After travelling and tasting good food around the world, a couple decides to bring it all back to Singapore by running a fusion cuisine restaurant and bar, Lè Fusion at Robertson Quay. Chef Jack Tiang Toh Huat, who honed his skills at Conrad and Shangri-la, presents an array of Chinese dishes with a global gourmet twist. There is even a ‘tapas’ section, which is their version of bar snacks.
I tried biting into the crackling of the Crispy Pork Belly Mantou ($12, pictured below) first to test its crispiness. It was a resounding success. This dish is a hybrid of kong bak pau and the Philippines’ lechon. Instead of braised pork belly, it is a thick cut of crispy succulent pork belly dressed with salted vegetables, mayonnaise, and peanuts bits; all of it cradled in a fluffy and warm mantou. The combination is absolutely delicious. It is impossible to eat this daintily.
Served in an oriental tureen, Imperial Double Boiled Soup ($28) contains a big abalone, scallop, dry oysters, pork ribs, and mushroom. You wonder if there is still space left in the tureen for soup. There is and it is indeed double boiled for hours because the taste is at the pinnacle of umaminess. For extra kicks, I highly recommend that you add a dash of nu er hong rice wine that is presented in a pretty emerald jue (ancient Chinese wine goblet). This soup makes me feel like royalty.
Rougie Foie Gras ($25) is delicious but has no melt-in-the-mouth sensation. The foie gras is eaten with sticky glutinous rice, house-made tangy sauce, and a generous dollop of tobiko. If you like extremely savoury food, this is a great appetiser to start your meal.
The crispy pork belly makes another appearance as Crispy Pork Roulade ($32) but this time, it is stuffed with minced sausage meat, served on a bed of small deep-fried mantou that are a tad hard and dry. The saving grace comes in a form of a baby tomato that is soaked with plum wine overnight. It is piquantly sour and sweet, a nice contrast to the crispy pork and dry mantou.
Tsingtao Beef Fillet ($42) is well marinated with its namesake’s beer. Despite the long marination, the fillet is slightly tough for chewing. I prefer beef medium rare so this may be good for those who like their meat well cooked. The side snacks are two pieces of crispy orange papadam and buttery cauliflower pommes mash. However, I find the tobiko unnecessary. Perhaps it is used for aesthetic purposes.
The Asian Crusted Provencal Lamb Rack ($46) is infused with the aroma from a mixture of provencal herbs, mandarin orange skin, and Szechuan pepper. Unlike the beef fillet, the lamb rack is more succulent and tender.
For comfort food, I will seek Braised Abalone Seafood Rice ($38), a luxe version of the Chinese mui fan. The assortment of seafood includes Tamania 6-head abalone, fish, prawns, scallops, squid and mussels. The essence of seafood is encapsulated in the silky gravy. This dish is bursting with flavours and warmth. The service staff offers fresh cut chilli to go with the meal – this speaks volumes to our Asian hearts.
One of their Instagram-worthy dishes, the Trio Pasta ($34) is made up of pesto, chilli crab, and sesame squid ink sauce. The noodles are cooked al dente but other than that, it is pretty… much a disappointment in the taste department. The chilli crab sauce is too sweet and the squid ink pasta is bland. The morsels of seafood and truffle slice that were placed on top of each mound of pastas are merely a representation, with no contribution to enhance the flavours of the pastas.
Lè Fusion Chendol ($14) contains the usual chendol ingredients, such as kidney beans and jelly. The crushed ice is supposedly drizzled with coconut milk and Baileys Irish Cream. However, it is too diluted and bland even after we tried to mix everything well together. As for Panna Cotta with Sweet Glutinous ($14), it is underwhelming too. Combining panna cotta and pulut hitam is a great idea but I am not used to cold pulut hitam that is not sweet at all. The crunchy house-made lotus seed tuille is an interesting add-on and definitely more delicious that the main dessert itself.
Fusion food is a huge gamble. Not only do the creations need to represent the respective cuisines well, the usage of vastly different ingredients needs to be highly complementary. There are some hits and misses with Lè Fusion but it is a laudable effort to put up an extensive menu of fusion food to share their love of different food cuisines.Lè Fusion
Robertson Quay, 80 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-7/8/9 Singapore 239013
tel: +65 6363 9966
M – Sat 5pm – 1am
Sun 4pm – 10pm
You may be interested in…
–Akira Back, South Beach: Excellent Japanese-Inspired Food Made Better by Amazing Service
–Rakuichi’s Playbook, Keong Saik: Excellent Japanese-Fusion Cuisine and Cocktail Bar at Affordable Prices
–Pasta Supremo, Suntec: Taste Innovation or Childish Rebellion?
–Subrosa Private Dining, Jalan Besar: Rose to the Occasion
Written by Cheang Shwu Peng.