Newly minted Michelin 1 Star restaurant Lerouy got their star in 2019 Singapore Edition. They must be looking forward to a fantastic 2020. Then the pandemic struck.
Chef-Owner Christophe Lerouy opened Lerouy on Stanley Street in November 2017 with the support of two Singapore F&B stalwarts, the Wild Rocket Group’s Willin Low, who pioneered the Mod-Sin culinary movement, and Patisserie G’s Gwen Lim.
The sleek 26 counter-seat restaurant offers Lerouy’s brand of modern French cuisine, which combines a myriad of food cultures and techniques drawn from his experiences around the globe.
Fast forward to 2021.
Le Grande Menu
Usually they offer two degustation menus (no a la carte), but for this period there’s only the more expensive Le Grande menu. As this was the first time dining at Lerouy, I didn’t know what to expect from the dinner – there’s no menu. Luckily I am quite accustomed to omakase and I have no food allergy.
A quartet of amuse bouche bites to start the dinner.
Mozambic Black Prawn / Calamari / Lime Zest
The server described this as prawn tartare with espuma of lime. I didn’t expect calamari in the course as well. Mozambique black prawns are famous for their large size and delicious flavours. If they are really from Mozambique, then this first course is really horrible for carbon footprint. We can get equally delicious tiger prawns in nearby waters.
I have never tasted frozen prawn raw, but it was crunchy and sweet. Only when I received the menu at the end of the meal did I realise that it contained squid. So that could be the sotong. The lime foam was refreshing but there was no “wow” in this first course. It was very instagrammable though.
Pissaladiere / Nardin Anchovies / Olive / Onion
Pissaladière is a culinary specialty originating from Liguria, now also typical in southeastern France. It is often compared to pizza with ingredients like anchovies, olive and caramelised onions. The pissaladiere was deconstructed here with the same ingredients in a crust that reminded me of a Peranakan kueh pie tee. Delicious.
David Herve Oyster / Green Curry / Coconut
The most famous oyster of the largest oyster-producing regions in the world, the fine de claire from acclaimed French oyster farmer David Hervé needs no introduction. Cultured on the French Atlantic coast, and finished for several weeks in shallow clay ponds, the fines acquire a superior quality shell to oysters grown in the open sea. During this process, the claires of the Marennes Oléron basin impart the subtleties of regional flavors.
The beautiful sweet raw oyster was dressed with an espuma of Thai green curry with coconut milk. I have always preferred raw shucked oysters, but this single shot was delicious. The sea asparagus provided more salt and crunch to the oyster.
Asian Beef Tea / Lemongrass
Japanese style Asian Beef Tea made using a Japanese dashi base and a touch of lemongrass.
I don’t fancy drinking out of a test tube. The cold beef consommé was infused with the exotic lemongrass taste. Looking at the liquid, you can see the lemongrass oil on the consommé like a chemistry experiment.
Sourdough Bread / Salted-Charcoal-Spinach-Beetroot Butter
If there was anything that I would like more, it would be the butter. Four different types of butter were served with the warm sourdough bread. My favourite was the spinach butter, but generally they were all very well salted butter.
Ora King Salmon / Avocado / Shiso / Kaviari Caviar / Sea Lettuce
The first main course was a house cured Ora King salmon with green shiso ice cream, seaweed, Kaviari caviar and avocado cream. The sweet, sour, sticky and salty sauce was drizzled on table side. Ōra King salmon is an especially fatty fish with strikingly marbled meat and a sumptuous melt-in-your-mouth texture, like wagyu beef of the ocean.
The salmon would be perfect on its own, but the sauce made it horrible. It was too tangy and too salty and the fish was drowning in it. This was the least favourite of all the main courses – I loved salmon and the combination of the ingredients, but the sauce destroyed it all.
Brittany Scallop / Kolrabi / Chive / Lamb Tongue
Kohlrabi is a biennial vegetable, and is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage that looked like Sputnik. The name in German means “turnip cabbage” and it tasted like a cross between turnip and broccoli stems.
The crispy kohlrabi was paired with a piece of sliced sous vide lamb tongue and thinly sliced raw scallop and topped with a foamy, tangy espuma sprinkled with mustard seeds and chive dust. The ingredients were not bite size, so you would need the knife and fork, but the warm foam would need a spoon. I would not expect a Michelin star restaurant to miss this small detail of making the course too difficult to consume.
Salt Baked Cabbage / Anchoïade / Lardo / Lime
Lardo is a type of salumi made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices. The most famous lardo is from the Tuscan hamlet of Colonnata, where lardo has been made since Roman times. Anchoïade is a classic Provençal dip or spread, made from just the best anchovies, the best olive oil, white wine vinegar, and garlic
This is the signature dish that won the chef a cult following. Sliced cabbage baked in a salt dough, halved before the diner, then torched and lathered with lardo and anchoiade sauce. Because of the anchovies, the cabbage was quite savoury but packed with umami.
Carabinero / Seared Foie Gras / Pumpkin
Marcel Plantin started Maison Plantin in the heart of Provence in 1930.
Since it started, this family business established itself as the main supplier of truffles to the grand tables of France. From France to Japan to Singapore, from the tables of the Elysée to those of the greatest French chefs, such as Joël Robuchon, Benoît Violier and Yannick Alleno, they all use Maison Plantin to supply them with truffles and woodland mushrooms.
Fresh black truffle was shaved onto the dish. I was shocked to see a cheese grater being used instead of a proper truffle slicer.
The carabinero was succulent and delicious, but it was strangely paired with the foie gras. The shaved truffle has lost its flavour and it has a busy plating. However, this is the third main course in a row that has a sour taste profile. The dinner was getting a bit boring.
Japanese Seabream / Mustard / Leek / Dill
While some chefs are still catching up with the ceviche trend, Chef Lerouy has taken the tried-and-trusted cured fish dish to another level. He took a slice of Japanese sea bream (medai) and cured it in a brew of lime, tomato water and herbs.
Before serving, he torched the fish and served it with sea grapes and a mellow leek, mustard and dill sauce in the warmed curing broth of the fish. Drinking this broth was refreshing. But again, the sauce was tangy.
F1 Wagyu Hanging Tender / Yuzu Kosho / Soubise
The Hanging Tender or Onglet as it is commonly known is one of the butchers best kept secret. The Hanging tender has an amazing flavour and is extremely tender. This cut is best served rare to medium rare and is a perfect grilling option. And F1 cattle simply referred to crossbred cattle, and not the original Japanese wagyu.
We were asked to choose our preferred knife. Presented with a selection of at least 10 different knives, we inspected every single one and realised the only difference lies in the grip – longer or shorter in length and thicker or thinner in width. I was looking forward to the meat course.
And with that anticipation, we were presented with our “beef” – two tiny pieces of grilled wagyu hanger steak. The steak knife was an overkill – I could have put the entire piece of meat in one mouth. Well, I didn’t and cut them carefully with the really sharp blade. Then it dawned to me the highlight of the course was the onion done in two ways – grilled simply and the soubise. I was memorised by the paper thin onion that was used to decorate the plate.
Saffron Ice-cream / Cardamom Ganache / Blood Orange
The blood orange sauce was poured on the saffron ice cream at table side.
The saffron ice cream was creamy and exotic, together with the spiced ganache was a beautiful sweet ending. No thanks to the blood orange sauce – any sour item on the menu.
Quince Mousse with Long Pepper / Almond Cashew Nut Canale / Green Apple Pate Fruit / Dark Chocolate Bonbons
And at the end of the meal, Princess and I were still hungry, not for more, but still hungry because of the lack of carbohydrate in the dinner. Overall we were disappointed by the variety – everything became boring after a while. However the presentation and the balance for each course was very good. But everything has something that was sour.
Lerouy was previously at Stanley Street. They took the time of the lockdown to renovate and move to the current location at Amoy Street last Oct.
It was very interesting to see the staff preparing the dishes under the supervision of Chef Lerouy but we were seated at the far end of the table. We were impressed by the food, the atmosphere but the staff was mumbling through the name of the course with their masks on. And when we asked about the details, you can sense some impatience.
So much for Michelin – they judge the food standard, not the service. But with so much good food in Singapore, it’s service that will keep people to come back for more. That’s it – try it if you have not, but I will not be returning anytime soon.
104 Amoy Street, Singapore 069924
Tel : +65 6221 3639
Date Visited : Feb 2021
Michelin Singapore Guide – 1 Star 2019