There’s no need to wave your hand in the air at Saint Pierre; all it takes to get the attention of a waitstaff is a slight turn of the head.
This intuitive service is part of Emmanuel Stroobant’s move back to fine-dining. The Belgian-born chef has packed up the outfit at Quayside Isle and is now rolling out the starched linens and wine glasses in his new spot with a waterfront view at One Fullerton. A selection of snacks to start are prepared personally by Stroobant, who uses the time he takes to plate up miniature versions of his signature foie with green apple to greet diners.
For dinner, there’s a choice of the earth menu (seafood and meat) or a pure vegetarian nature menu, either in six or 10-courses. And while it might sound like a full-on experience, Stroobant’s healthy and spiritual lifestyle – he does yoga and mediation in his “me-time” – is reflected in his dishes, which means even the 10-course meal won’t leave you feeling bloated.
A dish of avocado slices layered with bangkwang (jicama) and fresh coconut is proof of that. Or a refreshing Momotaro tomato perfumed with vanilla oil and brightened with a white balsamic sorbet. Even in meat-centric dishes, Stroobant’s deft touch comes through. Roast pigeon breast is tender and juicy, paired with the leg served boneless and stuffed with liver for that wee bit of indulgence.
But what really gets us is the sharp floor service. Saint Pierre might not serve the rich French classics oft-associated with stiff, formal high-end restaurants, but the well-suited staff deserve a star of their own. Silk shawls are draped around your shoulders as the night goes on and it gets a little chilly; a sleek portable charger is discreetly handed over when you just but mention a nearly-flat battery. So while the food might not be the most innovative, Saint Pierre remains a place you’ll remember – and that’s really what makes it count.
Rating: 3.5/5. Satisfying without being overwhelming.
Spotlight On: Pigeon, Momotaro tomato.
Behind the scenes: The Emmanuel Stroobant Group
#02-02B, One Fullerton