asian hospitality working so well with French professionalism. Everyone was great, but Dan and Jacques were two people who really helped make this experience a slam dunk. From the kitchen, I love to see up-and-coming talents so passionate and dedicated to their profession. The future is definitely theirs.