[Review] La Dame de Pic: French Haute Cuisine at Raffles Hotel

April 10, 2022 0 Comments A+ a-

Restaurant Andre, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Jaan, Les Amis, Odette, Saint Pierre. We are sure these dining establishments need no introduction to those of you who have been following the dining scene in Singapore over the years. They are the quintessential juggernauts of the French fine dining industry.

Background of French Dining Scene in Singapore

For those who are unacquainted with the abovementioned names, the short story is that some of these restaurants helmed by the protégé's of some of the most highly acclaimed and esteemed chefs in the industry, had to close their doors after just opening for a few years. And we at the hedgehogknows, as you can probably guess, are huge admirers of French haute cuisine. Such news was a bit of a downer for those who love French gastronomy.

We are not sure if you recall those days when Chef Andre and Julien Royer were helming Jaan before they decided to venture on their own. Or when Joel Robuchon restaurant and L'atelier de Joel Robuchon restaurant opened at Sentosa near Universal Studios. Those days were the renaissance of French cuisine in Singapore, representing the pinnacle of excellence of French food. The hedgehog was there, and those were his first forays into appreciating what the French had to offer, and shaped the hedgehog's worldview of just how good food can be.

The Demand Today for French Fine Dining

So we were left wondering whether there was still a market for French fine dining in Singapore.  After all, spending 3 hours on a meal is a luxury, and not only does a potential diner need time, its not exactly wallet friendly for most people either, and that in itself creates a barrier to entry. I mean, it's not like you need very deep pockets, its all relative for that matter, but the desire for such an affair with food all boils down to an individual's perception of value and your disposable income.

Not to mention the profound uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, and you wonder whether these so called "atas" restaurants would be able to rebrand themselves and adapt to the changing times like how Swiss luxury watch makers respond to the wave of highly precise quartz watches flooding the market.

Well, we at the hedgehogknows, have good news for those of you who love French gastronomy.

La Dame de Pic at Raffles Hotel

Recently, the hedgehog dined at the new kid on the block, La Dame de Pic, and we are more than happy to share with you our verdict on the food here.

The truth is, La Dame de Pic, isn't exactly new. They opened their doors in late 2019 and we are sure you know what happened towards the end of 2019. So you can consider the hedgehog a li'l late to the party.

But as cliche as it sounds, better late than never, so here's our narrative :)

First Impressions

As the hedgehog stepped into the restaurant, he was greeted by high ceilings and a classy chic interior that suggests minimalism juxtaposed with classy elegance and sophistication. Nothing too over the top and you are made to feel at home with those comfy leather seats. Starting to get good vibes about this.

Btw, did you know that La Dame de Pic is a play on Anne Sophie Pic, the chef-restauranteur’s family name which translates to "queen of spades"? No wonder we spotted a gold chandelier with spades taking centrestage in the restaurant.

This is markedly in contrast to the opulence and grandeur at Joel Robuchon restaurant and the likes of Restaurant Le Meurice in Paris, as we recall.

Hors d'oeuvres

The thing about the French is that they always like to surprise you with stuff that you didn't order.  Well, anything that's complimentary can't be a bad thing right?

We were first served with a beautiful, colourful platter of hors d'oeuvres which left a really good impression. And that opening act was complimentary from the chef.

The Sake Pu-er Yuzu Orange Blossom Bon Bons coated with cocoa butter shells. Think ang moh xiao long baos where the first bite sends you to heaven as you experience a burst of myriad flavours in your mouth ranging from sweet to sour. In essence, its a chocolate bon bon with yuzu lah, if you minus the fancy names.

We were also served Scallop Tartare on Matcha Tart. Again, we loved the diverse flavours, with subtle hints of wasabi and matcha.

The other two dishes were interesting adaptations of our quintessential Singaporean dishes: Kueh Pie Tee with Cardamon, Cognac and Yoghurt, topped with Prawn and Honeycomb Crackers with Lemon and Nori Seaweed Gels. The variety of premium ingredients made this a very delicious, indulgent Asian inspired treat.

Amuse Bouche

For the amuse bouche, we had Madai Fish infused with Salted Cucumber and Lemon Balm.  Refreshing stuff and the flowery presentation was visually appealing too.


Next, we were finally served the bread:  Turmeric Black Sesame Brioche, Sourdough and Beer Baguette. While most diners may find the brioche rather interesting, considering the unique ingredients used and Chef Sophie's affinity for incorporating French gourmet food with Asian spices, the hedgehog's favourite was actually the classic French beer baguette.

Somehow it tasted better than the your typical traditional French baguette - crusty with a nice shade of brown on the outside, buttery soft and chewy on the inside. Not an expert on bread and maybe a baguette maestro could enlighten us, but we suspect it could be how the beer reacts with the dough during the fermentation process that gives it this complex flavour and great taste. The rose petals, madagascan peppercorn butter perhaps enhanced the taste of the baguette.


For the first course we had the Tuna from Nagasaki, paired with beetroot in different textures and tasmanian pepper ice cream. Loved the exotic flavours, especially the ice cream.

Baby Salsify from Touraine, cooked "a la plancha" with honey and juniper roselle and bourbon, point coffee sabayon. In case you are wondering, a salsify is actually a winter vegetable much like a parsnip.  If you are familiar with dandelions, then yes they belong to the dandelion family.

We thought this dish was rather underwhelming actually. It has a delicate, creamy, aromatic taste but we felt that the infusion of coffee felt a tad contrived, like some dissonant sound in a beautiful symphony.  But your mileage may vary.  As they say, different strokes for different folks.


For the mains, we had the Organic Welsh Lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke and Mezcal, infused with lamb jus. In our humble opinion, this was our favourite dish of the entire menu and it stole the show here. 

We were offered different cuts, such as the lamb rack and lamb saddle, but you heard from us, the lamb rack was simply divine. This was by far the best lamb rack we have tasted, even more sublime than some of the fine dining restaurants in New Zealand we went to. Juicy, tender, succulent and with intense flavours, the lamb rack was just gobsmackingly delicious and melt-in-your-mouth. What an indulgent, guilty pleasure.

The other main course was the Matcha Gnocchi (or berlingots from what we hear) served with barbecued lobster claw, herb coulis, lobster bisque infused with yuzu. This was alright, but we've certainly had better lobster bisque elsewhere. Fleur de sel and Gordon Grill immediately come to mind. 

In any case, the addition of matcha is a nice touch though, but nothing mind blowing or out of this world. In fact, we thought the matcha seemed to obfuscate the taste of the lobster and it did not synergise well overall with the rest of the dish. Perhaps the hedgehog is used to French classic cooking that focuses more on subtle and refined tastes, so that in-your-face matcha felt rather out of place in this dish. We heard this was a signature dish but somehow it did not hit all the high notes for us.


For the pre-dessert, we were seduced with a Cheesecake with Rice Cracker and some some yuzu. Very light and refreshing after all those main courses. This wasn't in the menu either and it was complimentary from the chef.


For dessert, we relished the Illanka Chocolate consisting of Sobacha chocolate mousse, with chocolate and dill ice cream; and Chestnut and Calamansi made of Kaffir lime cremeux, sudachi calamansi confit and chestnut ice cream.

Both desserts were tantalizingly enthralling with lots of subtle notes that harmonize well with each other, and the best part was that it doesn't feel too decadent or extravagant on the palette.  Presentation wise, its like an elegant, immaculate work of art that you would expect no less from a fine dining restaurant of this calibre. 

The hedgehog was offered a complimentary cake with petit fours and mignardises too. 


Overall, we genuinely enjoyed our time here at La Dame de Pic. Special mention goes to the bespoke service staff who were patient in allowing us to do our Instagram shots.

It's certainly worth a recommendation, especially if you are a Francophile foodie.

La Dame de Pic, Raffles Singapore
1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673

Website: https://www.rafflessingapore.com/restaurant/la-dame-de-pic/

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