mind you, i love it when food is so meticulously plated for one to be truly inspired and feel as though each dish is a work of art in itself. the combination of colors from the ingredients and placement.. it’s partly art and partly science, and when everything works together, you get quite the euphoric experience.
so i managed to snag a reservation at le saint julien during restaurant week on a coveted saturday lunch timing thanks to my dear online friend and fellow food blogger, Mr Wise Guy. and boy.. i really do have to thank him because it was really a splendid meal, but not exactly one i would venture to pay over 100 dollars per pax in a normal situation. ok let’s talk locale – le saint julien is sited inside the fullerton water boat house, a singular structure that is oddly situated at the intersection between esplanade bridge and the road leading to the padang, kinda ‘loosely’ connected to fullerton hotel. ambience wise, there is similarly an understated elegance within the restaurant that is very appealing. Wise Guy commented that the view was kinda sucky, which I agreed, considering that the restaurant had a ground-level view of the esplanade bay which was sadly obstructed by the esplanade bridge itself. this means, 40% of your visual field is the underbelly of a bridge. not very appealing imo. but ahh well, lack of view aside, the restaurant did exude a certain classy elegance.
i love the fact they sat us at a table with sufficient light that was angled in such a way that lit up the food perfectly for photography, so you’re gonna see more shots, because I was merrily snapping to the point where the manager lightly approached us and asked pleasantly whether we were professional photographers, to which we commented we were food bloggers. haha, i suspect this inspired more conversation and a better description of the food we were served, which was all the better i suppose. =) ok let’s get to the food.
LOVED THIS. this reminded me of the appetizer served in my favorite restaurant of all time, Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina. the dish was paired with brioche that was lightly toasted, and the combination of the sweetness from the brioche/caramelized onions along with the savory taste of the foie gras and the light crisp freshness of the mushrooms and cress worked perfectly and created a wholesome experience with every bite. i gravitated particularly to the sweet-savory pairing of the foie gras and the caramelized onions. a perfect starter. and can i comment on just how beautiful the plating is done? how can you not want to take a picture of such a dish?
once again, amazing plating there. i noted that the apples came in both the caramelized darker brown chunky version and the non-caramelized shredded version, which was interesting and provided additional nuance, texture and sweetness to the dish. yet again, quite the classic pairing of sweet (the caramelized apples) with the savory (the foie gras). my initial impression upon a first sampling was that the dish was good, well.. at least, technically proficient, but not outstanding. Wise Guy likewise described it as competent. lol… that being said, i think the taste started to grow on you and the final few morsels were gulped down by me greedily. the duck foie gras did not feel any bit jelak or fatty and was tempered down with the apples and vegetables. good stuff.
delicious stuff once again – and the inclusion of the crispy rice was a nice fusion take of the traditional duck confit with dauphine potatoes. i thought the sauces in the dish blended perfectly well with the duck, whilst the vegetables added a slightly minty flavor to the dish. when taken all together, each bite was really quite the gastronomic experience. this being said, the duck confit was perhaps slightly tough and somewhat didn’t have enough flavor in itself inherently, though this was mitigated by the amazing sauce.
hmm, not a fan of the custard cake, which was kind of overwhelmed by the chocolate mousse and the strawberries (gotten from australia instead of america, so the flavors are more concentrated within the small berries, as explained by the manager). this dessert was somehow not meant to be mixed together to be eaten, as each component (less the custard cake) tasted really good by itself, especially the chocolate mousse. think the way to eat this is to sample a little of the chocolate mousse, then eat a strawberry with the lingering chocolatey taste in your mouth and eat a little of the custard etc.. haha, overall, not particularly impressive beisdes the chocolate mousse. sigh.. kinda wished that with such a superb appetizer and decent mains, the dessert would be out-of-this-world. but i suppose, lol.. too high expectations there.
overall, an excellent place for good contemporary french food in posh settings. this is the kind of place to bring your date to impress them sufficiently and then sojourn to like overeasy or lantern for some drinks. come here at least once. =) 8.0/10
le saint julien | 3 Fullerton Road, #02-02 The Fullerton Waterboat House| fine dining, french, contemporary