Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Les Amis Restaurant @ Shaw Centre

Les Amis (1, Scotts Road, #02-16, Shaw Centre, Tel: 6733 2225) is almost an institution in Singapore, as it is widely recognised by many to be one of the best fine-dining restaurants in these parts.

Today, I went for lunch there with an old friend, one of the loveliest people I know. This friend has been through a lot in recent years, yet he remains kind, good-natured, charming, friendly and thoughtful. I really admire him. Lunch with such great company was therefore remarkably memorable.

We all had the Business Executive Luncheon (SGD48) for 3 courses, which I think is great value for such well-executed fare.

First, a bottle of Premier Cru, 1997 vintage. Very smooth and mellow. I cannot claim to be a wine connoissieur, and most wines fall into only 2 categories for me: (1) nice or (2) yucky, but I really enjoyed this one.

The complimentary amuse bouche (palate teaser) was foie gras terrine with raisin toast. It was lovely, velvety and rich. As you can see, the terrine was not made of chopped up unidentifiable mystery bits. Rather, it was made by compacting pieces of foie gras together. Look, you can still see the distinct lines. A great start.

For my appetiser, I had snails in bearne sauce (which is white wine and cream). It was savoury and hearty, very welcome on a cold rainy day.

The others all ordered the grilled portobello mushroom with a sunnyside up egg. Doesn't it look lovely?

My main of pan-roasted duck breast with braised endives was beautifully plated, and tasted wonderful. The meat was succulent, and juicy, and the skin was lightly crispy, with a layer of fat between the skin and meat, just the right amount to render this dish divine. The quenelle of mashed potato was delicious and generous. The braised endives, under the duck, was cooked till slightly mushy, and tasted savoury, with a hint of a bitter aftertaste that is associated with endives. My favourite dish of all. I shan't say it is the best dish, because all the dishes were fantastic.

The other main ordered was the braised shortribs. I tried a bit, and found it very flavoursome and hearty. The bones had been removed, so there was no need for any messy fiddling. The beef was tender and rich, and sweet. It was good, but I preferred my duck, and so did the others at the table.

I ordered a cheese platter for dessert and loved everything on my plate.

The other dessert choice, champagne sorbet with berries, looked lovely too.

Finally, complimentary petit fours - caneles! I enjoyed nibbling on the slightly crispy exterior and then chomping down on the chewy sweet interior.

A cup of chamomile tea with honey rounded off the lovely meal.

Zen's postscript: This post has been published on AsiaOne Wine and Dine at http://wineanddine.asiaone.com.sg/reviews/restaurants/french/20070111_001.html


DS said...

Wow - reminds me of St Julien - the type / presentation / cost of the food! :)

Just curious... who are all these "lovely" friends?? :)

Zen said...

DS: Yes, high class french cuisine. Haha, of course I have many lovely friends, since I am such a lovely person myself!