Taking over the space of Cocotte, Audace Bar and Restaurant is located at the lobby of Wanderlust Hotel in Little India. There is minimal update to the decor although Audace is a wholly new concept. It is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jeremy Gillon from Le Montana in the French Alps, who was also a consulting chef for Me@OUE for four years.
The move from a consulting chef to a chef is an admirable one. Now Gillon, who goes around greeting the guests when the cooking is done, has to physically cook in a two-man kitchen, instead of just coming up with menu and training cooks when he was a consulting chef; to return to the roots, his passion for cooking must be immense, and that’s praiseworthy. Even though I don’t know him, I respect his dedication.
And his efforts show in the food, clean and bright and balanced. The set lunch goes for $28++ (2 courses) or $34++ (3 courses). Dinner at $68++ (4 courses) or $98 (6 courses). A la carte is available. When my friends and I were there for lunch, we ordered a mix of set lunches and a la carte.
Both appetizers are excellent. The beetroot salad is paired with a grilled squid which extreme (and delicious) saltiness is undercut by the earthiness. Equally good is the tart fresh tomato juice, packed with unami of Coppa ham, and a smokey roasted bell pepper.
For mains, we had two fishes: pan seared red snapper with pumpkins and steamed Meditterranean seabream ($26, a la carte, above) with salted lemon paste and black olive pepper. I try not to order fish at a restaurant because fish is fish and chefs can only use the sauces to interact with the fish while avoiding to overpower the delicate taste of fish; oftentimes there is no magic. Here, although there is no magic, the fish is cooked competently, tastily.
The other main, I thought, is more interesting. It is brined and slow-cooked, so the salt permeates even through the center of the chicken breast. It sits on a balanced spinach-wasabi coulis, not choking. There are also almonds, which give a nice crunchy texture.
The dessert is a delightful finish to the meal: a refreshing calamansi sorbet augmented by a mildly sweet orange cream. The pumpkin seed praline, which tastes like speculoos spread, gives a grainy, crunchy contrast to the smoothness of the sorbet and cream.
It is an excellent meal, one which induces me to pay return visits, but the service can be improved and be more thoughtful. Soups were served without spoons, breads without butter. One server was grumpy. I dropped my knife and looked around for service staff but couldn’t see any so I had to take one myself from the next table. Some training is required.
We paid about $47 each.
Audace Bar and Restaurant
2 Dickson Road, Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore 209494
tel: +65 6298 1188
Breakfast (daily) 7.30am-10am; Lunch (T-Sat) 11.30am-2pm; Afternoon tea (T-Sat) 2pm-6pm; Dinner (T-Sat) 6.30pm-12am; Brunch (Sun) 11.30am-4pm
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–The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar Singapore: 3 Michelin-Starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Condescending Service, & Everything But the Signature Dishes
–Beni, Mandarin Gallery: I’ve Eaten at ALL the Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Singapore!
–San Bistro, Bedok: Fine-Dining in T-Shirt and Shorts
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.