The guests trickled in one-by-one after I stepped into La Dame de Pic at Raffles Hotel Singapore for lunch in the middle of the week. It has been about a year since I have last dined at the first Asian foray of renowned chef, Anne-Sophie Pic. Two years on and there is still a good crowd to be seen despite coming on an off-peak day. Not only do you get the exquisite classical ambiance of the Raffles Hotel Singapore as a backdrop but you also gain an understanding of Chef Pic’s culinary philosophy without having to fly to France – collectively she has 7 Michelin stars under her belt. The Singapore outlet of La Dame de Pic is helmed by new Chef Francesco di Marzio who has worked with Chef Pic for years before coming to Singapore in early 2021.
To get to La Dame de Pic, enter via the hotel’s grand lobby. However, owing to the current situation, hotel staff members will instead usher you via a side gate. If you are coming on foot or by car, the drop-off point is still via the hotel main entrance.
Prices at La Dame de Pic
La Dame de Pic in Raffles Hotel Singapore offers a couple of set menus. They start from S$248++ per person and prices are similar for both lunch and dinner. Wine and sake pairing is also available from S$158++. You can also opt for a non-alcoholic pairing for S$88++.If you are an Accor Plus member, do note that dining discounts of up to 50% off do not apply to La Dame de Pic.
During this particular occasion, I tried a hybrid of the Experience menu, which at S$248++ is the entry-level set at La Dame de Pic. It differs from the higher-priced Elegance menu (S$338++) in terms of the number of total courses.
When it comes to places like La Dame de Pic, the main consideration is perhaps the experience and the cuisine rather than being value-for-money but judging from the myriad of appetizers that came before the dinner properly started, I would have to say that when it comes to fine dining experiences in Singapore, you do get bang for your buck here as well. I had lost count but I believe we were served no less than four types of starters, some so exquisitely prepared that you’d need a magnifying glass just to see the dish’s level of detail.
Some consistent themes I perceived were the usage of refreshing ingredients like Japanese tea, herbs as well as the preponderance of flowers – apparently a signature ingredient in all the La Dame de Pic outlets worldwide.
Small bites such as cherry spheres, Chinese crackers with smudges of jelly and kueh pie tee are some of the treats to expect. They’re not only visually stunning but also provide that refreshing teaser to the palate.
The bread basket is another highlight at La Dame de Pic. I particularly enjoyed their sourdough bread. It went nicely with the house butter which had an unmistakable herbal blend.
Scallops from Hokkaido
As the first course, the Scallop from Hokkaido can be thought of as a palate teaser. The scallops here are presented carpaccio style and glazed with mikan, giving it a bit of a fruity and sweet profile – not too sweet as the usual sweetness from mikan is balanced out with lactic vinaigrette.
The pungent taste of the Matsutake Mushroom was evident from the moment the plate was served on my table. This highly-prized fungi is sought after in Japan precisely because of that. Here, the mushrooms are cooked “en papilotte” which typically involves sealing the food with paper or foil as it is cooked. This course also comes with a small slice of waffles on the side. The coffee sabayon spread over the mushroom was rather addictive and I could not help but slather the waffle on it even though it was probably not meant to be consumed that way.
Berlingots are one of Chef Pic’s signatures. These are essentially little pasta parcels – like ravioli – filled with French cheese fondue. This is one of the mainstays in La Dame de Pic’s menu but what they change, depending on the season, are the broth and herbs. Like the dish preceding it, this one also comes lightly drenched in a broth. For this season, they are using leek dashi with cardamom and matcha. Before tasting, I could make out a lobster bisque type of scent although the server assured me the only seafood in the broth is a hint of bonito flakes. She also sprinkled a little bit of smoked leek to enhance the flavor of the dish. All it takes is one small bite of the dumplings for the full flavor of the cheese fondue to burst open and explode in your mouth. Similar to my experience with the sphere and in one of the petite fours that was to come later, I came to realize by the end of the meal that this “mouthful surprise” is another theme that comes with the dining experience here.
Blue Lobster from Brittany
The seafood course – Blue Lobster from Brittany – is presented two ways. First, you get a plump lobster tail sitting on top of sushi rice and bisque with genmaicha and Madras curry. Secondly, you also get the claw – mashed and sandwiched in between some crackers like a starter. This was one of my favorite courses during the meal. La Dame de Pic does its seafood quite well. The lobster tail was bouncy and appetizing even on its own.
For the main dish, diners get to choose either the Organic Welsh Lamb or Pigeon from Bresse. I remember someone recommending me to choose the pigeon during my last visit a year ago so I decided to go with the bird this time despite my usual preference for red meat.
Well, I have to say that I had no regrets with my choice whatsoever because the pigeon was remarkably tender. The bird came smoked and marinated with gallium odorant and sobacha. No gamey flavor whatsoever. There was also a sous vide quality to it.
My friend went with the lamb which was an excellent choice as well. This would have been my default choice, if it were not for the recommendation to try the pigeon.
Picodon Cheese with Kalamata Olives
Most fine dining outlets come with the optional cheese trolley but at La Dame de Pic they go one step further by truly incorporating a cheese course into the dinner. The Picodon Cheese with Kalamata Olives is a nod to goat cheese lovers and acts as a dessert in its own right. The cream leans towards the savory side and despite the use of goat cheese, I thought it was not too overpowering. I loved the custard-like consistency of the cheese. The olives here are done as a jelly sitting as the upper layer of the tart.
Ahh…the customary cheese platter. If you are a cheese lover, you will be spoiled for choice at La Dame de Pic. I am not a cheese expert and I typically stick to my reliable array of soft cheeses like camembert. But they do have some rare cheeses here as well. Their curated cheeses can be had for an additional S$38++ per person.
There are at least three choices for desserts here. However if it is your first time at La Dame de Pic, the recommendation is to go for the White Mille Feuille. When it was served, the first thing that came into my mind was – where is the mille feuille? Turns out it’s well hidden inside the white cube. Cut it open to reveal the well-defined mille feuille layers. Despite the obvious cream base, the mille feuille carried a prominent plant-based flavor brought about by the intermingling of ginger mixed with the cream and the grapefruit confit found within the layers of the pastry.
We ended the meal with petite fours. The bonbon brought to mind the other items we had earlier that had a similar concept, from the sphere and even the Berlingots which simply exploded with flavors once you bit into them.
My lunch at La Dame de Pic was probably the longest lunch I have had in recent memory (same goes for my dinner there a year ago). We started at about 12:00PM and lasted well beyond 3:30PM. This was mainly due to the sheer number of courses that came with the lunch even though service was well spaced out. I am glad to have gone in the day this time.
Going back to the question I posted in the title – is La Dame de Pic worth it? For this level of dining and using other comparable French restaurants in Singapore with Michelin accolades, I would definitely have to say yes. There was a lot to take in during the 3+ hours lunch and even with a hybrid of their “entry-level” Experience set, I could see the impressive level of detail that went into the preparation of dishes. La Dame de Pic offers a heightened dining experience, no doubt about it. But on days I don’t need to impress – there are some dishes I would really love to go back for if a la carte orders were possible.
La Dame de Pic
1 Beach Road
Raffles Hotel Singapore
Daily except Sunday and Monday
12PM to 1:45PM (last seating) – not available on Tuesday
6:30PM to 8:45PM (last seating)