Chef Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre's favourite dining spots
Because F&B insiders know best
These days I'm busy with creating new dishes and/or refining the dishes that we have at Saint Pierre. For instance, we are working on a new kinmedai dish. I love the delicacy of the fish and the natural sweetness of the flesh. We have been tinkering with this dish for the last few weeks and are in our final phase.
A hawker stall I would queue for... well I'm very blessed that there isn't really one, as I have an incredibly talented helper who can cook a variety of hawker dishes that I enjoy. Her char kway teow is to die for — literally. We inherited Merry from family friends in Malaysia. She has been cooking this dish for over 10 years and has mastered it. The pork lard and 'sang hum' make all the difference. It's a favourite with the family. Being the health freak that I am, I will indulge in one to two mouthfuls at most. This is a definite case of quality over quantity. It's heart-stoppingly good!
I'm a regular at Samy's Curry — I have been for over 20 years. It's good comfort food especially on a rainy day. I really like their palak paneer. It isn't always available, but when it is, I will definitely order it. The daily vegetables that go with their briyani rice is another favourite of mine.
When I need to eat clean, which is my daily routine, I do it myself. My daily salad is avocado, tomatoes, chickpeas, and cashew nuts. The dressing is the only thing I vary to avoid boredom. Currently I'm being indulgent and it's Japanese mayonnaise, but that needs to stop soon. Usually I whip up some flavoured olive oil-based dressing to go with the salad.
My favourite bar in Singapore is Park90 at the Regent Singapore, which has pretty much the best wine list in Singapore in my opinion. It has an amazing Coravin wine by the glass list as well as value-for-money bottles. My favourite Coravin wine by the glass that I had recently at Park90 was Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault. I was also treated to Batard-Montrachet 2015 from Ramonet which was simply divine.
My guilty pleasure is chocolate. Being Belgian born, I have chocolate in my veins. I like chocolates made by Pierre Marcolini. The chocolates are very refined, they're like silk in my mouth.
My go-to supper spot is my bed! I have always been very disciplined when it comes to my diet. I do not eat after 10pm.
For weekend brunch with friends, they usually come over to my house and I will cook for them. When I was younger I loved champagne brunches, but with age, I now do everything in moderation.
The best place to get a meal with seafood is (at the risk of sounding biased) Shoukouwa. I am a vegetarian and at Shoukouwa, I know the quality that my Japanese colleagues adhere to. They are extremely fussy about the freshness of the fish. If I am going to break my diet, I want to know that it is worth it!
For special occasions, I will wake up early, cook all day and while I may start drinking at 11am, I will stop by 5pm.
My all-time favourite restaurant is Timgad in Paris. It's a couscous restaurant that my wife and I love. There's magic in their bouillon and you just cannot get enough of it. It's a must every time we are in Paris.
My favourite farm in Singapore is Pocket Greens. I love going there with the girls especially on Sundays. It's a lovely walk from where we park the car to the farm. It's as close to nature as we can get in Singapore.
I grew up eating my dad's cooking. I love his spaghetti bolognaise and his lasagne. Little do people know that Belgium has very nice tasting pork. His mince is a blend of pork and veal, which has an amazing result. He also uses fresh herbs and has a secret blend that I have yet to learn.
For dining with family, it is a home affair. Back to our amazing helper that is a wonderful home cook. Besides hawker-style dishes, she can also do a mean zi char — her stir-fried leafy vegetables are simple yet delicious. That and rice with steamed egg is very satisfying. She can also make a mean burger that can rival Shake Shack's. She even makes her own chapati. I'm very blessed to have her as part of our family.
The food scene in Singapore is ever changing and exciting. Friendly competition keeps us on our toes.