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Bu Pun Su

Odette, Singapore

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Andre Chiang and then Julien Royer … the management of Jaan restaurant indeed has the sharp eyes in approaching talented chefs. Like Andre, Julien (finally) owns and runs his own restaurant – in partnership with Lo and behold group. However, unlike Mr. Chiang, Chef Royer decided to name his restaurant Odette after his beloved grandmother, from whom he learned tremendous things about seasonality and respecting top quality ingredients.

 

The restaurant opened in late 2015 and as expected, it immediately became one of the hottest tables in Singapore. I did not eat there until in early ’17 for business lunch – you will find many new creations but less meticulous. In last year’s Autumn, I eventually had the opportunity to savor the full menu of Odette.  Even after having been in operation for 3 years or so, Julien Royer still kept plenty of his signature dishes from his Jaan’s days on the menu such as mushroom tea, beetroot, egg with rosemary, and pigeon. Even the foie gras pho and lemon tart have been around but experienced evolution from time to time. Given that I have not had Chef Royer’s classics for nearly 5 years … I would not mind repeating them again.

 

Odette only offers tasting menu – normal and vegetarian. I picked the normal one and some of the highlights were:

For Royer’s classics

-I think the pigeon dish was even better than before. It’s really well seasoned and the addition of kampot pepper coating the tender breast part improved its flavor.  The liver parfait with sherry and artichoke showcased the kitchen’s ability to execute “traditional” French cuisine. It’s a must-have dish for first-timer

-The heirloom beetroots in different textures and forms were both playful and tasty. The addition of stracciatella, honey, pomegranates etc. made what could’ve been ‘boring’ beets became more pleasant and interesting. Oh, the presentation was also pretty

 

(Whereas) for Julien’s newer creations

-It’s normal to combine prawn tartare and Japan’s sea urchin nowadays. The kitchen did not stop there; they integrated the already top produce with creamy & light mussel cloud as well as elegant caviar having some sea tang flavor. I wished the portion were bigger …

-Instead of repeating the rosemary smoked egg with potato, I opted to try the seasonal pasta with truffle. The Alba truffle shavings were generous and of superb quality this season (due to more rain); the comte cream sauce was delicate yet flavorful. Simple and good – could’ve been perfect had the capellini’s texture not been sticky, a little difficult to separate

The rest of the dishes were decent but did not reach the “high” of the ones I mentioned above.

 

Odette’s dining room was modern and kinda minimalist but still very artistic and comfortable (thanks to the high ceiling and well-spaced tables). Service was sincere, concise and friendly. It’s not often to find this kind of hospitality in Singapore fine dining that tended to be ‘too’ formal and lack personality. When the staffs explaining the dishes or any questions, they did it with ease & confident; they did not seem to only memorize the info. My dinner meal at Odette was really satisfying – a very good 2-star in my notes despite Julien Royer’s absence that night. However, the repetitive dishes possibly prevent me from returning here anytime soon. Perhaps the kitchen should take more risks in order to become the island’s 2nd 3-star dining place – I assume Chef Royer and his team have this ambition.

 

More detailed review: http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.com/2019/02/odette-julien-royer.html

Pictures of the meal: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/sets/72157676283091897

 

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