In a town where lists are all-important, Saint Pierre is not on a list. It has no Michelin stars, and it’s not vaunted at the recent Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. But then again, what’s in a list?
For a food lover, the proof is in the flavours on your plate, and Saint Pierre scores top marks where I am concerned. That, and the fact that it offers incredibly good value as fine dining restaurants go.
Don’t get me wrong. In absolute terms, Saint Pierre is hardly easy on the pocket. A three-course lunch sets you back $58, while dinner starts from $148 for the four-course Classic menu. In a world of $3 chicken rice, that’s jaw-droppingly expensive. But that’s a matter of perspective. In fine dining circles, Saint Pierre offers value—in terms of the quality of the ingredients and the sheer skill of the chef and his attention to detail.
No question about it, Singapore is pricey when it comes to dining out. A main course of pork chops at a fairly pedestrian mid-range chain restaurant, for instance, can go for upwards of $35. In such a context, $58 for lunch comprising cured wild-caught Alsakan salmon spiked with wasabi cream, followed by a choice of barbecued duck breast with organic carrots or steamed Atlantic cod with rich oxtail consommé is a positive steal. And we haven’t even gotten to the third course yet—preferably the Tanariva-Manjari mousse with vanilla cremeux or the Sarawak pineapple confit with lemongrass, coconut ice cream and a welcome dash of rum.
Then there are its very well-priced wine dinners. Consider this: the upcoming E. Guigal wine dinner (27 March) that’s priced at $138 per person for seven courses plus wine. All the wines featured from the Northern Rhone producer are rated 90 points and above by American wine critic Robert Parker.
Beyond dollars and cents, there is also the quality of the cuisine to consider. Saint Pierre is helmed by chef Emmanuel Stroobant, a veteran on Singapore’s dining scene. While newer names and younger chefs have grabbed the headlines in recent years, chef Stroobant has honed his craft and stayed the course, and the results are evident on your plate at Saint Pierre.
From the six-course Discovery menu ($188), the Anjou pigeon roasted on the bone, paired with beetroot, laced with barest hint of coffee and served with pigeon jus was one of the best we have tasted—beautifully tender, rich but not overly gamey. The pairing with beetroot is a lovely classic that was executed pitch-perfect, and lifted the dish with a joyous splash of sweetness and acidity. Another highlight of our meal: the fat almond-crusted scallop that sat pristine on a tom yam-inspired coconut emulsion, topped with a dainty dollop of avocado cream. Then there was the gorgeous composition of lotus with parsnip, salsify, jerusalam artichoke and skirret root that may well make a veggie lover of you yet.
It was a gorgeous meal that guarantees I will return to this 17-year-old restaurant again, and hopefully, again. That, and the intimate elegant setting with unfettered views of the Marina Bay skyline.
#02-02B One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Rd. Tel: 6438 0887