La Belle Epoque, Boat Quay: Modern European Restaurant With Garden-inspired Dishes

Along Boat Quay, La Belle Epoque (which means “the beautiful age” en français) is helmed by Chef Firdauz Nasir who spent the last 15 years under the tutelage of master chefs like Chef Kentaro Torii, Jeffrie Siew, Christopher Miller, and the late Eng Su. The unique thing about the modern European restaurant is that Firdauz grows herbs in his garden used for the dishes. There are also plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free, and keto options.

la belle epoque - Oyster & Iberico
Oysters (3pc, $26)

The keto Oysters (3pcs, $26++) are lightly torched and then topped with crispy iberico ham, tomato salsa and Avruga caviar. It is a tasty, decadent slurp, plump and succulent.

la belle epoque - pork rind
Chicken, fish and pork skins

The gluten-free appetiser is called skins ($8++), which comprises of fish, chicken and pork skins, but it looks like a garden with seasonal vegetables, served with black garlic aioli. It is balanced and pretty and actually quite reasonably priced.

Hummus taco
Hummus taco

Another garden-inspired item, the Hummus Taco (vegetarian, keto, $10++) contains roasted capsicum, romaine lettuce, pickled shallots and smoked chickpea mashed with tanini, lemon juice within a corn taco shell.

Cauliflower Steak
Cauliflower Steak

The popular Cauliflower Steak (vegetarian, gluten free, $12++) is elevated here. Smoked and cured cauliflower is pan seared with vegetable butter herbs and served with purple pommes potato, braised & grilled purple cabbage with vegetable demi glace.

Creme Brûlée Au Foie Gras
Creme Brûlée Au Foie Gras

Previous few dishes are okay but I mean, they are vegetables and how exciting or good can it get when one isn’t a vegetarian chef? But this Creme Brûlée Au Foie Gras ($15++) is delicious. Theoretically, it shouldn’t be called foie gras since it uses duck liver. The duck liver custard is served with Avruga caviar, white truffle chantilly cream and tomato focaccia tuile. The eggy, metallic taste is nicely balanced with the caramelised surface.

Beef Short Ribs
Beef Short Ribs

For something that is cooked for 48 hours, the Beef Short Ribs ($28++) with aged port wine is pretty mediocre. It isn’t as tender as expected and the taste isn’t there.

Marrow & Squid
Marrow & Squid

The best dish for the night is the Marrow & Squid ($14++). The curled handmade fusilli is cooked with fresh pomodoro, baby squid, beef bone marrow, topped with crispy iberico & fresh coriander. The fusilli is chewy and carbby; and the bone marrow provides a lipsmacking, sticky umami. I’d return to the restaurant for this dish.

Lemon tart and guerre stellari
Lemon tart (behind) and guerre stellari (front)

The server introduced the desserts so eloquently that I was pissed off eating it. He said the lemon tart ($10) is their restaurant’s speciality and the Guerre Stellari ($10), a dark chocolate shell stuffed with rum chocolate mousse served with raspberry sorbet, looks like the star wars ship. But desserts are supposed to make people happy and they don’t do the job. I don’t mind that they are average tasting but they are difficult to eat and gimmicky.

The prices are reasonable at this restaurant. Although most dishes are average, the creme brulee and squid pasta are delicious.

La Belle Epoque
63 Boat Quay, Singapore 049851
t: +65 6732 1687
M-F 12pm – 11.30pm, Sat 4pm-11.30pm

Food: 6/10
Price: 7/10
Decor/ambience: 6/10

You may be interested in…
Umami 10, Telok Ayer: Awaken Your Fifth Taste with Japanese-European Cuisine
Skai @ Swissotel the Stamford: Equinox Revamped, European Fare with Japanese Flair
The Butcher’s Wife, Tiong Bahru: The Butcher’s Wife Eats Gluten-free Modern European Food. Lucky Her.
Atlas Bar, Parkview Square, Bugis: Gotham City Meets Great Gatsby–Champagne, Exquisite Cocktails, and Fine European Food

This was a tasting. Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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