There are two Joel Robuchon restaurants in Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa. The Joël Robuchon Restaurant is the main, formal restaurant. Next to it is a more casual sibling, the L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (we have a picture at the end of this post). Having read about the impending publication of the Singapore edition of the Michelin Guide, the Joël Robuchon Restaurant came to mind as it will surely be a candidate to receive their glittery stars. Dinners at this place are out of the budget of ordinary patrons, but their Saturday lunch menu seemed doable. Starting from $108++, it was a suitable place to celebrate a special occasion.
Joël Robuchon is said to be the most Michelin starred chef in the world. With highly rated restaurants around the world, he would know a thing or two about setting up restaurants. The interior of the Restaurant is beautiful. The elegant decor is dominated by a magnificent chandelier. Some of the tables are located in a space under a skylight which is decorated to make guests feel like dining in a garden under a tree. In our case, we prefer to be under a sparkling chandelier than an artificial tree anytime.
Note to self – Tip #1 – request for the corner tables when making reservation. The L-shaped sofa space for two is more luxurious and private than the regular tables.
The beauty of the interior is however not visible from the outside. In fact the entrance from street level looks quite ugly.
We were presented with a few choices for lunch including a bells and whistles menu and a special menu with truffles, each priced at more than $400. There was also the more affordable weekend lunch menu which offers a 3, 4 and 5-course lunch at $108, $128 and $148 respectively. Here is a picture of the Saturday lunch menu. Full copies of their menus with prices are put up on the restaurant’s website, which is a practice we hope all restaurants will follow.
We had initially planned to try their basic three-course lunch, but decided to go for the works with the 5 course. There were two of us and since each course had two options, this meant that we could try everything on the list, was our fuzzy logic reasoning. Note to self – Tip #2 – three course is more than enough. Leave room for the bread, amuse bouche and petite fours.
The first thing to come along after we placed our orders was the bread trolley. It was laden with many variations of bread with all kinds of flavours, common and unusual, such as escargot, foie gras, onion etc. Sensing our inner turmoil, the server kindly offered to pick one of each flavour for us. We accepted and she presented them on a platter. If the humble bread was so beautifully presented, we looked forward to see the other dishes. In the end we ate almost all of the bread on our platter. Only two mini-baguettes survived, saved by their hard skins.
Next, the amuse bouche arrived. These were the most elaborate amuse bouche we had seen. The first was fish eggs on a thin layer of seafood gelatine which looked too beautiful to destroy by eating. We did it anyway and the taste was sublime. The other was a ball that contained some broth, xiao long bao style. A great start to a meal!
Dining at a potential Michelin star French restaurant would be incomplete without some wine. There were wine pairing options starting at $48 for 2 glasses. We decided on a bottle of white Burgundy – 2007 Jayer Gilles Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits ($140). The wine list at Joël Robuchon Restaurant is extensive but, thankfully inclusive. Prices start from around $90 per bottle and there were wines by the glass and half bottle options as well.
The next dishes to arrive were the appetisers. Lobster and sour turnip ravioli and black truffles and potatoes. Both were attractively presented. The lobster ravioli was delicate in taste. The truffle slices were earthy and robust. If we had to choose one we would go for the truffles.
Soup was served in an ostrich egg-shaped bowl. We did not have high expectations of soup but the taste was very good. It was a Japanese-style broth with bonito base and hints of yuzu and ginger. Very enjoyable – the taste was pure yet intense. If we had opted for a three course meal, we would choose this over the appetiser.
The main courses were next. First the seafood dishes – black cod and pan-fried scallops. They were both good-looking dishes but the tastes were quite average and fell short of being memorable.
We think that the chefs must have become tired by that time. The dishes up to that stage were all beautifully plated. But the meat courses appeared to be plated with no obvious strategy. Beef and pork served on a plate is the only way to describe these dishes. Fortunately, the taste of the meats were good. The beef in particular was accompanied by some pasta that had some good-tasting filling. The meat dishes were better than the seafood items.
Dessert time, but before that some palate cleansers that were carefully served and which tasted as good as the desserts.
The real desserts were a chocolate item in a cylindrical container and a lychee sorbet. Again not bad but not “Micheliny” enough. The plate for the sorbet was however eye-catching. Note to self -Tip 3 – try the cheese next time.
Just when we thought lunch was over, they rolled out another trolley of goodies. We get to select our petite fours or five or six. But by then we had eaten more than we should have and so we settled on four each. Reminder – read Tip #2. We learnt a new word that day, these small desserts are also known as mignardises.
Overall, our lunch at Joël Robuchon Restaurant was very enjoyable. We busted our original budget and calorie count. With hindsight, we should have stuck to the three course lunch which also comes with all the trimmings. We would (almost) be just as happy without the seafood dish and the appetiser.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant is located on the ground level of the Hotel Michael at RWS. Just head towards Universal Studios. Once you see this globe, the restaurant is only 50 metres away. As promised, here is a picture of casual sibling L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Overall Rating: 5 TOPs
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
8 Sentosa Gateway
Hotel Michael Level 1
Resorts World Sentosa