My Day on A Plate: Singapore
4.4 min read
I’ve had the pleasure of hosting a couple of trips over the years for the luxury train, the Eastern Oriental Express. Most recently I joined guests as the train travelled from Singapore to Bangkok. Once the three-day journey was complete, I flew back to Singapore for 24 hours to attend to some unfinished business – that is, trying restaurants that I haven’t been to before. I love visiting Singapore for their food scene because you can have a great dining experience, no matter whether you choose to dine somewhere middle of the road or top end. Here’s how I spent 24 hours in Singapore, literally just eating.
After flying into Singapore, I headed straight to lunch at Odette (http://www.odetterestaurant.com/) which is located within the National Gallery of Singapore. I’ve met the chef-owner Julien Royer a few times so I thought I’d ask him to cook lunch for me. Julien cooks modern French cuisine, inspired by his grandmother’s teachings about using pure ingredients and her ability to show love through food. His cooking style has evolved after 10 years of living in Asia, with Asian flavours interwoven into most dishes.
Odette has received several accolades since opening in 2015; most recently, it has been named The Best Restaurant in Asia 2019 in the seventh edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. This list is compiled annually by a group of more than 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia and is an offshoot of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. These lists provide a snapshot of the best destinations for unique culinary experiences and act as a barometer for global gastronomic trends. The annual awards – with an impressive social media following of one million food lovers – also bring together the international gastronomic community.
Lunch was seven courses, starting with mushroom tea. The infusion was made of morel, cep and shiitake mushrooms and was served with truffle brioche for dipping into the broth. Other courses included three types of petit fours, roast turbot with octopus and calamari, and a cheese course with truffle brie. However, the star of the show was roast squab pigeon. It’s theatrically presented to you in a wooden box, with rosemary and other herbs, then taken away for carving. I stayed at Odette over the course of three to four hours before making my way to the next food stop.
I headed over to Keong Saik Road in Chinatown to have dinner at Olivia Restaurant and Lounge (https://www.olivia.com.sg), a newly opened Spanish eatery by Alain Devahive who is best-known for having worked for a decade at the Michelin three-star restaurant El Bulli in Spain. I met Alain many years ago when he cooked at Catalunya, another Spanish restaurant in Singapore.
Instead of ordering from the menu, I left it up to Alain to choose what dishes were served over the next two to three hours. First was a cured beef that Alain cures himself. Then, a cheese and jamón toastie – one of my favourites! Next was a ceviche-type dish made of sole, while dessert was an amazingly gooey goats’ cheese tart. The tart was both sweet and savoury and served warm, with the cheese oozing out before I even touched it with my fork. It was the perfect way to end the Mediterranean dining experience.
An early flight the next morning didn’t leave enough time to explore something new for breakfast so it was straight to the airport and back home to Sydney.