Looking for the perfect French restaurant in Singapore for a romantic dinner for two, or a casual bistro for a hearty plate of steak frites? Here’s our guide to the best tables for Francophiles
For a long time, French has been the cuisine of fine dining in Singapore. It still is, but – thankfully for our wallets – there are now more restaurants and bistros in Singapore serving pates, oyster mignonettes, foie gras, croque monsieur and other classics that are kind on your wallet. Ahead, we’ve put together a big list of places to indulge in glorious Gallic fare – from fancy dining spots for a special occasion to casual and breezy cafes.
Fine-dining restaurants in Singapore aren’t typically known for being cute or fun. But, chef-owner Julien Royer is lightening things up in curious, little ways at his stylish new restaurant at National Gallery Singapore. How does Royer do it? Through careful and oh-so delightful presentations of his amazing French creations. For starters, the canapés of chilli crab espuma in kueh pie tee shells offer a playful twist on the beloved local dish. Another dish worth our delight is the sweet and succulent hand-picked Scottish scallop, which sits on juicy, smokey pieces of Kurobuta pork belly, and tender guinea fowl from Challans accented with celery risotto and foie gras-Burgundy-truffle veloute. And remember to finish off with the amazing Williams pear comme un milefeuille; you’ll be wolfing down every last crumb.
Odette, #01-04 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957, p. 6385 0498. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-2pm; 7pm-9:30pm.
Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine
Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine is more than a restaurant to chef, Gunther Hubrechsen; it is a second home for him to devise and visualise his culinary creations. The restaurant’s luxurious Art-Nouveau styled interior incorporates panel art pieces and features natural, flowing patterns. But more importantly, the meticulously designed dining room sets the stage for chef Gunther’s unique creations like roasted smoked pigeon with apicius and roasted suckling pig with Kriek beer sauce. If you’re up for more unconventional French fare, try the warm angel hair pasta with sakura prawns and nantua sauce.
Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine, 36 Purvis Street, #01-03, Singapore 188613. p. 6338 8955. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm and 6.30pm-10pm. Sat 6.30pm-10pm. Closed on Sun.
Bistro du Vin
French onion soup ($16), baked Burgundian escargot ($17) and Coq au Vin ($35) are just some of the rustic French offerings you’ll find at Bistro du Vin. Part of the Les Amis Group, this casual eatery offers comforting fare and a homely dining experience that promises an authentic taste of France, all at a reasonable price to boot. Its popularity with the French expat population is testimony enough for us!
Bistro du Vin, 1 Scotts Road, #01-14 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208. p. 6733 7763. Open daily 12pm-2pm, 6.30pm-10pm.
Helmed by Taiwan-born Chef Andre Chiang, the eponymous restaurant serves up the chef’s unique take on Southern French cuisine. While his menu is constantly evolving, the one constant is his ‘Octaphilosophy’, which ensures every dish contains each of these elements: Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan and Terroir. Even we’re not entirely sure what these all entail, but we’re certain they’ll be nothing short of magnifique. Restaurant Andre holds the distinction of being voted Singapore’s best restaurant by San Pellegrino, and Chef Andre himself was named the Rising Chef of the Year for 2009 at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence.
Restaurant ANDRE, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089855. p. 6534 8880. Open for dinner Tue-Sun 7pm-11pm. Open for lunch Fri & Wed 12pm-3pm. Closed on Mon.
Brasserie Les Saveurs
Enjoy a contemporary French dining experience anchored by authentic Parisian class at Brasserie Les Saveurs. While you take in the hand-cut glass chandeliers and the floor to ceiling windows, tuck into a curated selection of epicurean delights ranging from brunchy bites to business lunch sets. Relish its signature butter-sealed dover sole fillet ($63), or savour the classic pan-roasted Barbarie duck magret ($48).
Brasserie Les Saveurs, 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911. p. 6506 6860. Open daily 6.30am-10pm.
Experience classical French cuisine with a touch of Asian aesthetics at Les Amis. Executive Chef Sebastien Lepinoy marries French techniques with Japanese produce to create unique dishes that appeal to local palates. The express menu features specials ($65) like charcoal grilled carpathian pork loin, as well as foie gras and French river eel served with a citrus fruit compote and dashi. If that doesn’t sate your curiosity for Chef Lepinoy’s creations, the tasting menu ($155) will allow you to try smaller portions like his signature starter, Caviar Kristal: cold angel hair pasta with kombu, caviar and black truffle from Provence.
Les Amis, 1 Scotts Road, #01-16 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208. p. 6733 2225. Open daily for lunch at 12pm (Last seating 2pm) and dinner at 7pm (last seating 9.30pm).
Au Petit Salut
An evening of romance and fine French dining awaits you at Au Petite Salut at the sequestered enclave of Dempsey. Dine alfresco and take in the cool breeze and the starry skies while savouring French classics like Chicken ‘cordon bleu’ and crispy duck leg confit. An excellent choice for a first date, if you ask us!
Au Petit Salut, 40C Harding Road, Singapore 249548. p. 6475 1976. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm.
First opened in a coffee shop in Joo Chiat, this no-frills restaurant helmed by chef-owners Joshua Khoo and Dylan Ong has since relocated to Purvis Street and Far East Plaza, where they serve up hearty French standards like beef bourguignon ($17.90), duck confit ($13.90) and foie gras infused chicken roulade ($10.90).
Saveur Purvis Street, #01-04, 5 Purvis Street, Singapore 188584, p. 6333 3121. Open daily 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm.
Saveur Far East Plaza, #01-07B, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213, p. 67361121. Open daily 11.30am-9.30pm.
Perched atop the Swissôtel and currently holding the 11th place on Asia 50 Best Restaurants list, Jaan promises diners a spectacular view of Singapore while they indulge in haute French cuisine. Their degustation menu ($198) includes signatures dishes like the confit rainbow trout and Welsh lamb Provençale. Of course, fine dining isn’t complete without good wine, so make sure to pick a bottle from their vast collection of over 500 labels.
Jaan, Swissôtel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox Complex, Singapore 178882, p. 6837 3322. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-2pm, 7pm-10pm. Closed on Sun & PH.
Go back to basics at Les Bouchons, where they proudly claim to be “The King of Steak and Fries”. If you’re with a plus one, the restaurant offers a giant Cote De Boeuf prime rib ($50) that comfortably feeds a party of two. Just try not to fill up on the free flow fries!
Les Bouchons, 7 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069689, p. 6733 4414. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm, 7pm-10.30pm, Sat 7pm-10.30pm. Closed on Sun.
Love crepes? This industrial-style creperie should already be one of your favourite dining spots. First-timers should try their signature dish, the galette, a savoury buckwheat crepe filled with combinations of meat, cheese and vegetables. They also offer Asian-inspired versions like the Khao San Road ($20). Wash down your crepe with their huge selection of reasonably priced French style ciders.
Ô Comptoir, 79 Circular Rd, Singapore 049433, p. 6534 7645. Open Sun-Fri 11am-12am. Closed on Sat.
Taratata Bistrot is the perfect spot for a family evening out with their unpretentious atmosphere and affordable prices. Chef-owners Bertrand Raguin and Philippe Nouzillat and restaurant manager/sommelier Marie-Agnes Labopin dish out hearty French dishes like their egg casserole with ratatouille and Chorizo sausage ($15). End things on a sweet note with their vanilla scented crème brûlée ($14).
Taratata Bistrot, 35A Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089142, p. 6221 4506. Open Tue-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm, Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm. Closed on Mon.
Joel Robuchon Restaurant
Seated in a luxurious art deco styled dining room, diners at the renowned Joel Robuchon Restaurant can look forward to French dishes with a modern twist. Their six-course dinner menu starts from $428 and includes reinterpreted French dishes like foie gras with turmeric jelly and sea urchin royale with wasabi. Novel desserts like the Le Rubis are a delight to look at as raspberry, mascarpone and black fruit coulis are fashioned into a brilliant, red, lotus-shaped dessert.
Joel Robuchon Restaurant, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269, p. 6577 7888. Open Sat 12pm-2.30pm, Tue-Sat 6pm-11pm. Closed on Sun & Mon.
Tucked away in an unassuming little shophouse is this homely Parisian bistro where one can indulge in French fare made using recipes passed down to chef Frédéric Colin from his grandfather, Henri. Fish quenelles ($35), burgundy snails with parsley and garlic butter ($21) and traditional French onion soup ($16) are just some of the many authentic dishes you can look forward to.
Brasserie Gavroche, 66 Tras Street, Singapore 079005, p. 62258266. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10pm, Sat 6.30pm-10.30pm. Closed on Sun.
Fleur de Sel
Fleur De Sel offers a laid-back setting for diners to enjoy refined French dishes like his creamy, melt-in-your-mouth seared duck liver ($29) and roasted quail stuffed with mushrooms ($42). The chef is known to make his rounds around the restaurant to chat with diners, adding to the restaurant’s homely atmosphere.
Fleur de Sel, #01-01, 64 Tras Street, Singapore 079003, p. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm, Mon-Sat, 6.30pm-10pm. Closed on Sun.
Rhubarb le Restaurant
French cuisine runs the gamut of classy to cosy, and this restaurant is no doubt the latter. The intimate restaurant houses just seven tables where diners can watch Chef Paul in action as he personally prepares his contemporary French dishes. Rhubarb offers a six course menu ($138++) that features mains like wagyu onglet, snails and bone marrow, capped off with novel desserts like gingerbread with fromage blanc sorbet, mandarin oranges and chocolate.
Rhubarb le Restaurant, 3 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089589. p. 8127 5001. Open Mon-Fri 11.45am-2.15pm, 6.30pm-10pm, Saturday 6pm-10.30pm.