Joël Robuchon Restaurant – Singapore’s 1st and Only 3 Star Michelin Restaurant

Joël Robuchon Restaurant - Singapore's 1st and Only 3 Star Michelin Restaurant
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Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa RWS is Singapore’s 1st and ONLY 3 Star Michelin restaurant in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016. (Read: Michelin Singapore – Restaurant Reviews for restaurant reviews of other Michelin restaurants and hawker stalls in Singapore.)

Next door L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is awarded 2 Stars.

No major surprise. Joël Robuchon himself is one of the world’s most decorated chefs with 30 Michelin stars – the most of any chef in the world.

Singapore’s inaugural Michelin Guide is not without its fair share of controversies.

The fact that RWS is a sponsor (though Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin Guides has on record said that “independence from sponsors or partners is non-negotiable”); the lack of Italian restaurants on the list; and that Restaurant Andre which was expected to get 3 stars, went home with ‘only’ 2.

Did Joël Robuchon the Restaurant, or Joël Robuchon the person win?

Let us leave those aside for now.

The masses are seemingly more keen in the 2 hawker stalls (Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle) given the 1 star, and fine dining establishments such as Joël Robuchon Restaurant remains out of reach or reserved only for very, very special occasions. (Even press coverage big and small went for everything else, but for Singapore’s 1st 3 star Michelin restaurant.)

According to the Michelin Guide inspectors, ”As one would expect from celebrated French chef Joël Robuchon, only the finest available ingredients are used in the preparation of dishes such as bonito broth with poached lobster and roast guinea fowl with foie gras. Vegetarians have a special 8 course tasting menu and the hugely impressive wine list contains more than 1,000 labels. The sumptuous dining room is inspired by art deco; the indoor winter garden room is particularly attractive.”

The dining room is indeed classy, luxurious and elegant, designed like a family dining room in an art deco-style hotel.

The group of us particularly liked the outer winter garden room which felt more private and cosy, enhanced with natural lighting and a fake tree.

Mood was also not stiffering.

While some fine dining restaurants in Singapore actually suffer from a lack of manpower and attentive service, the standard here was adequate, though not as detailed and personable YET expected of a restaurant of this caliber.

Good enough, though didn’t WOW.

Can we say that about the food as well?

Lunches are available only during Saturdays, with menu priced at $128, $148, $168 (We shall see how much this increases over time.)

The $168 Menu comes with appetizer, soup, seafood main, meat main, cheese or dessert, dessert trolley and selection of petit fours. Wine pairing at $48 for 2 glasses, $68 for 3, $88 for 4.

The Dinner Menu is priced at $208, $288, $308 for the “Menu Appetit”, and $438 for a full tasting menu. A Vegetarian 8-course tasting menu is also available at $208. (Prices subject to prevailing service charge and government taxes.)

Months down the road and if you ask what I (and my friends) would remember of this meal, the reply would be – the breads (oh yes, the breads), the famed mashed potato and the dessert trolleys.

See it as a good or ‘bad’ way.

Both the start and end of the meal were impressive. Those in the middle, some forgettable. What did I just have again?

Almost all the warm breads served, from spinach, foie gras, and onion flavoured ones had varying merits of buttery-ness, aroma, fluffiness and taste.

Like a child in a toy shop, we were easily thrilled by the selection in both the dessert and petit four trolleys, where we could pick our favourite (ie most appetising looking) sweets and chocolates.

Chocolates were of top-notch quality, while cakes contained some hits and more misses. Mainly too sweet, also lacking in aesthetics. So it depends what you pick.

Some of the stand-out dishes included Le King Crabe – Seasoned king crab meat, avocado and crunchy vegetables on tomato coulis; Le Caviar Imperial – wild salmon tartare with Imperial caviar and saffron crisps; Le Black Cod – caramelised black cod with bok choy and Malabar black pepper sauce.

I particularly liked the Le King Crab which had a balanced play of textures and taste, the king crab coming across as fresh, meaty and sweet, avocado for that suitably added creaminess, and tangy coulis for a spring in the final step.

While tartare is not my typical order, this version came luxuriously presented, every caviar neatly in placed and lined up to enter the mouth.

The mouthful was sublime – creamy, velvety smooth, and full of flavour and freshness.

At the end of the meal, we all thought that it was a predictable but respectable classic French meal. Perhaps lacking in some surprise elements, and more dishes that would truly stand out.

Back then, I figured that Joël Robuchon Restaurant would comfortably land itself 2 Michelin stars, and perhaps 3 if there was nobody else. ”It’s a …. 2.5?” was what I told my dining partners.

Of course, we know what the inspectors think now.

Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Level 1 Resorts World Sentosa, Hotel Michael (Resorts World Sentosa), 8 Sentosa Gateway Singapore 098269 (HarbourFront Station)
Tel: +65 6577 6688
Tel: +65 6577 7888
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 2:30pm (Every Sat), Dinner 6pm – 10:30pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Sun-Mon, except Public Holidays

Other Related Entries
Singapore Michelin Guide 2016
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (RWS)
Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide 2016 – 34 Eateries That Make The Cut
17 Michelin Bib Gourmand Hawker Stalls from Singapore
Restaurant Andre (Bukit Pasoh Road)

* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.

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Comments

  1. Robuchon during Jamin’s era is (nearly) unanimously considered as the best restaurant at the era. But, I ‘bet’ the master Joel is still ‘frustrated’ that he, so far since the come back, is still unsuccessful to attain another 3-star in Europe, where the competition is a lot stiffer and the guide is more strict. The cost of fine dining is always high and he has to run the restaurant relatively well – unlike his gastronomy establishments outside europe in which they receive unlimited financial support

    Back to Michelin Singapore, it is nearly certain JR restaurant would get 3-star as been proven now and given how much Michelin loves this legendary French chef. It’s just a little surprised that it’s the only one in the island to receive such accolade

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