Les Amis @ Shaw Centre

Les Amis, (pronounced ‘leh za mi’ and the French word for “the friends”) has been around Singapore for some time, in fact it’s since 1994. That is 20 years. For restaurants to last so long, they must be doing things right.

It has been doing many things right, in fact, it’s on No 14 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013. Some of ‘the friends’ or alumni of Les Amis includes Justin Quek, Gunther Hubrechsen, Janice Wong, Ignatius Chan, Armin Leitgeb and Daniel Texter.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre

A few months ago, Les Amis managed to lure Chef Sebastien Lepinoy to Singapore (from Cépage Hong Kong). Chef Sebastien has recently been appointed Executive Chef of Les Amis and he has unveiled a new menu for Les Amis. Chef Sebastian Lepinoy happens to be a protégé of Chef Joël Robuchon. Go read up on him if you are interested in his credentials.

Cépage pastry chef Chef Cheryl Koh has also joined her colleague and returned to Singapore. She’s Singaporean and started her career at Raffles Hotel. She’s traveled the world baking in various kitchen and is now calling Singapore home again.

With the new menu, Les Amis which serves Modern French cuisine now has a menu that has Japanese inspiration. I was invited to a tasting at Les Amis and here’s what we had, these creation from Chef Sebastian Lepinoy and Chef Cheryl Koh.

With the new menu and also the ever changing food scene in Singapore, Les Amis seems to have lowered their prices too. Thanks to the opening of many celebrity chefs restaurants, the pricing here has been adjusted accordingly as well. You can look at the menus and pricing at http://www.lesamis.com.sg

Here’s our dinner service recently:

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre

It’s Bordier!

The service staff held a huge platter of butter and went around the table offering us butter to go with our breads. They serve the 5 flavours of the famed Jean-Yves Bordier’s beurre here:  the seaweed, salted, unsalted, d’Espelette chilli and smoked versions. The chilli version is interesting!

I know people who ask friends to hand carry them back in the airplane, that can be so tedious. Just dine here, you get to choose from a whole platter of the different butter. It’s so good.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre

The breads are all made in house and they are so good! Every piece of the bread tasted so fabulous. We were talking and eating the bread non stop with the butter. It’s so good that before we knew it, it was all gone. I usually just take 1 piece at most places except when it’s exceptional.

I recently saw how one of our French friend eat her butter. She spreads a thick layer and then devour it. Ain’t that too much butter I asked, she gave that ‘you silly boy’ look.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
POUR COMMENCER le Caviar de Sologne, sur des cheveux d’ange, ciboulette et algues

This dish was so so pretty and it’s so delicious too! French Caviar from Sologne done two ways.
1) On Cold Angel Hair Pasta that’s so nicely flavoured, al dante and yes, it was a generous portion of caviar with chives and seaweed. On yes, with a bit of gold paper as well!
2) On Maki of Scallop Sashimi. I wish there was a second maki for me!

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
Steamed Blue Crab and Hokkaido Sea Urchin on Lobster Custard and Fennel Foam.

Showcasing more Japanese inspiration, this dish was served on a Japanese lacquer tray. This dish is served on a double glass container and it just looks absolutely stunning. Not the looks, but also the texture and taste of the dish.

The texture of the sea urchin, the crab, the custard, foam and caviar. Sounds complicated but it works!

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
LA LANGOUSTINE de « Cornouaille », servit croustillante, salade folichonne 

Just look at the details! The langoustine from Cornouaille (Brittany in Northwest France) wrapped and deep fried so nicely, it shatters as you bite into it. I am not sure what it’s wrapped in, but it tasted good. It’s also light and not oily.

If you want more finesse in your dumpling at home, do this!

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
Salade folichonne 

The ‘folichonne’ salad or the Crazy Salad.What’s crazy? Just a fancy name for their rendition of the Caesar salad. It’s nice ‘clean up’ salad after the fried langoustine.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
Pan Seared Foie Gras and French River Eel accompanied by Citrus Fruits. 

A nice seared Foie Gras that was a nice size. Not too large till you get a bit overwhelmed by it. I personally prefer it to be a bit smaller. I have been sharing my Foie Gras. I feel guilty eating such rich foods! The citrus ‘rough puree’ gives a nice contrast to your taste buds.

The dish comes with a little bowl of dashi broth. A nice clean up of your palate to this dish.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
LE BŒUF maturé à point et grillé, aromates et pousses amères, jus de viande

It’s probably the most wonderful part of the meal. Grilled Dry Aged Beef with Bitter Herbs, Mushrooms and a Rich Jus. This was a chunk of Kagoshima A5 grilled medium done. A5 is the highest level of Japanese Wagyu Beef based on it’s marbling, fat color, meat color, texture and firmness.

When this was served, there was silence in the dining room. Everyone was just enjoying the beef quietly, savouring every single bit of the wagyu. Satisfaction is the word to describe this dish.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre
LE SOUFFLÉ au chocolat noir 125%, glace vanille « Pure-Tahiti »

This was one wonderfully and beautifully made dessert. The soufflé tasted so rich yet so light. Pastry Chef Cheryl used Valrhona P125 Dark Chocolate to make this. It’s a chocolate blend that will give you intense chocolate flavour. It’s served with Tahiti Vanilla Ice Cream.

Oh what a sweet ending to the meal. A warm and cold sensation while devouring this does makes you feel really good.  I was a happy man.

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre

Chef Cheryl decided to have more sweet treats for us. She made these Paris-Brest for us. What a sinful dessert, but we ended the dinner a note higher with this delicious pastry. It’s something (cough cough) very sinful.
 It’s a pastry created in 1891 to remember a bicycle race between Paris and Brest!

Les Amis @ Shaw Centre

It was a memorable dinner prepared by Chef Sebastien and Chef Cheryl. You will appreciate what they have done to the very fresh produce sourced from France and Japan. You will enjoy the little magic on each course that is served.

When I got home, I told the wife, I will bring her back for one of our date nights. They serve a few things that I know the wife would love.

Les Amis also have 2 very cool (pun intended) walk in temperature controlled wine cellars in the premise. I had a walk in it and was quite amazed by it. It has a collection of mostly French labels. Ask their sommelier for pairings with your food.

They do have a very affordable set lunch that starts from $45! Check out the various sets at their website. The dinner service starts from $150 for their Menu Découverte. If you have been good and not spend your year end bonus, try their Menu Dégustation for $280. The dishes we had are a mix from the various menu.

I reckon this is a good place to bring your partner for the coming Valentine’s Day or a birthday or just date nights.

Les Amis1 Scotts Road,
Shaw Centre
Singapore 228208

Tel: +65 6733 2225
Website: http://www.lesamis.com.sg
Hours: Mon-Sat, Lunch 12 noon to 2 pm / Dinner 7 pm onwards. Closed on Sundays.

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