La Dame de Pic review: Chef Sophie Anne Pic's first Asian outpost in Raffles Singapore
She has arrived
The reopening of our city's iconic landmark, Raffles Hotel is and will probably be the talk of the town this year, with its official reveal slated this August. But before the rooms are officially attainable for bookings, a very special part of the hotel is already spruced up and ready to welcome its first batch of public opinion. We're talking about acclaimed chef Anne-Sophie Pic's debut of her legendary restaurant, La Dame de Pic in Singapore, that will open this 5 July.
A maestro in her craft; French chef Anne-Sophie Pic has been an unstoppable force in the culinary world. Following her father and grandfather's footsteps, she continued her family's legacy by claiming three Michelin stars for her restaurant, Maison Pic back in 2007. Trailing the success, her establishments followed with two other restaurants namely, Restaurant Anne Sophie Pic and La Dame de Pic, which first opened in Paris.
Now, echoing Raffles Singapore's history of being the first hotel to appoint a French chef back in 1899, it seems befitting that Le Dame de Pic has found a place to call home in our national cavern. Taking over the space of Raffles Grill, the 42-seater has pulled all the stops with a design philosophy by award-winning Champalimaud Design (led by Alexandra Champalimaud) — soft pastel pink hues fall easy on the eyes, while elegantly paired with plush velvet seats and statement art pieces suspended from the ceiling. A standout that is worth a quick snap has to fall on the gold chandelier, stemmed from tiers of discs with laser-cut spades, which symbolises La Dame de Pic, also known as queen of spades. Word, indeed.
The restaurant in Singapore will be headed by chef de cuisine Kevin Gatin, a protégé of Pic for eight years now. With renowned names in the mix and a menu that sings of all-time signatures, expectations are at the very least, soaring. Which can sometimes be a double-edged sword for most chefs that have or had Michelin stars under their belts.
Our meal kicked off with petite snacks, in the form of an airy honeycomb cookie bearing mushroom puree and ginger gel. It was light, impressionable and a snack that well, superseded its humble function. A few other snacks and palate cleanser arrived, and we found ourselves gravitating towards Pic's vision of French fine dining.
It's not one that is heavy on palate, nor is it overbearing with bold, heady flavours. It's gentle, sophisticated and often translated through floral, aromatic notes that can come in the form of edible flowers and base ingredients used within the dishes. As seen in her famed dish of berlingots — essentially pasta parcels with a molten French fondue centre — which now comprises of a herb of grace, known as 'chou cao'. Also, the pasta dough is matcha-flavoured — a subtle ode to its arrival in Asia.
Other dishes like wild turbot strayed away from cream-led sauces, and instead we found joy in a Granny Smith apple broth, as the fresh catch was complemented by strips of pickled zucchini. The main event, was undeniably, the Wagyu Saga beef. Cooked over coals, the medium-rare slab was easily knifed like butter, and tasted divine with a splash of beef jus. Nothing was over-seasoned or jazzed up. A few courses in, and we felt in control of our bodies, as opposed to an imminent food coma even before dessert had settled in.
Speaking of which, a perfumed medley of confit Batak berries, strawberry consommé, and geranium rosat sorbet fell on our leather-plated tables, and concluded the meal. In our books, with or without the starry accolades, La Dame de Pic Singapore is here to remind us that a heavyweight in the culinary scene has arrived, and she's clearly a force to be reckoned with.
1 Beach Rd, Raffles Singapore
Opening hours: (Tues-Sat) 12pm-2pm, 7pm-9.30pm
Le Dame de Pic opens 5 July, with a set lunch from $128++, and a set dinner from $198++.