Au Jardin by Les Amis
John and I had a romantic dinner at Au Jardin the night I arrived from Manila. Maybe I should go out of town more often! :) (Just teasing... I was only gone 4 days, after all - and we do go out to dinner for no reason, too).
Au Jardin, in the Botanic Gardens, is rated one of the best restaurants in Singapore. It's in a beautifully restored colonial home which reminded us of Jinpukaku in Japan.
The most intimate seats in the restaurant are the two tables on the small balcony overlooking the garden. Our waiter confided that the man seated at the table next to ours was proposing to his fiancee over dinner that evening. Apparently those tables are very popular and must be booked 2-3 weeks in advance.
We don't normally eat in posh French restaurants and were somewhat at a loss when it came to navigating the courses and cutlery. Our bread arrived with delicious French butter in a small dish, a bread knife, and a small spoon. Hmm. What to do with the spoon? Were we supposed to use it to spoon butter onto our bread plates?
After 5 minutes of nervously looking around at other tables, the mystery was finally solved. Our waiter brought us shot glasses filled with tomato foam and diced watermelon. Tomato foam?? Good thing we hadn't touched the spoons.
The razor clams were delicious. So was the garden green salad with truffles, which was liberally sprinkled with flowers doubtless taken from just outside the window. I guess that's one of the advantages of being located in the Botanic Gardens. :)
John's order of spiny lobster was absolute heaven. It had just a slight sprinkling of curry powder, which helped bring out the lobster's taste.
As for my entree... well, let's just say I'm never ordering roasted or poached pigeon again. :) I am nowhere near as culinarily adventurous as I was trying to be. Well, it was a choice between that and venison. Thankfully, the lobster serving was huge - one whole lobster plus a second lobster tail - so there was more than enough for both of us.
I had persimmon confit with sorbet for dessert, which was very good. The chocolate ice cream cylinder John had was a bit too rich. We capped the evening with petits fours and tea, and then took a stroll around the beautifully lit garden.
If we weren't already married, I would have loved to be proposed to in that place!
Call +65 6466 8812 for reservations. The regular three-course dinner menu is S$108++, while the tasting menu (Dinner Dégustation) is S$150++.
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