MACARONS are what professional Chefs call Michelin Stars. Some Chefs take a lifetime to get just one, but mon ami, Chef Joël Robuchon has not 1, not 2 but 26! I am sure there shall be many more to come…
Feasting at his ‘haute cusine’ restaurant in Resorts World Sentosa is truly an amazingly memorable delight for the senses. The Singapore restaurant is his second in Asia after Macau.
I strolled in to be welcomed by friendly Guillaume, the Restaurant Manager and the man himself…dapper Chef Joël Robuchon in a jet black Chef’s uniform. Jolly Joël remarked with a chuckle, “Bon soir! You have written about Paul Bocuse but you have not written about me yet…”
Man does not live by bread alone…
As I admired the glittering rose-shaped chandelier plus the lipstick-scarlet & charcoal ‘Art deco’ decor, a trademark for Joël’s numerous restaurants around the world, the acclaimed Bread Trolley was wheeled before me. Oh! La! La! There was petit Croissant, petit Baguette, yummy Kugolf Sale (my personal favourite) with bacon bits and onion, Gruyere Cheese pain, bacon roll, mustard bread, Basil Foccacia, Rosemary Brioche, Milk Bun & Saffron sphere Foccacia…
My policy c’est tres simple: when you can’t decide which to have, have all of them! I really liked the way the butter was served ‘a la table’. The waitress used two spoons to create a perfectly rolled cute ‘curl’ of butter from a veritable mountain of butter on a trolley!
After contemplating the gorgeous goodies on the menu I decided to try the 6 Plats with a Wine Degustation of 3 wines.
Smoothly and discreetly ‘amuse bouche’ was served with an effervescent glass of Bruno Paillard “Premiere Cuvee” MV Champagne. The sparkler had flavours of sultanas and dried fruit. With the Christofle silverware I tried the ‘amuse bouche’ of Asparagus Panna Cotta garnished with asparagus and almond slices on tomato confit plated on Bernardaud porcelain.
Ella Fitzgerald sang Cole Porter’s “I get a kick out of you” as La Langoustine truffee et cuite en ravioli a l’etuvee de chou vert arrived. Ravioli filled with lovely langoustine and the addictive parfum of Truffles the gourmet’s fungus, delighted. Vouvray Sec “Le Haut-Lieu” Domaine Huet 2009 with mineral notes was the foil for this.
Treasure of the Black Pearl…
Voila! Chef Joël Robuchon appeared with a ‘superbe’ suprise…”Le Caviar par Joël Robuchon”! A gold caviar tin emblazoned with “Joël Robuchon Restaurant” had a top layer of sexy, glistening black pearls of caviar from France, a middle layer of flavoursome lobster gelee and a bottom layer of parsley spiked crabmeat and creme fraiche. I rolled the caviar pearls between my tongue and palate and gently burst them…excitingly delicious with an explosion of taste and aromas! Lemony Bruno Paillard champagne was an excellent match. J’adore caviar! Gourmets in Thailand will be in for a treat soon as Chef Joël confided to me that hes is opening a restaurant in Bangkok.
Oh! La! La! A crystal-clear glass plate was set before me. It was scrumptious crunchy ocean-sweet Lobster meat with an amber Lobster aspic gelee, rich Sea Urchin with Chervil, Squid & Arugula. Yummy! Married with a glass of Chateu Lynch Bages 2009 served in a “Zwiesel 1872” wine glass…intense lemongrass and gooseberry flavours of the blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon uplifted the flavours of the seafood.
Les Petit Pois
Inspired by the classic comfort dish from Holland, this interactive creation had emerald green peppermint-refreshed Green Pea Veloute being poured to float an espuma cloud flavoured with sweet onions. There was also a 1 mm thin rectangular ueber crsipy Lavosh to dip into the earthy soup.
A gastronomic delight to rob a bank for Caramelized Lobster in salted butter accompanied by crunchy Green Asparagus with Chateau Chalon. On the palate I tasted some spicy chilli oil whch set my taste buds tingling. The naturally sweet ocean flavours of the moist lobster cooked to perfection was fabulous. Puligny-Montrachet Domaine Louis Carillon 2007 added mineral and floral nuances to the dish.
Beguiling and so flavoursome is Le Canard (duck) combined with Foie Gras seared perfectly so the middle is still that little bit rare and scrumptious. Sour cherries and almond plus slivers of ginger made the moist & tender duck taste even better. I like the clear crystal glass ‘cloche’ dish that covers the dish. A winning red wine from France with a nose of pepper and spice paired well. Moulis-En-Medoc Chateau Maucaillou 2003 was well balanced and smooth on the palate with ‘frutti di bosco’ (fruits of the forest) flavours. These flavours added pleasurable complexity to the carnivores’ delight!
The bewitching cheese selction on the trolley is outstanding. Roquefort, Fourme d’Ambert, Livarot, Epoisses, Reblochon, Gruyere from Switzerland, Comte Ossau Irraty, Tomme de Savoie, Mimmolette which is France’s version of Cheddar, Camembert, Brie, Picodon & Valencay. I relished the fromage with raisins, crunchy toasted walnuts, sweet black cherry jam and fig marmalade. Savoury and sweet sensations made my palate swoon with delight. A fascinating fact is the earthy cow’s milk cheese known as “Le Colonel. This is Livarot AOC from Normandie which has 5 rings on the rind due to the reedmace wrapping. In the French military, 5 rings denote the rank of Colonel, hence the nickname.
One of life’s greatest pleasures is surely Dessert…
Le Chocolat! Dark Chocolate with Macadamia, Breton Sable Biscuit with Hazelnut, Chocolate Truffle with Rhum, Pistachio with Strawberry, Fig & Raspberry Gelee & Coffee Caramel Macaron! Accompanied by Chateau Latrezotte le Sauternes de ma Fille 2009, a lovely sweet dessert wine redolent with candied orange peel, toffee and apricots. Cacao de Chuao cultivated in the Valley of Chuao since the 16th Century is used by Joël Robuchon for his desserts, Chuao chocolate has a bright acidity with flavours of tobacco, Bing Cherry, Fig & Raisin.
OMG! There was more to come…Escortes de Mignardises. A dessertholic’s dream come true with Framboise (raspberry) Tartlet with 24-karat Gold Leaf, Truffles, Chocolate Pralines, Parisienne Macarons and lots more. As if on cue, Edith Piaf ‘la mome’ sang “La vie en rose” as I popped a rose-red Raspberry into my mouth.
A word about the Nectar of the Gods…
On your left as you enter is the ‘floating’ Wine Cellar. It has many bottles of horizontal bottles of fine wines “suspended” in the air. Actually, they are carefully set in clear perspex. Outstanding vintages include Krug Blanc de Noir Grand Cru “Clos d’Ambonnay” ($7500), James Bond 007’s Bollinger Blanc de Noirs “Vieilles Vignes Francaises 1999 (S$2150), Chateau L’Angelus 1988 (S$1200), Chateau Cheval Blanc 1990 from Lalande de Pomerol (S$9900), Chateau Smith Haut Lafite 2004 (S$345) and Chateau Petrus 1990 (S$20,980). Incidentally, Chateau Petrus is almost 100% Merlot. There are 1000 labels on the Wine List.
For carte blanche top quality ‘haute cuisine’ by a Masterchef it is hard to get any better than this! When Chef Joël is not cooking, his capable Japanese Executive Chef Tomonori Danzaki helms the kitchen. Bon appetit!
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Resorts World Sentosa
8 Sentosa Gateway
Hours: 6pm to 10.30pm daily