Saint Pierre review: 2-Michelin French restaurant launches a new menu
True test to time
Most know Saint Pierre for being a decadent French institution or for its eye-watering cheese trolley, but it is in fact, one of the oldest French restaurants in Singapore. From humble beginnings to its sojourn to the stars (two to be exact, since 2019), is yet another nod to the tapestry of its name — as spearheaded by chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant.
Post-circuit breaker, we knew heading into the restaurant that things would be different especially with new menus as well as a refurbished façade. Safe distancing measures were observed — of course — with the splendor of circular table arrangements working in tandem. The first course however, we didn't expect to be a hand-sanitising kit. A sign of the times, indeed, while also Saint Pierre's way of zapping every germ from our hands.
Good thinking, since a few of the snacks here are best devoured sans the silverware. A slab of cured cherry salmon topped with crème fraiche and cradled within a taco shell, followed by a moreish bite of Omi beef — blow-torched and gathered in enoki and button mushrooms cooked in ponzu. With that, was a pickled watermelon radish treated in Chardonnay no less, which lent a sublime spike of texture and brightness to the meat.
Other crowd-pleasers include chutoro slices and chawamushi coiffed with Bafun uni, otherwise known as red sea urchin. As with chef Stroobant's culinary track in both French and Japanese (don't forget Shoukouwa that's just next door), the prelude to the six-course delves heavily in fresh produce that are sourced every two weeks from Japan.
By the time we were on our second course, Hokkaido's prime scallop — to our surprise — landed in the form of a cushy tartar adorned with Jerusalem artichoke, almost like something out of a painting. The delicate sphere turned out to be a ring of buttermilk parfait crowned with a dollop of Royal Belgian Osietra Caviar. While all that sounds heavy enough to induce a food coma, each mouthful of the parfait was light and earthy — props to the basil oil for lifting the entire dish.
Following the fresh catch, ensued another one of Hokkaido's finest — the hairy crab, poached and deshelled atop of boiled broad beans. The flesh by itself, was already sweet, and to counter that, was a lemongrass infused broth of corn nage, alongside a trickle of chardonnay, vinegar, white wine, and tomato water. The broth, that was spiked with a tad bit of coconut cream, resulted in a dish reminiscent of Thai cuisine — just eschewing the heat. And not to dull its shine by saying this, it was in fact, leading up to the marron — hailing from Western Australia. Where you'll also get to ogle at the barbecue with table service by chef Stroobant himself. A smokey, succulent catch served with finger lime and a turnip tea, which delicately cradled every sublime bite.
Of course, the menu would swing dependent on what's in season. So lucky for us, we were present when pigeon turned out to be the main course. Possibly the only time we would be happy to see one. It was perfectly seared on a pan — sealed with a caramelised skin — before laid with pumpkin confit in duck fat, puffed buckwheat, Japanese plum for that tartness, and pigeon jus with black Australian winter truffles.
The thing about having an extensive meal at a fine establishment, holds the slight downside of being overtly stuffed to even enjoy the mains. And at Saint Pierre, portions were controlled immaculately, as with how the sequence of flavours were executed — a major consideration that most restaurants gloss over when it comes to curating a course menu. By the time our sweets rolled around, we were able to demolish them with glee. The pre-dessert stood out more so than the actual dessert, where it might have just boiled down to our preference for the musk melon and lychee sorbet, as compared to strawberries and a dense fraction of chocolate, yuzu, and feuillette.
Bonus: We had ample space to chow down petit fours, but in the case of Saint Pierre, they were petit fives. After all, who's counting?
The lunch menu starts at $128++ for a three-course lunch. Available for dinner, The six-course Discovery Menu is priced at $298++ and the eight-course Adventure Menu is priced at $348++.