Whilst others have come and gone, fine dining restaurant, Les Amis, has been on the scene for quite a while and seems to be gathering momentum. Part of their secret lies in their talented chefs who continue to create delicious food. Another reason for their success may be their astute ability to adapt to changing market conditions. The introduction of reasonably priced set lunches has made this hallowed dining destination accessible to a wider segment of the market. We recently tried out their lunch and lived to tell the tale.
Les Amis is situated within the Shaw Centre, on the street level and enjoys direct access from Claymore Hill. It is a smallish place that is spread over two levels. The open dining area is on the lower level and the private rooms and wine cellar are on the upper level. The decor is modern and simple, with the chandeliers proving the only ornate embellishments.
Although it was a normal weekday, the place was full. The marketing folks have clearly found a sweet spot of the consumers’ wallet. For lunch, most people do not want to spend too much time or moolah, even if they could afford it and even if it is a posh place like this. Les Amis offers a choice of three set menus for lunch. A three course ($55 – read our review here), a four course ($70) and a six course ($125). We tried the four-course menu that had fixed starters and dessert with four main course options, the most interesting of which was ox tongue stuffed in calf’s head. We were really tempted, but in the end we chickened out and opted for the safer ones and selected the wild salmon and steak.
The first course was refreshing “haricot vert” salad with caviar. The sexy term turned out to be the humble french beans. They were well presented but tasted rather ordinary, even with the extra boost provided by the caviar. It was a slow start but we are happy to report that after the first course, things only got better.
The second course was millie-feuille of foie gras and artichoke and white truffle. This creation was made by thin layers of foie gras and artichoke gelatin interlaced to form a kueh-lapis like structure. It was a novel combination which balanced the strong foie gras taste with the refreshing gelatin. The shaved white truffle added a further layer of complexity into the mix. The wild salmon was prepared in two ways, the main part was grilled and a part of it was presented in salmon tartare form. The taste was delicate and fresh. The black pepper steak looked boring on the menu but we were glad to have ordered it. The taste was fantastic and the texture was really smooth. The main courses were both excellent on account of the quality of ingredients used.
The lunch came to a sweet end with the passion fruit souffle served with a young coconut milk sorbet. The passion fruit flavoured souffle was light and fluffy and looked good as well.
Another commendable aspect of the lunch at Les Amis are the $35 half bottle wine suggestions. These provide simple but decent wines to go with the lunch. We opted for the Domaine Fouassier, Sancerre Les Romains 2011. For our lunch, the half bottle of sauvignon blanc was just right for two persons.
#01-16 Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Road
Nearby Stattions : Orchard
#Street fact – Scotts Road is named after Captain William Scotts, a Harbourmaster and Portmaster of Singapore in the 1830s. He was a cousin of Sir Walter Scotts, the Scottish historical novelist and author of Ivanhoe.