This year, Singapore marks the golden jubilee of its founding and the marquee event has been the opening of the studioMilou-designed National Gallery Singapore – an absorbing amalgam of two early twentieth-century piles, the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings.
Almost lost in the hyperventilating hoopla has been the quiet debut of chef Julien Royer’s new restaurant on the ground floor of the gallery. Named after his grandmother, Odette – which is backed by local F+B bigwigs The Lo & Behold Group – channels Royer’s European credentials and bent for seasonal produce harvested from around the world into a modern French fine dining menu in the tropics.
And so, in a dazzling, gorgeous dining room designed by London-based Universal Design Studio and Singapore-based artist Dawn Ng, Royer toys with cheeses from Vieux Ferrette, black truffles from Manjimup, grass-fed beef from Scotland, seafood from Hokkaido, and pigeon from Plounéour-Ménez. The opening menu offers up visual treats by way of steamed and diced arctic surf clams, and guinea fowl served grilled and confit with celeriac risotto and foie gras – all restfully framed by the creamy dining room anchored by Ng’s whimsical Calder-like chandelier. Little wonder that the reservations list is booked up a month in advance.