At 17 years old, Saint Pierre is one of the oldest home-grown fine-dining establishments in Singapore. While a constellation of celebrity chef restaurants at Marina Bay Sands– directly across the bay from its two-year-old location at One Fullerton – has been hogging the headlines, the one-Michelin-starred restaurant is still a force to be reckoned with.
For dinner, three prix-fixe sets are offered in addition to the a la carte menu. We choose the eight-course Discovery menu (other options are the five-course Classic and show-stopping 20-course Adventure menus).
The Discovery experience begins with much aplomb: a quartet of snacks such as smoked trout cannelloni and miso-spiked nasu (eggplant) studded with sesame seeds. The complex morsels, packed with flavour, rev up one’s appetite in a promising start. It is hit after hit over the next seven courses, with Asian flavours and ingredients deftly incorporated into the Western dishes.
The smokiness of the blushing pink squares of hay-smoked buri (yellowtail) is accentuated by the subtly acidic ponzu jelly. We also relish the steamed hairy crab shreds that are moulded into a medallion and topped with more crabmeat. The sweetness of the crustacean shines through the corn and lemongrass soup, which is citrusy-sweet and tangy. We enjoy the crunch of the plush Hokkaido scallop seared in almond butter, garnished with almond bits, and given a spicy hint from a drizzle of curry oil.
The highlight of the meal is the much-lauded royal pigeon. Chef Emmanuel Stroobant first brings out the whole bird roasted on the bone for us to inspect in its full glory. He later returns with carved slabs of breast fillet of the thyme-perfumed bird. The umami flavour from horseradish jus is sharpened by chewing on the slightly gamey pigeon meat. It is accompanied by a wild mushroom nori tart for a divine combination that has us polishing o the tender bird in no time.
Adding an old-school touch are the cheese (a gorgeous assortment of more than 15 French variations) and petit fours trolleys that are rolled out to conclude the meal on a high note. The cherry on top of the dining experience is the impressive food and wine knowledge of the gregarious service staff, who turn on their charm with ease.