Saint Pierre has been one of Singapore’s top fine dining institutions since it first opened its doors in 2003. However, unlike many restaurants with a successful formula, Saint Pierre has never rested on its laurels and stuck with the same concept. Instead the restaurant has moved three times to vastly different locations, each time reinventing the menu, the culinary influences and the ambiance of the restaurant’s interior. The most recent metamorphosis has St Pierre returning from a sojourn at Sentosa’s Quayside Isle to the much more approachable Marina Bay. With its new location at One Fullerton, the restaurant’s previous view of gently swaying yachts has been replaced by the city’s most iconic vista, spanning The Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and the Marina Bay Financial Centre.
The interior has also adjusted, leaving behind the more casual larger dining area of Sentosa for a more refined and intimate affair – think plush carpeted floors, crisp table linen and comfortable armchair seating. This is a place for a decadent long lunch or dinner, an escape from the hubbub of the city into a sanctum of hushed dining pleasure.
Where many in the city are following the trend for a more casual brand of dining, here at St Pierre they are returning to formal fine dining with panache, safe in the knowledge that when it is done well, there will always be a demand. Apart from the quality of the food, the secret to the success of a fine dining experience lies very much with the service. It has to achieve a very fine balance to avoid the over zealous attentiveness which can sometimes ruin a customer’s meal. At St Pierre, they have an experienced team managing the front of house, so guests can expect the same sort of service they would receive in some of Europe’s finest dining halls, without the pretension or aloofness that sometimes accompanies a fine dining affair. This is aided by the size of the dining space – with seating for just 24, guests can enjoy both an intimate and seamless dining experience, from the welcome trolley of champagnes to the farewell trolley of petite fours.
To coincide with the opening of the new location, Executive Chef Emmanuel Stroobant offers the choice of either a six- or ten-course ‘Earth’ or ‘Nature’ dinner degustation menu, with a set lunch also available. (The ‘Earth’ menu features a selection of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes while ‘Nature’ is dedicated purely to his signature vegetarian cuisine). Be warned – with the ‘snacks,’ amuse bouches, cheese trolley, pre-dessert and petite fours, either choice of dinner menu guarantees a meal that will last well over two hours.
Chef Stroobant’s cuisine is a celebration of the best of nature, using both traditional and innovative ways to extract unique flavours and textures. With training in traditional French cuisine, he introduces both Asian influences and local ingredients into his menu, be it a kangkung royal as a tasting snack or a lobster chawanmushi as a main. This is evident too in the decor of the restaurant – jars of ginger, kumquat and yam adorn the tables and he uses a beautiful selection of Japanese ceramics for his plating. His cuisine presents a culinary journey from the earth to the sea to the meadow, offering clean natural flavours furnished with unexpected pleasures. His amuse bouche of Carrot presents the humble vegetable boiled, dehydrated and pureed, with a blood orange gel providing a burst of flavour. A course of ‘Scallop’ is served in a vibrant green potato leaf jus, with roast potato crumbs and smoked potato foam; ‘Lobster’ sits on a smoked seaweed emulsion with baby leek chawanmushi. The clean flavour of ‘Cod,’ wrapped in shavings of carrot and daikon, is presented in an oxtail consommé, while ‘Beef’ matches the smokiness of grilled Wagyu with the saltiness of smoked eel, the richness of black garlic confit and the sweetness of a veal jus – this is a dish I could eat all day long. His tribute to the ‘Onion,’ has an aged comte cracker served with different interpretations of the aromatic bulb, including a dome of onion confit. This course is thankfully followed by a soup of shitake mushroom, to cleanse the palate for the cheese trolley (over 20 different cheeses) and dessert courses to come.
Pastry Chef Jonathan Allaert has worked in some of the world’s best kitchens, including a stint with Gordon Ramsay in Versailles, and the desserts he has created at St Pierre will delight those who enjoy a playful blend of flavours. A pre-dessert of pear married parmesan crumble with pear marmalade – poached pear and pop rocks adding a sensory sparkle. The ‘Chocolate’ has a sphere of chocolate filled with a bed of vanilla, white chocolate and passion fruit puree, creating a delicious blend of sweet and sour. If you are happy to continue your gastronomic adventure, the dessert trolley offers a selection of petite fours, single malts and cognac, guaranteeing a decadent climax to an extraordinary culinary adventure.
Saint Pierre, 02-02 One Fullerton, tel: 6438 0887, saintpierre.com.sg
One of the hottest tables to open in the past