There is a Chinese saying, “Hang hang chu zhuang yuan”, which literally means there is a scholar in every line of work.
Immanuel’s story is one which can inspire, the former sous chef of the now-defunct Keystone Restaurant, and went on to open Immanuel French Kitchen at Salut Coffeeshop, By The Fire at East Coast, and now Garçons at Essen Pinnacle.
A few shops within a short span of time, but he did have of resume of working at Jaan par Andre, Restaurant Andre, Guy Savoy Singapore previously.
Lessons learnt: Get the relevant experience, build the right connection, and never give up.
Garçons is a collaboration with Enoch from Enoch’s European. They met “as boys” in the kitchen of Restaurant Andre years ago. Another lesson: Remember your friends.
This is a French stall within a food court at the bottom of Pinnacle at Duxton. Two Wings, also from Salut Coffeeshop is neighbour (so someone might have done some poaching, I mean asking).
You get highlights from both kitchen. Escargots ($12.90 for half dozen), Pan Fried Foie Gras ($16.50), French Onion Soup ($5.90), Duck Rillettes ($8.60), Chicken Liver Pate ($7.90), Pork Belly ($16.90) and Pork Ragout Baked Rice Gratin ($11.50) are on its menu.
The French Duck Confit ($16.90, a dollar more than at Immanuel) was better-than-some-restaurant quality, mouth-watering crisp skin and fork-tender moist. I didn’t even need a knife to tear off the meat. Swept the plate clean. Good stuff.
Its Pan-Fried Foie Gras ($16.50) coated with black miso and served with dashi broth was slightly overcooked.
Immanuel noticed me dining from another table and asked for feedback. I told him about it, and the reply was, “Oh yah, don’t worry because we are looking at changing foie gras suppliers.”
All right… Man of few words. Not the most politically-correct or PR-savvy answer, but he is young and frank lah.
Garçons reflects a trend I like to see, that you can get quality food at a food court, while keeping the price point competitive. Hopefully more young chefs with the right resources can be bold enough to step out.
Garçons – Essen At The Pinnacle
1 Cantonment #01-01 The Pinnacle @ Duxton, Singapore 080001 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 11:00pm