Lerouy, Stanley Street: Modern French Cuisine is the New Black and White

Lerouy at Stanley Street is a modern French restaurant by Chef Christophe Lerouy in partnership with Willin Low of the Wild Rocket group and Gwen Lim from Patisserie G. Chef Lerouy has worked at many Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide and most notably with Alain Ducasse. As the Chef de Cuisine, he led the team at Alma by Juan Amador in Singapore to clinch a Michelin star.

Chef Lerouy hopes to recreate his childhood memories from the countryside Montagne of Alsace in the food and the restaurant. Which is why the restaurant has a long, curved communal table of 26 seats, as if you are dining at somebody’s home. While constructing a home kitchen is a lovely idea, the decor has caused quite a bit of inconvenience because of the narrow space; it is difficult to get from one end of the room to the toilet.

Continuing the idea of dining at someone’s home, there is no menu, only prices. Lunch goes for $38++ (3 courses) and $55++ (5 courses) and dinner at $98++ (5 courses) and $128++ (7 courses). We were there for lunch and took the 5-course menu.

A ball of seafood foam hides ikura and mackerel on a charcoal cracker; and potato jacket with smoked eel, creme fraiche, and chives serve as hor d’oeuvres which the server calls “tapas” (which is Spanish, not French). They are tasty, complex little morsels with contrasting textures.

Also good is the freshly baked gratis sourdough: airy with a hard crust. Accompanied with charcoal butter, butter, and beetroot butter. By the way, you may want to pace yourself with the bread because you can use it to mop up most of the dishes.

As you notice, there is lots of black in the food.

But as a yang to the black, the poached oyster, covered with a blanket of lardo, sits in a broth of Jerusalem artichoke with drops of smoked oil. Two dimples of foie gras epitomise the definition of orgasm. It’s a complicated dish, but everything pulls well together. Delicious.

This complication of many-ingredients repeats throughout the meal and it is done superbly. The second course, salted cabbage, is topped with spinach puree, anchovy, parsley, pancetta, and–I think?–a cheese? (I didn’t catch the waiter.) I joked that this is one of the Masterchef’s challenges of transforming inexpensive and disgusting ingredients to a delicious dish. And it is good. Strong, explosive flavours.

The white asparagus with uni is just ok. Nothing much to say.

The main, brandade, is an emulsion of fish and mashed potato, found is Southern France and Spain. It comes with an Arrival curlicue of black squid ink and a what-tastes-like (piquillo?) peppers sauce to give a little heat. Definitely not date food with black teeth and goth lips. Good flavours here but it seems like soft food for the geriatric and infants. Needs more texture.

Not sure about the dessert, passionfruit with sesame soil, sesame ice cream, and sesame sauce. Does sesame pair with passionfruit? And the passionfruit is a little too sweet. But the tart shell is great, breaks cleanly but doesn’t crumble. I think this belongs more in a cafe than a fine-dining restaurant.

There are three things that can be improved:
1. I felt that something was missing and when I went home, I ate bak kwa. I realise then that there isn’t any chunks of meat throughout the meal. I miss meat. To be fair, I dined with two friends, one is allergic to prawns and the other is pregnant and cannot eat raw food. I’m not sure if the restaurant changed all our courses to accommodate all our restrictions, but I saw the customer next to me having a beef dish and I wonder why they didn’t serve me the beef dish. :(

2. It seemed to be soft foods and sauce day. I’d like more bite in the food.

3. I felt uncomfortable with the service. When two of us finished the course and one was still eating, the server began to clear our plates, as a hint to rush the third eater. This occured repeatedly for the courses. Once, when my friend was still eating the bread, the server took away the bread side plate.

The food is definitely pleasant but never reaches a memorable crescendo. Coincidentally, when we were there, we ran into a stranger who sat besides us at Blackwattle. We started chatting and the stranger said, “Lerouy is nice… but Blackwattle is cheaper and more memorable.”

We paid $65 each. A deposit is required during reservations.

3 Stanley Street Singapore 068722
tel: +65 6221 3639
M-F 12pm-2pm, M-Sat 6.30pm-9.30pm

Food: 7/10
Price/value: 6/10
Decor/Ambience: 5.5/10
Service: 5/10

You may be interested in…
Gaig Restaurant, Stanley Street: Offshoot of Barcelona’s Michelin-starred Restaurant With 150 Years of History, Serving Catalan Classics
Birds of a Feather, Amoy St: Modern Sichuan Food in Paradise
Cheek by Jowl, Boon Tat Street: Michelin-starred Modern Australian Restaurant Fails to Shine
Nouri, Amoy Street: “My Favorite Dish Is the Bread.” Yikes.

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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