Tate Dining Room

DSC02046I always love the idea of a small fine dining restaurant. It’s just feel somewhat more warm, intimate, unpretentious, and focus. Here I am, dining at a restaurant headed by the best Female chef in Asia 2015, Vicky Lau, who once graduated as a graphic designer from New York University before she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Bangkok. Chef Lau honed his skills under Sebastien Lepinoy during his time at Cepage. (Sebastien Lepinoy is currentlyheading Les Amis’s kitchen in Singapore. Review).

DSC02026I hate to say this, but the bread was honestly felt dry. It didn’t belong in a 1* restaurant. 1/10

DSC02037Our meal started with 5 amuse bouches that represent the 5 Chinese elements.

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Quail egg coated with ginseng chicken broth, smoked eel, dashi sphere, corn panacotta, mushroom panacotta

Ode to tomatoes

Ode to tomatoes

five type of tomatoes tartare, strawberry tomato gazpacho, smoked sardine, marrakech lemon skin confit

The strawberry and the tomato tasted really fresh and vibrant with a hint of smoke sardine on your palate. All flavor worked well without a single flavor dominated the plate. 8/10

DSC02040The brioche was definitely way better than the first bread. Good crust on the outside and soft inside.

The Sea

The Sea

Seascallop espuma, taraba crab meat, yuzu gelee, marinated jelly fish, osetra caviar, rice paper

Hong Kong version of “Song of the Sea” probably? It left me the heavy flavor impression at first, judged by the presentation itself, but when you start to dig in, you’ll find that this dish packed with sea flavor yet still feel light in a good way. Very enjoyable. 9/10

Hokkigai Clam

Hokkigai Clam

root vegetable mille feuille, cauliflower black garlic espuma, fresh water clam sauce

A nice blend between sea and earthy flavor. Everything was cooked and seasoned just right. 7.5/10

Sakura Ebi

Sakura Ebi

Lobster broth, fregola pasta, mentaiko, vin jaunne foam, kombu, crispy sakura ebi

I didn’t manage to enjoy this dish since it just felt too heavy. The shellfish flavor was just overpowering the whole dish. I believe it would taste better if the flavor was lighter and having more acidity into it. The Vin Jaunne foam almost just there for the sake of the presentation only. 4.5/10

Rose Bresse Pigeon

Rose Bresse Pigeon

slow cooked breast of pigeon, filo pastry wrapped fermented mustard green thigh of pigeon, roasted baby beetroot, pigeon jus

The meat was just juicy and tender. The jus was rich and worked as the flavor booster really well. The fig managed to cut the richness and balance the dish. 9/10

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Home made wing ho hong kong bee farm honey ice cream, chamomile white chocolate mousse, dacquoise, yogurt meringue, willams pear ice cream

I’m not a big fan of white chocolate and sweet desserts, but this one clearly won my heart. 8/10

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Passion fruit marshmallow, matcha macaroon, dark chocolate coconut

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Tate is very enjoyable to your eye and your palate. Without any doubt, Chef Lau’s accent appeared on the whole meal. The plates were neat and artistic yet not too complicated. Some dish like Ode to Tomatoes and The Sea were just perfect. Most of the dish feels light without losing any flavor profile. Too bad, some dish was off balance, otherwise it would be a perfect dinner.

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Tate Dining Room

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Hong Kong, 中環蘇豪伊利近街59號地下

+852 2555 2172

http://www.tate.com.hk/

Les Amis

Les Amis

The Friends, is what Les Amis stands for in French. Since the opening in 1994, Les Amis has been the temple of French cuisine, and that put Singapore into the world culinary map. The restaurant has several prestigious accolades including San Pellegrino world’s 100 best restaurants 2013 (ranked 81st), San Pellegrino Asia’s 50best 2013 & 2014 (ranked 14th), and The Miele Guide Asia’s 10th best restaurant.

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The kitchen is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Sebastien Lepinoy, who widely known as the legendary Robuchon’s right hand man before he joined Les Amis group in 2010 as the head chef of Cépage restaurant in Hong Kong. He took out Les Amis’s kitchen since September 2013. He applies classic French technique with a touch of Asian accent on his food.

IMG_0718Mini Croutons (olive, tomato, fennel), Mini Baguettes, Sour dough, Hazelnut Bread.

IMG_0768Teppanyaki Seared scallop, Teriyaki Sauce

This is exactly how I would like my scallop to be cooked every time. The texture was just perfectly crisp on the surface and slightly rare in the center. It’s fresh, has an intense sweet sea flavor with a little bit of acidity from a tiny squeeze of lime and coated thinly with teriyaki dipping…. unbeatable.

IMG_0770Foie Gras Custard, Artichoke Soup, Shaved Truffle.

IMG_0709Simple yet elegant dish. Both the custard and the soup were light and balanced perfectly, nothing was too dominant or heavy, especially the foie gras usually has a tendency to deliver strong flavor, but this one they really nailed it.

IMG_0707Sea Bass, Crispy Leek, Caviar Sauce

The Sea Bass was spotless, it was perfect in both seasoning and cooking. The only concern that I had was I prefer for the sauce to have a little bit more acidity to lift up the flavor. Lacking of acidity almost turned the dish flat.

IMG_0769Grilled Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin, Asparagus, Rich Jus, White Miso

The meat was cooked perfectly and delivered everything that you want to get from the beef. It was perfectly charred, tender but still have the meaty texture (very different from the tender feeling you get from sous vide), and seasoned beautifully. Everything on the plate were delivered with precise cooking. It doesn’t require any unnecessary dressing or plating. A pair of perfectly cooked asparagus were really did the justice.

IMG_0699Pinot Noir Macerated Strawberries, Yoghurt Ice Cream, Almond Cake

It might looks simple, but, believe me, it is not easy to find the right balance for a dessert like this. The Yoghurt ice cream compliments the warm, mellow strawberries really well.

IMG_0697Madelaine, Lemon Cream

Do I need any more explanation about this? 🙂

I realize that simplicity is getting rarer these days. Is it because simplicity is just too difficult to master? or they just thought that simplicity means boring. Simplicity demands heavily on great produce and perfect execution, and Les Amis clearly knows this game really well. There’s nothing to hide on that afternoon, where every 3 to 4 things on the plate were perfectly executed without any unnecessary garnish or seasoning. This place has a lot to offer. I will go back to this place beyond any doubt.

Les Amis

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1 Scotts Road, #02-16 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
+65 6733 2225

http://www.lesamis.com.sg/