Iggy’s is one of the pioneer of French fine dining in Singapore. Together with Les Amis and Jaan, they have produced some of the best culinary talents that Singapore has the pleasure of tasting over the years.
Ignatius Chan, the renowned sommelier and restauranteur, helmed Les Amis (together with Justin Quek) until 2004, when he opened Iggy’s with wife Janice Wong (not to be mixed up with the pastry chef extraordinaire) at The Regent.
They moved here in 2014 and subsequently got star in the inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide in 2017 and have not relinquish it since. The wine cellar at his namesake restaurant at The Hilton Singapore holds 25,000 bottles, and Chan currently has 8,000 labels on his list.
Lunch Tasting Menu
This is a six-course degustation lunch menu that feature the flavours of autumn of Japan.
This stems from the owner’s wide influence, and perhaps owning a Japanese omakase restaurant as well.
Warm house baked olive rosemary focaccia was served with some unsalted butter.
Before the meal proper, Iggy’s started with a Japanese kaiseki tradition offering a aperitif to kick-off the meal. The carrot turmeric ginger flavoured aperitif served as a toast and to whet the appetite.
The amuse bouche course of the lunch degustation started with three tiny bites. And they were really tiny.
Caviar, quail egg, sweet pea foam, charcoal tartlet
Starting any meal with caviar is always good sign that it would be a good meal. They suggested that I started with the hot amuse bouche before I proceeded with the cold tartlet. I broke the rule and went straight to the caviar. I didn’t hear what was everything on the tartlet, I was mesmerised by the gold flakes on the beautiful caviar. Turned out I could only taste the caviar.
Cod fritter, egg yolk saffron aioli
However the cod fritter was a parcel of flavour bomb. The delicious oily cod was coated and deep fried, making it a thousand times better than Captain Birdeye’s fillet. I wasn’t sure if it was salted egg aioli, but it was strong and creamy with a hint of saffron.
Shiro ebi, shiso oil, hana hojiso
Perilla flowers 花穂 are often used as garnishes, but they have a peppery taste that pairs well with strong tasting sashimi. Here, it added that spice for the sweet shiro ebi (white shrimp) that has been dressed with shiso oil and served in a handmade cone. A balanced tasting snack, albeit too small in size to make an impact.
2/6 Chu Toro
Mushroom risotto, zuke egg yolk, yuzu oil
After the snacks came the first real course. Chutoro (medium fatty bluefin tuna belly) cured with yuzu oil served on a bed of mushroom risotto and topped with honey white truffle. What’s this honey white truffle, which are slight sweet tasting? They are known by more scientific minds as Mattirolomyces terfezioides, and are found primarily in Hungary, under black locust trees along the Danube river, where the soil is sandy and slightly alkaline. The truffle was first documented in 1588 when a Hungarian magistrate ordered a certain forest protected, due to its supply of these special mushrooms. We were advised to mix everything and eat it together.
The risotto was al dente and had a bite that was not usually accepted by Asian, who like their rice well cooked. But in this case, it worked well with the strong sauce. The fatty tuna melted in one’s mouth but the flavour and texture were overwhelmed by the rice. But I could not taste the truffle or the sweetness it should exude.
Avocado tomatillos puree, charcoal toast, soy dashi emulsión
This is the first time (and last time) I will eat smoked anago (conger eel). The piece of eel reminded me of a boiled piece of yamaimo crossed with jellied eels from Bristol. The avocado tomatillo puree saved the day with its deliciousness, while the bright yellow soy dashi emulsion was rather bland despite the bright colour. Same for the charcoal toast, tasted like a black piece of cheese crisp. Overall, this would be the only course I would not repeat next time.
Rabbit fricassee, miso leek, sudachi
Rabbit meat can be a turn-off for many, but it is a gamey meat that is so suited to be stewed. To make up for the lack of juiciness, rabbit must always be served with plenty of sauce. So, nearly every German or French recipe for rabbit you’re going to find out there is going to be some kind of fricassee.. Here, it was stewed with miso and leek, and a dash of sudachi (Japanese lime) was added to give it that tang and reduce the gamey taste. And right before serving, more miso sauce reduction was added to balance the acidity.
Fazzoletti, or mandilli di seta (literally ‘silk handkerchiefs’), are originally from Liguria. You take a piece of the pasta, wrap the rabbit fricassee and eat the whole parcel with the sauce. Yummilicious.
Puff rice, olive vegetable, tarragon oil
The olive vegetable rice reminded me of olive leave fried rice that we often cooked at home using Teochew salted black olive leaves. The puffed rice gave it the texture and crunch, and I mistook they were ikan billis. The grilled piece of sanma (Pacific saury) with tarragon oil dressing was delicious, but I was hoping there was more of it. I am used to being served the whole fish.
5/6 Angus Prime Rib
Koji cauliflower puree, heirloom beetroot, jus
Heirloom simply means antique or old and when it comes to seeds, it means someone has been saving these varieties so that all future gardeners can try them in their own veggie patch. So we were quite surprised by the different colours the heirloom beetroots came in, besides the familiar red. And the small portion continued with the Angus prime rib. The melt-in-mouth texture and perfectly seared outside made you wanted more.
Koji is a microorganism known as “Aspergillus oryzae”, a domesticated mould that’s used to initiate the fermentation process that creates those desirable umami flavours. Think of it as “yeast” used in mirin, soy and other flavourings. The butter smooth cauliflower mash was infused with shio koji (koji salt) to give it a satisfying umami flavour.
Kedondong sorbet, shiso, betel leaf
Kedondong is a sour tropical fruit that is locally known as buah long long. It has been skilfully made into a palate cleanser and served on a shiso leaf and a small piece of betel leaf. The sourness cleared the palate, and the peppery perilla refresh the breathe. And betel leaf was supposed to aid digestion.
6/6 Pomme Oreiller
Cinnamon apple, Parmiggiano-Reggiano, Madagascar vanilla ice-cream
D’oreiller is French for pillow. These apple “pillows” are like miniature McD apple pies except the pastry has been enhanced with fresh Parmiagianno-Reggianno which made it chewy. I have never liked baked goods with cinnamon, but I finished the warm puff in a heartbeat. Fresh vanilla cream was poured on ice cream, intensifying the vanilla flavours of the cold dessert and you can see the black spots of fresh Madagascar vanilla pods used to achieve this.
Cranberry jelly drop, chestnut macaron, melon madeleine, macadamia nut truffle
French fine dining always presented the diners with petits fours when you asked for the cheque, but few gave four items these days. I have been to some that gave 2 or 3 items, or even just one item with multiple flavours. This tradition of a sweet ending has somewhat been simplified. It was good to see Iggy’s stuck to the traditional of giving a variety of mignardises to end the meal with.
Over the years, many other French restaurants have come and gone, but Iggy’s remained one of the favourite among the locals because of a solid repertoire and more because of Ignatius Chan. He remains one of the steward of the local fine dining scene, and Iggy’s changing menu often reflects the shifting taste of the local palate. Dining here reminds me of eating at an old friend’s home, very intimate and cosy.
This is the third time I came to Iggy’s – first time when they were at The Regent, and another time almost 6 years ago here. And I hope it will still be around for many years to come.
581 Orchard Rd, Level 3 Hilton Hotel, Singapore 238883
Tel : +65 8188 3200
Date Visited : Nov 2021
Michelin Singapore 1 Star 2017-2021