Thursday, June 21, 2012

Saint Pierre

C says:

While St Pierre is still part of "chef in black" Emmanuel Stroobant's restaurant group, he now only holds a consulting position; chef de cuisine is now Leandros Stagogiannis, who was previously at now defunct FiftyThree.

Besides an a la carte menu, there are two tasting menus - a 6 course Classic menu for $128, and a 10 course Degustation menu for $148. The Classic menu is just that - traditional dishes and preparations which sound yummy, but perhaps slightly predictable. The Degustation sounded a lot more experimental, so we decided to give that a go.

We were served 2 amuse bouches - the first was a spherification of pesto and tomato, and the next was a shot glass of langoustine puree and beetroot caviar.

I couldn't photograph the first course, because it was prepared tableside and we had to eat it straightaway, but basically the waiter used a siphon to squirt some tomato mousse onto a spoon, then immersed that in liquid nitrogen to blast freeze it. It tasted interesting but I found it a bit on the gimmicky side.

Next was razor clams with a tomato and coriander salsa with fennel, yam crisps and edible flowers. Again, this was just ok, since the salsa all but overwhelmed the razor clams, and at this stage we didn’t have a good feeling for the rest of the meal.

However, from the third course everything changed. Called Langoustine, this had poached then grilled langoustine with a langoustine consommé gelee, cucumber and onions. The consommé had loads of flavour, but what really blew me away was the langoustine. It was just barely yet perfectly cooked, yet it had a distinct charred smokiness from the grill.

Next was a foie gras parfait with brioche, raisins and a fig-port reduction. This was intensely flavourful and wonderfully creamy.

Champignon was next – an ode to all thing mushroom with seared king oyster mushroom, pickled shimeji, enoki and cep puree. This was a tad on the salty side, but there were morsels of Chinese pear to cut through all the umaminess of the mushrooms.

The escargot course came with sautéed snails drenched tableside with a garlic butter sauce, garlic scented oat “soil” and a fresh green salad. This was the second to last savoury course, and the meal was really well paced because both A and I started feeling full at the same point – just as we finished this course.

The Porc dish is the chef’s take on satay – barbequed iberico pork with leek dumplings and pomegranate seeds. The dumplings were a bit like rosti and surprisingly good, and the pork was wonderfully cooked; really tender, with just the right amount of charred fat at the ends.

The first sweet course was sweetcorn with yogurt and a cherry-almond sorbet. This was a good in-between course, because there were considerable salty elements to ease our palate from savoury to dessert.

Dessert was a carrot parfait with coconut ice cream, coconut crumble and mint oil. This was a bit too unconventional for me, but I appreciate their creating a non-chocolate, typical dessert.

It's sad that $148 per person is considered cheap these days, but the influx of celebrity restaurants like Waku Ghin, Joel Robuchon and even home-grown Andre have resulted in $300+ per head being par for the course. I really can't bring myself to fork out that much on a meal, and I'm glad that there are still restaurants like St Pierre that offer good food and a pleasant dining experience, at prices that don't break the bank. 

A says:

I’d still say $148 per pax is expensive. But for the amount of high quality dishes and impeccable service, I’d highly recommended this for a special occasion.

We’ll be back once the wallets have sufficiently recovered.

Saint Pierre
3 Magazine Road
#01-01 Central Mall
Tel: 6438-0887
Mon – Fri: noon – 3 pm; 7 pm – midnight (last order 9.30 pm)
Sat: 7 pm – midnight (last order 9.30 pm)
Closed Sunday

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