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French Restaurants in Singapore That Put the 'Ooh' in 'Ooh La La'



For an Asian city, Singapore has a surprising number of exquisite French restaurants. At the top-end you can expect the very best in fine-dining French cuisine, alongside impeccable presentation and immaculate service, while for the more casual evening, a range of traditional French bistro fare is also on offer.

 

The top spot on our list goes to L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon – the Singapore branch of the world-famous restaurant brought to us by the planet's most decorated Michelin-starred chef. While many may argue that the fine dining Joël Robuchon Restaurant is the jewel in the crown, we love the more casual L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon for the unique theatrical dining experience it offers its guests.

 

Across town at the Marina Bay Sands complex, Robuchon's French compatriot Masterchef Guy Savoy brings his Michelin-starred magic to our shores with more impeccable French cuisine, while homegrown restaurants Gunther's, Jaan, Absinthe and Restaurant ANDRE all hold their own in a crowded culinary market.

 

Les Amis group is a huge Singapore success story and their flagship restaurant Les Amis is renowned amongst the city's high society for providing a flawless gastronomic experience, with a wine list to match. Their sister restaurant Au Jardin, situated in a colonial building in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, is a good option for romance, whilst their more casual Bistro du Vin is an excellent choice for an informal evening of rustic French fare. 


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This Robertson Quay steak restaurant dishes up excellent value-for-money steak & frites, in a charming riverside setting. Its simple menu offers a selection of cuts of meat in addition to other rustic French classics, such as Escargots. Choose your steak and accompanying sauce, and the rest is decided for you - free flow of fries (some say the best in Singapore) and an accompanying side salad. The small wine list is good value, and the adjoining al-fresco bar has good deals on wine and bubbly for pre/post-dinner drinks. A sister restaurant is located on Club street in Chinatown. Closed Sundays.




Bistro du Vin is one of the most authentic French brasseries in Singapore. The wine-red walls, dark wooden brasserie furniture and French movie posters of this intimate 52-seater restaurant transport you to Paris as you tuck into traditional French favourites. Homemade Duck Pate & Rillette, French Onion Soup, Burgundian Escargots, Coq au Vin and Chargrilled Cote Du Boeuf all grace the a la carte menu, while the specials board has a selection of continually updated 'plats du jour'. A wallet-friendly wine list features only French wines, with many offered by the glass or carafe. A second branch of Bistro du Vin can be found on Zion Road, across the road from Great World City shopping mall.


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Boat Quay


Absinthe Restaurant is housed within a traditional heritage shophouse along bustling Boat Quay. The menu of French cuisine focuses on fresh seasonal produce and a daily supply of fresh seafood, with traditional dishes such as Foie Gras Terrine, Lobster Bisque, Duck Leg Confit and Cote de Boeuf interspersed with more imaginative offerings such as Roasted Black Cod, Prawn Risotto and Kaffir Lime Leaf Emulsion; or Organic Rabbit with Morrel Ravioli, Celeriac Puree, Baby Spinach and Natural Jus. You are sure to be tempted by the dessert selection, which includes Tarte du Jour, Creme Brulee and Fondant, but be sure to leave room for the legendary Cheese Trolley which will be wheeled to your table for you to make your selection from its impressive offerings. The reasonably priced wine list covers most of France's wine producing regions, together with a fair representation of other wine countries.


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Au Jardin

Au Jardin is a romantic French restaurant based in an elegantly restored 1920s colonial black and white bungalow, hidden amongst the foliage in the heart of the Botanic Gardens. Chef Wei Han serves up relaxed fine-dining French cuisine, served in the intimate main dining room which seats just 45 people. The menu changes according to seasonal produce, but you can expect dishes such as Pan-Seared Quail Medallion with seasonal mushrooms, "Joselito" ham, potato chips and walnut sauce; and Poached Wild Halibut in Lemongrass Oil. The wine list boasts more than 1200 labels, with house pours by the glass changing according to the menu. With Chef Patissier Liew San Lun enticing you with creations such as Baked Alaska with caramel hazelnut parfait, frozen banana foam & mousse with passion fruit sorbet, you'll want to leave room for dessert. A Sunday Brunch priced at $72++ is popular with the well-heeled local population.




This intimate 40-seat restaurant on the 70th floor of the Swissotel the Stamford is often listed amongst Asia's top restaurants. Guests dine below a stunning Murano crystal and silver free-flow chandelier that spans the entire length of the restaurant, while through the windows the dynamic Singapore skyline is laid out below. With such a dramatic setting, the food needs to work hard to compete, and since October 2011 that challenge has fallen to chef de cuisine Julien Royer, who trained under three-Michelin star chef Michel Bras. Royer describes his menu as 'artisanal cuisine', with seasonal produce being sourced from around the world, with a focus on organic farms. Expect Norwegian scallops, New Zealand lobster, Welsh lamb – and of course, French cheeses. A wine list of nearly 500 bottles is available for matching.




Gunther's is a classy fine-dining French restaurant, tucked away on Purvis Street behind Raffles Hotel. Helmed by chef Gunther Hubrechsen, Gunther's is famed for its modern French cuisine and fresh seasonal produce, and is often listed amongst the best restaurants in Asia. Signature dishes inlclude the Cold Angel Hair Pasta with Oscietra Caviar, and the Oven-Roasted Chateaubriand, pear pepper sauce flambee au Cognac, for two. Beyond the a la carte menu, a tray of fresh ingredients are flown in daily from Europe and presented to your table for the ever-changing specials. The knowledgeable sommelier will help you navigate the 350-strong wine list, which is predominantly French. With a maximum seating capacity of just 35 diners in the main dining room, Gunther's is perfect for an intimate dinner a deux.




Les Amis is highly acclaimed as one of Singapore's very best restaurants, serving up fine dining French cuisine in a plush and sophisticated setting. Diners can expect a flawless gastronomic experience with dishes such as Whole Poached Hungarian Goose Foie Gras with confit quince, almond dragées and crispy apple bread, and Homemade Pasta with crispy Japanese shrimps and black Périgord truffle floss. One of the highlights is the cheese gueridon service, allowing guests to choose from a large array of cheeses from the trolley. The restaurant also boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in Asia, with more than 2000 bottles on offer.




Restaurant ANDRE is one of Singapore's most highly acclaimed restaurants, having been named in the San Pellegrino World's 100 Best Restaurants in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (when it finally made the top 50 at number 38); voted second best restaurant in Asia by the Miele Guide in 2011/2012; and named by the New York Times as one of ten restaurants in the world worth a plane ride. Taiwanese-born chef Andre Chiang's menu is based on his own OctaphilosophyTM approach - the discovery of cuisine through eight characteristics: Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan and Terroir. Confused? Roughly translated, a meal at Restaurant Andre promises to be a culinary journey like no other: eight courses of elaborate, experimental and intricate creations focusing on fresh artisanal produce and reflecting Andre Chiang's roots in Southern French nouvelle cuisine. Expect the unexpected, and expect to be wowed.




Guy Savoy in Paris is often lauded as one of the world's finest haute-cuisine establishments. With three Michelin stars under his belt and the honour of being named France's Chef of the Year by his peers, you are sure not to be disappointed at the legendary chef's outlet at Marina Bay Sands here in Singapore. Enjoy aperitifs at the champagne bar before venturing through to the modernist dining room to feast on such culinary delights as a Mosaic of Poularde, Foie Gras and Artichoke with Black Truffle Vinaigrette; "Morsels" of Veal with Springtime Flowers, Leaves and Root Vegetables; or Roasted John Dory and Sea Urchins with Water Chestnuts. For those without the time (or more likely, wthout the liquidity, as main courses hover around the $100 mark) to enjoy the full Guy Savoy experience, a 'Bubbles and Bites' menu can be enjoyed at the bar, where a selection of wines by the glass can be sampled alongside nibbles such as Oysters, Beef Tartare, Aged Cheeses, and Spanish Iberico de Bellota Ham, with dishes ranging from $25-40.


Masterchef Joel Robuchon is a true legend in the culinary world, with a staggering 26 Michelin stars to his name, from his 22 restaurants which span ten cities across the globe. His two outlets at Resorts World Sentosa signal Mr Robuchon's first foray into Southeast Asia. While many will argue that the fine dining Joel Robuchon Restaurant is the jewel in the crown, the more casual L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon provides guests with a unique theatrical dining experience. Drawing inspiration from the simplicity of Japanese cuisine and the convivial atmosphere in Spanish tapas bars, L'Atelier immerses guests into the action, with only a counter separating them from the vibrant and creative kitchen. Settle into the black and red furnishings and take your pick from innovative classic and tasting portions, or go for the blow-out with an 8-course degustation menu.


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Meet Marianne Rogerson

Marianne is a freelance travel writer, who has lived in Singapore for six years. She is the author of a travel guidebook to Singapore and has written about Singapore for a range of...  More About Marianne

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