Les Amis was the first independent fine-dining establishment in Singapore. Since its foundation more than 15 years ago, the restaurant has not only trained some of the city’s best chefs, but the Les Amis Group has also become a veritable institution in the local dining scene.
The group now runs several restaurants in Singapore. Whilst the range of cuisines offered varies, the original Les Amis is still very much at the centre of the group’s activity.
It was here that prominent figures of Singapore’s dining scene made their debut: Gunther, Iggy and others all came out of the Les Amis stable. The current chef Sebastien Lepinoy, continues to cook clean, precise and classical French food. Defining the style here are, faultless execution and the use of high-quality produce. This allows the kitchen to serve deceptively simple-looking dishes.
A perfect example of a classical Les Amis dish is one that has been on the menu since more than a decade in one form or another: Chilled angel hair pasta with oscietra caviar. This plate is remarkably complex, and concentrated in flavour. The caviar brings an intensely salty flavour to the dish, which is complimented by the freshness of the chilled pasta.
On the same level, is a potato salad with caviar. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is a dish that Lepinoy already served at Cepage in Hong Kong before it closed. Combining earthy, waxy potatoes with the briny aspect of the caviar is genius. Not only is this dish extremely simple, but it also feels coherent and complete.
Les Amis’ dining room is just as elegant and small as that of Cepage in Hong Kong used to be. You sit in a contemporary, pure, stylish room. Talking about Les Amis without mentioning wine, however, would miss half of what this restaurant is about. The group prides itself with having established one of the very finest wine lists in Asia. Replete with the greatest wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, it also offers a number of rarer and less obvious producers from other parts of the world. Even for those who just want to drink a glass over lunch, the selection is both remarkably eclectic and interesting at the same time.
Les Amis is the kind of restaurant that will please wine aficionados more than most others in town. Wine plays a big part of the experience here, and there are simply very few better lists in Singapore than that of Les Amis. The cooking perfectly complements great wines, due to its simplicity and bold flavours. This is not a restaurant that tries to wow guests with technical wizardry. Rather, it is one, which tries to serve product-based, classical French food.