Emmanuel Stroobant is known as the Chef in Black, but his latest venture should see him rebadging his colours to green.
When Stroobant debuted Saint Pierre in 2000, his brand of classic French cuisine set the benchmark for fine dining in Singapore, before he decided to relocate in favour of a slightly more casual approach at Quayside Isle, Sentosa, in 2013. Launched in March, Saint Pierre’s latest 186sqm incarnation at One Fullerton heralds a return to its fine-dining roots, but one that revolves around the now-vegetarian chef’s new spiritual and healthful approach to food and life.
Two prix fixe menus are available, in six (S$158) or 10-course (S$178) versions. The Grand Nature menu is vegetarian, while Grand Earth incorporates fish and meat. Both offer what Stroobant terms Essence-centric cuisine, in which essences derived from prime seasonal ingredients are used as stocks, base and seasonings. Stroobant’s mantra is “simplicity on the plate” – every dish is executed with an extremely light hand, and focused on teasing out the nuances of natural flavours.
While they seem simple enough, however, his dishes are not simplistic, showing the depth of Stroobant’s mastery of both Asian ingredients and complex flavour combinations. Sweet Momotaro tomatoes are juxtaposed with piquant balsamic sorbet and aromatic vanilla oil, while pureed avocado plays with succulent coconut slivers, dots of kombu gel and crunchy bangkwang (Chinese turnip). A tender wedge of line-caught sea bass comes dressed with a moreish tamarind and tomato-infused shallot confit, while scallops are served in an umami dashi broth. An elaborate – and extensive – cheese and petit fours trolley that rolls out at the end of the meal guarantees a satisfying finish.