Acclaimed chef Anne-Sophie Pic has made her much-anticipated debut into Asia with La Dame de Pic at the Raffles Singapore. She is best known for gaining and maintaining three Michelin stars for her restaurant, Maison Pic, in Valence, southeast France.
Her two other La Dame de Pic restaurants are in Paris and London. Together she holds seven Michelin stars in her restaurant empire. Nice company for sure. Her outlet here replaces Raffles Grill as the signature dining space, which has been carefully refreshed along with the hotel’s main refurbishment.
“Making our debut in Asia at Raffles Singapore is a very natural choice for me. Like Raffles, the Pic family’s culinary heritage spans more than a century. Just like this beautiful hotel that will become one of our overseas residences, we are storytellers and constant seekers of excellence. Together, we share the vision to provide distinctive experiences to our guests, delivered with innovation that combines both tradition and change,” said Anne-Sophie Pic.
Anne-Sophie Pic is remarkably self-taught, following her father and grandfather’s award-winning footsteps. Their first restaurant started in 1889, almost mirroring Raffles Singapore’s rich heritage that began in 1887.
The restaurant is beautifully warm, elegant and welcoming. Taking centre stage in the restaurant is a gold chandelier composed of tiers of discs with laser-cut spades, a play on ‘La Dame de Pic’ which translates to ‘queen of spades’.
This 46-seater outlet designed by Champalimaud Design is her most feminine yet. Soft pink hues and rich plums in the furnishings are matched with grey clay tones and metallic accents. The peony bas relief graces the ceiling subtly echoes the fresh flowers used throughout.
This signature restaurant of Raffles Singapore offers a variety of set menu options that will be changed seasonally. Set Lunches start from S$128++, and Set Dinners from S$198++. There will be influences from Valence but Anne-Sophie Pic is also incorporating ingredients from the South East Asian region. The focus is on aromatic complexity, combinations of flavours and powerful tastes that evoke emotions.
CHEF’S SURPRISE (clockwise from top left)
Yuzu with jadeo coffee with pastis: The green yuzu spheres are super delicate, so handle carefully! They burst in your mouth, releasing a sweetly perky coffee concoction spiked with pastis, an anise-flavoured liquer. You’ll definitely pause at the surprising combination of citrus and coffee here.
Honeycomb cracker with chamomile, mushroom jelly and lemon jelly: This is a nod to the Chinese New Year cracker. I’ve never thought to use this as a base cracker. The jellies are pretty intense, like savoury and tart jams on top.
Marshmallow with peanut (muah chi), rice crispy and yoghurt milk with amadai fish: The marshmallows are the softest and most pillowy mochi ever. I want a whole platter of these. The fish on rice cracker is fine but seem quite unrelated.
This trio is not even the amuse bouche yet, but surprise nibbles to whet your appetite.
Oh my. Breads, my downfall. And these are so good. I had second helpings of the excellent sourdough. The other one (in front) is a matcha brioche. Special mention goes to the butter blended with green anise, an aromatic Mediterranean herb from the parsley family. It is different from the star anise we are more familiar with.
A nice little mouth pleaser, although this is highly dependent on if you like peas. I know some friends who hate peas. Fortunately, I could enjoy this but there were no major surprises in flavour here.
This is Anne-Sophie Pic’s iconic creation, found in all of her restaurants. Inspired by the ravioli, these pyramidical parcels are shaped like berlingot candy that Chef Pic used to enjoy as a child. They remind us of “five stones” from our own childhood, don’t they? Or “dodol” the chewy durian sweet.
She adapts the berlingots at each location. For us, we get it in matcha green tea accented pasta and the new flavour association using herb of grace, also known as Chou Cao in Chinese, which enhances the Berlingots’ French cheese fondue filling. I’m just amazed how thin and silky they managed to make the pasta skin, and how they cook it without any of the soft cheese centre spilling out.
The Berlingots are paired with Viagnier, Rhône La Vie On Y Est, Domaine de Gramenon 2017. This lovely white wine has fruity lychee notes and is refreshingly easy to drink (even for people with limited alcohol tolerance like me).
By this time, you’ll have noticed a rather green theme running through our menu. Much of the it earlier is tangy (zebra tomatoes, especially) but this time, it’s soothingly sweet and fruity with the zucchini and apple. The fish was decently done, not too dry.
This was PERFECTION. The medium rare beef is at its best doneness. The buttery tenderness meeting your knife? Sublime. And the delicately grilled wagyu? Didn’t need any accompaniment. All that beetroot and jus is nice and all but I really just ate this on its own. So so good.
I’ve been to Saga in Kyushu, seen the wagyu farms, and tried the many ways restaurants prepare the meat. La Dame de Pic’s execution is one of the best I’ve seen from a non-Japanese eatery.
The red meat is paired with the Syrah, Carnas, Anne-Sophie Pic & Michel Chapoutier 2014, made entirely with Syrah grapes, enhanced with spices. Pic works with biodynamic winemaker Michel Chapoutier to bottle wines from her own family vineyards.
This was powerfully pungent. A savoury crème brûlée if you will. My kind of dessert, except we’re not at dessert yet.
A palate cleanser that works really hard. See how the cherry, olive, lemon and tarragon combine as four key flavours – sweet, savoury, sour and herbal/bitter – to create a strong mini-course in itself.
This is another signature at La Dame de Pic. It looks like some contemporary art fixture.
It features ginger flower light cream, confit grapefruit and Litsea cubeba emulsion. I’m learning new things. Litsea cubeba? Apparently it is an evergreen shrub called “mountain pepper” (山胡椒) in Mandarin and maqaw (馬告) by the Atayal aborigines in Taiwan. Yes, it’s actually native to our parts.
Of course we had to end with petit fours.
Peach and basil jelly tart: the herb spiced up the fruit. Nice.
Calamansi and curry bonbon: this was another flavour combination surprise. Worked very well and also brought things back full circle, calling to mind the yuzu sphere in the beginning.
By this time, I was waving the white flag. These may look like small portions but you will be full at the end of the three-hour meal.
La Dame de Pic has an extensive beverage list, with pairing options available on request, and an in-house sommelier on the floor to tailor recommendations based on guests’ personal preferences. You’ll be able to benefit from their expertise in the delicate art of pairing: wines, cocktails, whiskies, sakes, teas, coffees, dashi, broths and consommés.
“The opening of Anne-Sophie Pic’s first restaurant in Asia at Raffles Singapore reaffirms Singapore as an exciting global dining destination that punches above its weight. Raffles Singapore, which was the first hotel in Singapore to hire a French chef in 1899, is proudly continuing being in the forefront of delivering exquisite culinary experiences through both new and returning food and beverage concepts as the iconic property reopens in August 2019,” shares Christian Westbeld, General Manager of Raffles Singapore.
La Dame de Pic, Raffles Singapore is open from 5 July 2019. Lunch and dinner is available from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
LA DAME DE PIC
1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
Lunch: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Dinner: 7:00pm – 9:30pm (last seating 9pm)
Closed on Sundays and Mondays
Open on Public Holidays
Restaurant capacity: 46
Menu Pricing: Set Lunch from S$128++, Set Dinner from S$198++
Dress code: Casual Chic (Long Pants, Covered Shoes for Men)
For reservations, please contact the Raffles Service team at +65 6337 1886 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for the invitation and kind hospitality by Raffles Singapore