In a much-welcomed return to our regular Dine Out column, Options gets a taste of La Dame de Pic in Raffles Hotel Singapore. Founded by acclaimed French chef Anne-Sophie Pic — who has an impressive three Michelin stars under her belt — a dining experience at La Dame de Pic is truly one to remember.
It is a bit cliched, perhaps, but ultimately true — you do not know what you’ve lost until it’s gone. After close to four months of not having the pleasure of dining out, my return to regular programming has been very welcome indeed.
And what better way to kick off our regular Dine Out series than with a review of La Dame de Pic in the historic Raffles Hotel?
Founded by three Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic, La Dame de Pic — her first and only restaurant in Asia, headed by her protege Chef Kevin Gatin — offers up an incredibly special dining experience that begins the moment you walk through its doors. Its feminine, elegant decor is a medley of cream, grey and gold, with pale pink roses scattered throughout its spacious interior; punctuated with bursts of deep plum from low, rounded dining chairs.
It is the perfect setting for the meal to come: a new summer menu inspired by the flavours of Chef Pic’s hometown of Valence in southeast France, and familiar flavours of Singapore that we all know and love, such as pandan.
I had the pleasure of tasting the “Experience” menu ($238 per guest) with the wine and sake pairing (an additional $158 per guest), which started with a selection of tiny, elegantly presented amuse bouche.
There are little spheres of bright, summery lime juice with hints of celeriac; a trio of carrots; little taco shells with mackerel; and muah-chee inspired treats that are pleasing to look at, and tastes even better.
Conversation flows as easily as the drinks: we have a light, fine Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV (2019) to start. The subtle blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes is an easy beginning to the meal as we pick at the amuse bouche.
We start with a Tomato Myriad, a refreshing, bright and zesty first course with sweet and tangy heirloom tomatoes, a tomato consomme lightly infused with elderflower, and a scoop of burrata ice cream that lends a delicious creaminess to the dish. It awakens the palate nicely, like a shot of caffeine to the tastebuds. The Tomato Myriad is paired with a truly delightful Yamamoto Midnight Blue Junmai Ginjo sake, a fresh, sweet and smooth sake with notes of ripe melon, peach, apple, pear, pineapple and orange.
What comes next is my favourite in an excellent meal: Chef Pic’s Signature Berlingots — little pasta parcels filled with a smooth, savoury and creamy French cheese fondue, with pea broth infused with herbs of grace, and almonds and sunflower seeds for texture and crunch. The thin pasta needs only a gentle bite for the cheese to explode inside your mouth, and it is perfectly paired with white wine from Chef Pic’s own family vineyards, the Anne-Sophie Pic & M Chapoutier “Lieu-Dit Payrolles” (2016).
The next course is Tuna Belly from Hokkaido, cooked over coals and marinatedwith ginger flower, pandan leaf and Tasmanian pepper, with a watercress juice infused with pine tree and bergamot leaf. A perfect cut of fatty, rich tuna, paired with a wonderful 2016 Château d’Esclans Rosé, which was unlike any Rosé I’d ever tasted — it lacked the characteristic sweetness of Rosé and indeed, was closer to a Chardonnay than a Rosé. It was delicious, and I’d have happily spent the rest of my meal drinking that alone.
For mains, the menu offers a choice of the Saga Wagyu Beef, marinated with Kampot pepper, sobacha, cacao and sake, served with butter-roasted celeriac and beef jus; or the Pigeon from Bresse, roasted on its chest with tsukudani and seaweed mashed potatoes. Personally, I’ve always found pigeon meat too gamey for my liking, so I opted for the beef. It was tender, cooked perfectly to medium (which is how I prefer it), and a 2014 Mas Saint Louis Châteauneuf du Pape was its ruby-hued soulmate.
For dessert, I chose yet another of Chef Pic’s signature dishes, the White Mille Feuille with ginger flower light cream, confit grapefruit, and a litsea cubeba (an aromatic herb known as may chang, or mountain pepper) emulsion. This perfectly tart yet creamy, bitter yet sweet dessert is a sublime way to end a meal, especially when paired with a 2018 Franz Haas Moscato Rosa Alto Adige. There is also an option for a platter of assorted artisanal cheeses (an additional $38) which is well worth the money, if your stomach still has space for it.
The full lunch takes at least a few hours to get through, so if you are in a hurry, there is an option for quicker three-course lunch for $128 per person (only available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).
All in all, a meal here is one for the books, perfect for a truly special occasion with loved ones.
UPDATE: As of August 5, the price of the Experience menu will be $248++ , while the Elegance menu will be priced at $338 ++ per person.