Hadn’t really went all out with my meals recently — but when a friend has mentioned that he has made a reservation to celebrate an occasion in advance of two months and refuses to disclose the destination, guess one would just have to show up and let the surprise unravel anyway. And that’s how I found myself being in front of the doors of a 3 Michelin Star restaurant located by the street at Shaw Centre, waiting to enter as the clock strikes 12 noon for the signage to flip from “closed” to “open” (thanks for choosing this place, anyway).

There are quite a number of menus to choose from, but we found ourselves going for the Le Menu Été Dégustation — essentially the degustation menu that comprises of a selection of dishes which best represents the restaurant’s character as a French fine-dining establishment; a little of a splurge on our part, but was a well-made decision nonetheless. The dishes served up in the Le Menu Été Dégustation are as follows (in sequence):

- Amuse Bouche (three kinds);
- Assortment of breads
- Le homard bleu de Normandie en coraline à l’hulle d’olive extra vierge
- Les oursins sur un soufflé moelleux, sauce crustacée
- Étuvée de giroles <> au foie gras
- Le turbot sauvage de I’île d’Yeu, sauce Champagne au petit caviar <
- Le filet de Canard de Vendée, navet noveaux glacés
- Pre-dessert; Fresh Herbs Sorbet, Pineapple, Rum and Vanilla Sorbet
- La pêche blanche du Roussillon, pochée et servi en entremets
- Petit Fours

Our meal started off with the Amuse Bouche; small bites that opened our palates featuring tomatoes that are in seasoned which are sourced from France done in three ways — zingy and refreshing, whilst meeting savoury elements that effectively kicked the start of the meal and setting our expectations right. The breads were also impeccable; special love for the Sea Salt Brioche Feuilletee which was like a crossover of good croissant with its layered exterior and a brioche that is just suitably savoury, and goes very well with their luscious butter. If I have to pick between the starters to just mention about one single dish, the Les oursins sur un soufflé moelleux, sauce crustacée was hands-down my favourite — Sea Urchin Soufflé with Tarragon & Dill served alongside a crustacean sauce; an item conceptualised in a manner that I would have least expected for one that included sea urchin, and was not only delicate, yet bursts of the umami and natural sweetness of the various seafood exceptionally well. The Le filet de Canard de Vendée, navet noveaux glacés; essentially Roasted Challans Duck Breast from Vendée with glazed summer turnips and duck jus was also perfect — probably the biggest portion of duck breast I have seen on my plate, not to mention how it is so incredibly tender, juicy and not particularly gamey; carried the slight savouriness of the poultry so well with a slight tang from the jus that was poured in whilst being served. Was also truly impressed with their pre-dessert; had a fun time guessing the five herbs that went into the Fresh Herbs sorbet, but it was the use of vanilla beans in a sorbet that really left the mark for me since vanilla-flavoured ice-creams typically exists only in milk-based formats. Would really like to write about every single dish given how every item seem to have continuously and constantly impressed, bringing the gastronomical experience higher as we sat through the three-hour long meal, but I would be busting Instagram caption limits that way I guess.

Have heard a lot of Les Amis before making this visit, and the impression I was often given is how Les Amis tend to be a spot that is a little more classic in its approach and execution. That being said, do not mistake Les Amis as a formal establishment that feels dated in the food that they served up. If anything, we were more than impressed with how the dishes served were nothing short of being current with the times in terms of preparation and plating, not to mention that there is an onslaught of caviar and the use of premium ingredients with most of the dishes that resonates with the price tag. Les Amis is an establishment that is very deserving of its status as a 3 Michelin Star restaurant — from its attentive service where they were able to accede to our request, to how each and every dish seems to be so perfectly done that makes it one of the most well-rounded fine dining experiences I have ever had. It’s that place I would probably be dreaming of visiting on an occasion, and one that I am likely to fulfil if my wallet ever allows for it again.