Say ‘bonjour’ to delicious food and oh-so-classy interiors at these French restaurants.
French cuisine has a certain class attached to it and it’s no surprise that a lot of French restaurants in Singapore are fine dining venues. However, if you do your research, you’ll find that it’s possible to find French food for all budgets on our sunny island. And, if you’re planning to raise a glass to the French on Bastille Day this July 14, there are plenty of options to choose from, but here are 10 of the best. Bon appetit!
One of the best-known French restaurants in Singapore, Les Amis has been a popular choice with diners since it opened in 1994. It also earned two Michelin stars in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and is often ranked as one of the best restaurants in Asia. The menus are carefully curated and are driven by premium seasonal French produce, and the wine list is highly impressive, with more than 3,000 bottles on offer. Sample dishes such as La Terrine De Foie Gras De Canard (duck foie gras terrine dry aged for 21 days served with mango & toasted brioche), La Rouelle De Homard Bleu (lobster mousse wrapped in baby spinach served with classic fish bone sauce), and Le Bar De Saint Gilles-Croix-De-Vie (line-caught sea bass from Saint-Gilles-Croix-De-Vie with sauce printanière).
Executive Chef Sebastien Lepinoy has been with the restaurant since 2013, and Pastry Chef Cheryl Koh has learned from a number of world-renowned chefs in Michelin-starred restaurants. The pair has worked together since 2010, at the Les Amis Group’s first overseas venture, in Hong Kong. Translated as ‘the friends’, Les Amis is, indeed, an ideal venue for catching up with friends – in style, of course.
At 1 Scotts Road, #01-16 Shaw Centre, 228208; tel: 6733 2225. Visit www.lesamis.com.sg
This restaurant is a veteran in the local dining scene and was awarded a Michelin star in 2017 and 2018. Launched in 2000, it has gone through a couple of locations and incarnations but Saint Pierre now sits firmly in Singapore’s vibrant fine dining scene, in its picturesque location at One Fullerton. Chef-Owner Emmanuel Stroobant serves a menu of contemporary modern French cuisine with Asian-inspired elements. Try one of the seasonal menu sets or the set lunch menu, or choose anything you fancy from the a la carte menu. With main courses such as Beef (omi beef, black truffle, Korean chestnut) and Sea Bass (wild Nagasaki sea bass, white asparagus, ginger, spring onion), you’ll definitely be coming back for more. Save some space for the decadent desserts, including a selection of cheeses from the cheese trolley. Dine while enjoying panoramic views of the Marina Bay waterfront – not quite Paris but stunning nonetheless.
At 1 Fullerton Road, #02-02B One Fullerton, 049213; tel: 6438 0887. Visit www.saintpierre.com.sg
Chef Gunther Hubrechsen is the man behind the food here and he has helmed his eponymous restaurant since it opened in 2007. The modern French cuisine served in this fine-dining venue is his attempt at re-interpreting classic dishes and flavours, while breathing new life into well-known favourites. ‘Opulence’ is a word that comes to mind here, both in terms of the food and the decor. There are various menus here, including a Set Lunch, Chef’s Seasonal and a la carte menus, or you can try the Degustation menu, which is available in four, six or nine courses. Picks from the a la carte menu include Chef Gunther’s creations such as Carpaccio of Japanese beef, tartare style with crispy potato; Crispy free-range egg with pumpkin coulis, Oscietra caviar; and Fine apple tart “aux dragées”, with salted caramel and Havana rum-raisin ice cream. Don’t forget to ask him for the specials of the day too.
At 36 Purvis Street #01-03, 188613; tel: 6338 8955. Visit www.gunthers.com.sg
There’s a Les Bouchons at Ann Siang Road but this venue at Robertson Quay is ideal for a romantic night out. It’s also easy enough to imagine that the Singapore River is the French Riviera, as you tuck into your meal and enjoy your wine. Les Bouchons pays homage to French bistros and steakhouses and it’s known for serving very good steaks (all steaks are served with a mixed salad and free-flow of their trademark homemade French fries). Head Chef Mickael Cornac hails from the south of France and aims to present diners with a genuine gastronomic experience by staying true to the provenance of cooking French cuisine. The restaurant launched its inaugural Sunday Brunch menu in April; the ‘Bouchons Riviera Brunch’ is inspired by the decadence of the French Riviera and features brunch favourites such as Escargots De Bourgogne, Croque Monsieur, and Bouchons Sunday Roast, which is served with mushroom sauce and roasted baby potatoes. Wash it all down with some champagne – just like the French do.
At 60 Robertson Quay, #01-02, 238252; tel: 6733 4414. Visit www.lesbouchons.sg
Chef-owner Julien Royer is so inspired by his grandmother and her love of cooking, he named his restaurant after her. He pays special attention to every ingredient used in his dishes and brings out the flavours of everything he puts into his food. And he has certainly done it well, looking at the number of accolades his restaurant has received, including two Michelin stars in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as being crowned the best restaurant in Asia 2019 for the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The modern French cuisine served here has a touch of Asian influence too, and the ingredients used are seasonal and come from specialist artisan producers across the world. The restaurant’s design itself is worth a visit too. Located at the iconic National Gallery, it comes as no surprise that the look here is elegant and arty. The glass-enclosed kitchen is an exciting feature, giving diners a peak into the chefs at work.
At 1 St Andrew’s Road, #01-04 National Gallery Singapore, 178957; tel: 6385 0498. Visit www.odetterestaurant.com
The decor here is rustic and you could say the food fits that description too. Comfort French fare is what you’ll get here. Chef de Cuisine Brandon Foo has worked with Michelin-starred chefs and won the ‘Rising Chef of the Year’ award at the World Gourmet Summit in 2014. A set menu is available at lunch and an a la carte menu serves both lunch and dinner. Dishes include Braised rabbit leg with mustard white wine cream sauce and baby potato, and Pan roasted foie gras served with poached rhubarb, yellow frisée salad and sweet and sour duck jus. Traditional homemade charcuteries are available every day from 12pm to 10.30pm and you can get them as takeaway too – there’s a list of rillette, terrine, pate, hot sausages, ham and cheese to choose from. Or park yourself at the Rillette Bar on the second floor and enjoy wine and something from the bar food menu. The wine list at Le Bistrot Du Sommelier is filled with selections from small producers, as well as natural wines – wines produced from organic or biodynamic grapes with very little intervention from winemakers.
At 53 Armenian Street, 179940; tel: 6333 1982. Visit www.lebistrotdusommelier.com
The hashtag #ParisOnTrasStreet is often used in Instagram posts by this restaurant and you’ll know why as soon as you set eyes on it. Step in and be transported to Paris, as this hole-in-the-wall looks more like an eatery you’ll see on a famous French street than in a conservation shophouse in Singapore. Chef-owner Frédéric Colin dishes up authentic Parisian classics from age-old recipes by his grandfather Henri, who has been the inspiration behind his culinary passion. His old family recipes include Terrine de Foie Gras du Périgord et Pain de Campagne (Terrine of Périgord Duck Liver with Toasted Country Bread), Cuisse de Canard Confite Maison, Pommes Grenailles (Homemade Duck Confit with Baby Roasted Potatoes), and Homard et Crabe Thermidor, Duxelles de Champignons (Lobster and Crab Thermidor, Sautéed Mushrooms).
At 66 Tras Street, 079005; tel: 6225 8266. Visit brasseriegavroche.com
There’s a feeling of exclusivity here, thanks to the intimate dining room of just seven tables. And, once you throw in the fact that it’s located on Duxton Hill, the chic factor goes up too. Plus, it also has a Michelin star. Chef Paul Longworth had a loyal following during his three years at Au Petit Salut and he often hosts international chefs at Rhubarb. Choose Le Menu, which is designed for the whole table and includes dishes such as Hamachi (cured hamachi, sea weed, cucumber, coriander yoghurt) and Beef (wagyu onglet, smoked garlic & potato, blackened corn, hay jus). There’s also a three-course lunch set and a Special Chef Surprise Menu, if you want something more adventurous. Or just pick whatever takes your fancy from the a la carte menu. The open-plan kitchen is a nice inclusion, as you watch the chefs in action while you wait for your meal to be served.
At 3 Duxton Hill, 089589; tel: 8127 5001. Visit www.rhubarb.sg
Re-opened in May with new head chef Takuya Yamashita at the helm, this one Michelin-starred restaurant serves a menu of classical French fare with a modern Japanese twist. The restaurant was a hot favourite when it opened at CHIJMES in 2016 and diners will, no doubt, be thrilled to hear that it’s back. Yamashita was previously the head chef at a Tokyo restaurant with a Michelin star and this new beginning has allowed him to mix his classical French culinary background with inspirations from nature. The menus centre around his culinary philosophy, La Cuisine Naturelle’, or ‘cuisine of the natural body’, so you know that only the best, freshest produce are used in the dishes here. Five- and eight-course dinner degustation menus are available here (the restaurant only opens in the evenings), with highlights such as Bresse Pigeon (a roulade of French pigeon and foie gras wrapped in savoy cabbage and served with pomme purée) and Ikejime (seasonal fish steamed and served in a lobster stock alongside Hokkaido scallop and seasonal vegetables).
At 30 Victoria Street, #01-26/27 CHIJMES, 187996; tel: 6837 0402. Visit www.whitegrass.com.sg
By Balvinder Sandhu, June 2019
More on The Finder:
Don’t miss out! Like our Facebook page.