Alma by Juan Amador – 1 Michelin Star, Spanish European Restaurant at Goodwood Park Hotel
[Updated] Alma by Juan Amador has been awarded 1 Michelin Star in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016.
This is one of the infrequent times that a restaurant helmed by a Michelin chef, 3 star no doubt, goes almost too quietly under the radar. No media fanfare, no press releases received almost no ‘word-of-mouth’ bulletin from my usual foodie sources.
Strange. Because there were 1-star Michelin chefs who come to Singapore and I can almost hear drum rolls.
3-star Michelin chef Juan Amador brings Spanish–European dishes combined with Asian influences to Singapore at Goodwood Park.
There are few changes in the space and décor, previously occupied by Italian restaurant Gaia – warm colour tones, dark wood furnishing, and orange-coloured seats lining one side, and a huge mirror at the end of the dining hallway.
It did translate to dated.
The chef de cuisine is French chef Christophe Lerouy, who linked up with Juan Amadaor to open Amador restaurant in Abu Dhabi, and was named best dining restaurant.
The menu is divided into ‘Traditionnel’ and ‘Evolucion’ where you get more adventurous fusion dishes on the later.
There were Yellow Fin Tuna with Shitake and Green Curry ($18), Beef Tartar A La Chinoise ($18), and Diver Liver with Papaya ($18).
We had to try the Foie Gras Ice Cream ($18) sitting on Mango Gazpacho (soup made of raw vegetables served cold) and sprinkled with Pistachio.
The combination of sweet and savoury tastes, with creamy smooth textured foie gras worked wonderfully, like a breath of refreshing.
Prices of the ‘Surprise Menu’ are not steep considering its accolades, location and setting – 4 courses ($68), 5 courses ($88) and 6 courses ($108).
I went for a 3-course lunch ($48) though not many of the dishes were impressive as what you would have imagined.
The firm-textured Monkfish is undeniably not easy to execute well. Alma’s version of Monk Fish Cheek with saffron, mussel and artichoke fell short of expectations, was tougher to cut, and rougher to chew.
Its other Duck main course cooked with beetroot, raspberry and liquorice had a less tough day, but the crispy glossy skin was not enough to save the entire plate from its less than explosive flavours.
Some of my friends agree that the overall experience was run-of-the-mill (if you look at the spectrum of other similar restaurants in Singapore) with few stand-out dishes. There were also less than 5 customers the day we dine, which can be worrying.
Perhaps also because we came hoping for a Michelin star experience.
Alma by Juan Amador
Goodwood Park Hotel 22 Scotts Road Singapore 228221
Tel: +65 6735 9937
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm (Wed-Fri), 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
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Corner House (Botanic Gardens)
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.