I had originally wanted to write that La Cantine’s Chef Bruno Ménard is the first and only 3-starred Michelin Chef to be permanently based in Singapore. It was until that the Deliciae Group (who also owns L’Entrecôte and Sabio by The Sea) announced they will be parting ways next month.
Most of the other ‘Michelin’ restaurants in Singapore (Singapore has no Michelin inspectors) use that word as a branding and marketing tool, with the chef lending a name and brand, but few essentially based here.
All good things must come to an end. What would La Cantine’s fate be?
La Cantine at Asia Square does present classic French comfort food, as Chef Bruno Ménard loves ‘neo-classic’ French cuisine, giving interpretations of dishes he was familiar with.
Vibes are casual and open, the kind of place you could both come for drinks after work, or an impromptu dinner date, without the uneasiness that some may experience in higher end French restaurants.
We gave a resounding “Yes” to the Momotaro Tomato Salad ($16), a simple appetizer with fresh goat cheese and mixed herbs, but it was the sweet, tangy, fresh and plump tomatoes from Japan that made us feel we were eating off a garden in a bowl. Little wonder as Chef did receive his stars from Japan.
The thought of paying $28 for a Cevennes Onion Soup got our fingers tapping. But there is foie gras and truffle scented Chantilly (cream) within, which my other dining partner Justin Lee exclaimed excitedly that two of his favourite French things were finally together. And that soup gave him quite an orgasmic experience (I don’t normally use that word, but our table was kind of sure he was reaching that stage.)
The reason why we came was for the Roasted Spanish Suckling Pig (in a French restaurant, yah), served with garlic jus, mashed potatoes and salad. The menu states $152 for two, but four of us shared it and there were still leftovers.
Chef Bruno personally did the preparation, and I am sure that added to how evenly sliced each piece was. The crackling of the skin with thin layer of grease was a single thumb up, the mashed potatoes puree was another, though the meat needed some succulence.
We had a happy time at La Cantine, lots of sharing and chatting over hearty tasty dishes.
This year doesn’t spell a promising start to Singapore’s F&B, with many respectable restaurants closing, and a 3-star Michelin chef leaving. Let’s hope he opens something he really wants in time to come, and I wish Chef Bruno Menard all the best!
8 Marina View, #01-01, Asia Square Tower 1 Tel: +65 66907567
Opening Hours: 12pm -2:30pm, 6pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Fri), Sat for private bookings, Closed Sun