Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guy Savoy @ Marina Bay Sands

Just 5 years ago, Singapore was one of the last place any Michelin stars chef would pick to open their overseas outlet.

What a difference 5 years made, especially with the opening of our first 2 casinos and IRs, attracting big names in the culinary world.

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The world reknown Guy Savoy from Paris has finally landed here in our little island. His Paris main restaurant was given 3 Michelin stars back in 2002, and his Las Vegas 2 Michelin stars, with high expectations that it will be awareded the prestigious 3 Michelin stars very soon.

The Singapore restaurant Savoy is opened for about 2 months, with its grand opening this Wednesday. Sheldon Adelson, the founder of Las Vegas Sands and owner of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, will be "officiating" the opening of Savoy in Singapore with a Gala Dinner here.

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Finding the restaurant proves to be a challenge. Much of the shopping and entertainment complexes are still under construction even though the grand opening of Marina Bay Sands is tomorrow.

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To locate the restaurant, first go to Level 1 and follow the signboard which says "Celebrity Restaurants". All diners who does not want to go through the casino must take a lift from Level 1 to Level 2 at the main shopping complex. It's the only way up for Singaporeans and PRs who want to avoid paying the S$100 gambling tax.

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At 6:30pm, we were the first to arrive. Even though there is no dress code stated, it is advisable to be dressed in long pants and a collared shirt. Ladies should be dressed in evening gowns (or something to this effect).

It looked empty at 6:30pm, but RESERVATIONS is a MUST, because at 8:00pm the entire restaurant was full house. Try to ask for a table next to the window, so that you can enjoy the beautiful Singapore skyline while dining here.

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During our 2 hour dinner there, we saw families, couples and friends enjoying their dinner at Savoy. So this is not really restricted to couples only. They have private rooms big enough to accomodate 10 or more diners too.

Before I forget, photo taking of food is allowed. However, as you can see from the reflections from the walls, the lights here are those orange coloured lights. So those with DSLR please adjust your white balance. And for those like me who takes photo with normal cameras or my Samsung Pixon 12 handphone camera, good luck.

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We were immediately served the amuse bouche upon seated. It was some Foie Gras with toast. Find this quite ok.

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The serving staff "opened" the colourful water droplet glasses and it actually contained our salted and unsalted butter, plus freshly crushed peppers and sea salt!

I wonder if it's the norm to serve cold bread in Guy Savoy. Bread was really cold and hard. Anyway, if you are going for the Guy Savoy signature degustation menu, I really recommend you to skip all the bread. Because the portions and number of courses is really too much for a Singaporean diner. I am not kidding because I am a big eater, and even I also cannot finish everything here.

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The 2nd Amuse Bouche was this 2 in 1 dish. This was some cold soup with little bits of vegetables. After finishing the cold soup, you lift the cup to reveal....

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... another small radish amuse brochue.

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Let's start with the proper meal.

This is Guy Savoy's signature Oyster in Ice Gelee. The oyster is really fresh for that night without any fishy taste to it. The chef first make a aspic out of oyster juice. Then a layer of cream and oyster puree seperates the oyster from the shell. Refreshing is the word I would use to describe their signature.

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Maine Lobster raw cooked in cold steam - The very sweet Maine lobster was made into a carpaccio decorated with very concentrated lobster stock over a bed of dry ice. From another blog, I saw that they had this similar dish in Paris, but there they used this special plate with holes so that the dry ice effect

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Crispy sea bass with delicate spices - The crispy skin is really not just the skin, but with the scales too. The scales are deep fried till crispy while the sea bass meat was sweet and tender.

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Colours of Caviar - A layer of caviar gelée at the bottom of the glass, caviar cream in the centre. and pure caviar on top. Even more caviar cream was added on the top of the pure caviar.

This was best described as very salty. In fact too salty for the Asian palate. I read countless international reviews praising this Colours of Caviar, but I wonder if this was an off-day for the chef here today?

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Foie Gras and Radish sauce - The Foie Gras was one of the best quality foie gras I had recently. It was creamy, intense and not too oily. This piece of large roasted foie gras was paired with radish sauce. And the radish leaves served by the side helps to reduce the oiliness in the mouth.

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Next up is the signature Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup, served with the Toasted Mushroom Brioche and Black Truffle Butter.

Although the staff recommended us to dip the brioche into the truffle soup, but it actually tasted much better eating on its own.

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The Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup was best described as mediocre. The artichoke was cooked in truffle juice and

I wonder if Guy Savoy himself would approve of such a standard? I was not blown away by this signature soup, which many diners were raving from their visits to their restaurants in Paris and Las Vegas. The addition of sliced black truffles was really luxurious, but I think the most basic soup base did not compliment each other. Sigh....

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After the disappointing soup, we were surprised by their Pigeon Rolled in Raw Asparagus, Asparagus Royal, Pigeon Thigh Confit. There were little bits of Foie Gras in the very tender and flavourful pigeon rolls. I enjoyed every bit of this dish.

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The accompanying Pigeon Thigh Confit was really tiny, almost as small as one fishball. I think the chef who made this Pigeon dish should be commended for saving this meal. This piegon dish was really the highlight of the entire Degustation Menu.

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Our proper meal finally ended. Next is the fine cheese trolley and desserts.

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The French loves to end their meal with Cheese. Here at Savoy, the service staff pushed out a cheese trolley filled with the finest cheese available.

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We were really too full after all the food. So we just picked some cheese, but could not finish. I remember one of the cheese I picked was really strong in the smell.

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A pre-dessert dessert. I like the very cute raseberry with a lime sorbet crown. There was also a very soft and light mashmellow.

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Their signature Strawberry Textures - Everything here is made with straweberries - the dried strawberry slices, the strawberry ice with strawberry juice. If you like strawberry, you will love this dessert.

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No meal at Guy Savoy is complete without their signature Chocolate Orb dessert. It's like Christmas Eve. A surprise awaits every season in their orb. It is served as a whole chocolate sphere, and the service staff will add a strip of warm sauce across the sphere.

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When the sphere cracks and melts, you get to find out what is the "present" inside. For this season, its passion fruit. The passion fruit went well with the chocolate orb.

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As it was my birthday that day, the staff presented me a thick slice of cake with a candle. But that is just for photography purpose. They served us this praline cake which was very good. Crispy and light.

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We though it was over, but the staff then pushed out the entire dessert trolley and asked us to pick as many dessert as we like. This is the longest and most number of dessert dishes I ever had in a meal. It's almost like a dessert buffet.

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I had all the macarons, and they were great. Small and light yet full of flavours. The madelines were okay though.

I didn't like the puddings - Pink Praline pudding and Vanilla pudding. The cheesecake was okay.

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A sorbet ends our long long degustation menu to cleanse our palate.

To be fair, we were really too stuffed and full at this point that nothing we eat is memorable.

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Before leaving, I took some photos from the see through windows outside the restaurant. Here you can see the chefs preparinig the Chocolate Orbs.

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Another arranging the strawberries on the strawberry textures.

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Rows of chocolate macarons waiting to be baked.

So what is the verdict?

The Degustation Menu from Savoy at Marina Bay Sands, in my very humble view, is totally not worth the S$370. I can easily point to even better French restaurants at a fraction of this S$370 price tag in Singapore.

I wonder if the main reason was that this is still a "new" restaurant and the chefs were not up to standards yet? Something like how Yan Ting at St Regis was criticized at the beginning for its bad food quality, but now leads many others as one of the top Cantonese restaurants in Singapore.

Whatever it is, at a price tag of S$370 (close to S$1,000 for 2 after taxes), diners should expect each and every course to really blow their minds away. Unfortunately, Guy Savoy didn't. And they really have to make lot's of improvements before diners feel that their S$370 is really worth the price tag.



Guy Savoy
10 Bayfront Avenue
#L2-01,
Casino Level 2
Marina Bay Sands

20 comments:

  1. Interesting read. I ate not too long ago at the Paris restaurant...and it was a lunch to remember. Cost us E330 each for lunch, though, and definitely not cheap.

    http://shiokhochiak.blogspot.com/2010/02/gastronomy-in-paris-guy-savoy.html

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  2. Heys =) Oh may, the title of the restaurant completely lured me here! For that price, yes I'm sure you would have expected that 'defining' quality, which I'm reading, clearly was lacking.

    Maybe, it's the teething problems.

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  3. I had dinner that 3 weeks ago it was really nice and memorable

    gd thing we did not choose the $370 degustation and decided to go Ala carte - 2 appetizers, pigeon, dessert

    my favourite was the artichoke soup with black truffles...

    total bill including a glass of wine each came up to $650

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  4. P. Chong: I am sure you must have enjoyed yourself in Paris at Guy Savoy, since he is mostly there managing the kitchen. If he was here, perhaps the standards wil be better.

    Glenn: well, I think I will wait for better reviews to emerge before returning again to try their ala carte.

    cage: I think perhaps you made a wiser choice.

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  5. As diners we often forget why such accolades were give out. It isnt meant to increase expectations of ours or create a mindset that every dish should "blow someone away". Think about the produce, the clean flavours, the simplicity in flavours but the complicated techniques needed to produce such food.

    The local palate is honestly not ready to judge food of such calibre.

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  6. I agree with above that most locals are not ready to understand fine food - taste buds can be very acquired and the local ones tend to be conditioned on a heavier and sharper notes ala SEAsian cuisines. Most can't appreciate clean taste. We are slightly more sophiscated now but still some miles away. Not doubting blogger but this price is not surprising for the Michelin chefs and I'll just wait for Guy himself to turn up at this kitchen. And many think that it's only about the food. In fact Michelin stars are given to the restaurant, not chefs, for a reason.

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  7. went to the original in Paris in May and hence to the MBS branch with much excitement but was sorely disappointed. Not just in terms of the food but the hospitality as well. Paris cost twice as much for the same degustation set with 90% of the dishes exactly the same as the one here but it was a truly unforgettable experience which I would gladly pay to relive. The textures and flavours were wonderfully executed, servings way more generous, and service impeccable and warm. Definitely deserving of its 3 Michelin Stars.

    I agree that there are better french food in SG for the same price or less. And its not about tastebuds. Hence I sincerely hope that the restaurant at MBS pulls up its standards as it would be a shame to see Guy Savoy's name tarnished. Meanwhile, if you ever get the chance, do try the original in Paris where Guy Savoy himself helms the kitchen and experience what his cuisine is truly about. You won't be disappointed :)

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  8. Anonymous'es : Thanks for the comments. We love food and we have high regards to chefs and restaurants that can give us wonderful dining experience. We created this food blog to faithfully record our experience and observation, but not to pretend as a professional food critics.

    Of course, ability to understand food taste, smell, texture, plating presentation as well as the ambience and service standard of a restaurant, is an acquired skill that needs to frequently draw on knowledge. But to stereotype local diners as not fit to "judge" fine dining establishments, is not a fair statement. Beyond doubts, Chef Guy Savoy's restaurants were given Michelin Stars for great achievements. But it's not MBS outlet....just yet, till it can really deliver the "exceptional cuisine that worth a special journey".

    C : Too bad, didn't manage to visit Paris Guy Savoy during my last visit to Paris. For the 3 Stars status, I might follow Mr. André Michelin's advice. Thanks.

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  9. After 3 weeks of thinking whether I should share my experience about this restaurant I finally decided it may help other amateurs of high gastronimie to make their choice when deciding on a nice place for dinner or a special occasion !

    In summary, I think the food is good, but the service is no where near where it should be. For a SGD 1277 (2 people) I was expecting to get some service, other than the one of a fast food restaurant!
    Is that because this Guy Savoy restaurant is a franchise targeted at people who just won at the Casino downstairs and are looking for a nice food court to spend their money? I hope not, it would be a shame for Guy Savoy.

    What I found unacceptable (the 7 experience breakers!)
    - There was a mistake in my reservation. (the changed in the reservation I asked one month earlier was obviously not registered) Anyway, the restaurant found a talbe for us on the day itself, which was good.
    - When you enter the restaurant, there is absolutely no "Experience" feeling. There is no door hence, you can litterally hear the gaming machines downstairs and there is a nice breeze of cigarette smell which flows right in the middle of the restaurant. A big nono for amateurs of nice chic restaurants where you want to be sent in a culinary experience
    - We choose the "Prestige menu" (i.e. the degustation menu) and I kindly asked the waiter if we could have some wine pairing with it. We thought we just asked him the impossible. He first asked how many glasses of wine I wanted (duh? If I am asking) and a few minutes after having asked the somelier (who obviously was busy because didn't come by) he can back with a "three glasses ok for you?" We'll do with that then....
    - In a nice culinary experience, when the dish is served, you would expect the waiter to explain/describe to you what you have in your plate. Here it was totally random, some did, most didn't. So we understood that for each dish we had to ask them if they would be kind enough to enlighten us on what we were about to enjoy.
    - We loved the wine that was paired with our food. When we asked a little bit more details to the somelier, he even asked us if we would like a note with the details of the wine! We said yes, but we never saw the olour of any piece of paper beside the bill... Never over-promess and under-deliver... isn't that the client management 101 lesson?
    - Talking about wine, any somelier of a good restaurant would make sure that the red wine does not drop on the table cloth. Well, the somelier obviously used to share the wine with the table cloth. (you konw these little red dots...).
    - Like I mentionned above, the dishes are good... but taken individually. In the "Prestige menu" it is really in your face, not well organized to a point where after a few dishes I had to ask for some sorbet or something to cleanse my palate. Appearently in Malay, you would say you feel "Gelat", i.e. just sick of the food, not full. A palate cleanser would do the trick. If not asked you only get it before the desert is served. Too late my friend too late.

    We have been to a few nice restaurants ("Per Se" in NY being the latest) but on that one I just couldn't believe that a service could be so excecrable in such a nice restaurant.
    When you pay for a chicken rice in a food court, you know you don't expect much service because you are not paying for it. But at Guy Savoy, you really feel that the brand is business and that as long as it's "OK", the manager is fine with it.

    Let's hope that thee targeted clients will be gamblers who stay for one or two nights in Singapore and that Guy Savoy does not expect these clients to come back. For $1277 for two people at that level of service, I recommend everyone to choose an alternative to that address. THere are many better restaurants in town starting with Garibaldo, Iggy's etc...

    Enjoy the food!
    ET

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  10. Hey ET, thanks for the very comprehensive sharing of your experience. I don't know whether it's Guy Savoy, or the oh-so-frequent road closures in the Marina vicinity that I feel such a turn-off to visit MBS. Kinda weird, with my usual sense of curiousity, I should have visited to Santi, Waku Ghin or Hide Yamamoto by now...but I still don't have that urge.

    You are right, there are so many better restaurants in town. If I can derive much more pleasure elsewhere, I don't need to visit the new establishments with imported big names that are still struggling to prove its standard.

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  11. Blogger, PLEASE at least do a spellcheck of your posting and polish up your grammar. It's a pain to struggle through the horrific English to get to the point. Those who blog should have at least decent basic English before they think about writing.

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  12. May I know exactly which part of the blog that you do not understand? I will try to explain to you.

    For me, I do not understand the hostility of some visitors to our blog, especially on this article. I also do not understand why all these unfriendly, and to some extent, rude and bias, comments are made by visitors with the same name : "Anonymous". Anyone can enlighten us, please?

    We welcome constructive comments, but we would like the visitors to respect our rights and freedom to record our true feeling on dining experience. We do not need to flatter any establishment as this is not an advertising site (neither is it an education site to teach good English).

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  13. When you arrive at Guy Savoy, you feel first of all like if you enter the Guggenheim or the Tate modern combine with the Louvre, this is a sumptuous combination of Modern art and classical atmosphere. Just sumptuous and relaxing. I can bizarrely remember the weird presence of “burgundy red” all around me during diner. Sometime your memory can be attracted by something you don’t really notice at first instance, however it stays in your mind for life. I’ve to say, this moment are in you memory forever and at Guy Savoy, i’ve to confess, this is definitely something I’ll remember.

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  14. This seems to be great site for providing restaurant, Food, dine, services for people. I would surely like to try their service.

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  15. hmmm....wonder the link above points to virus site...suspicious!

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    Cheers

    Siti Sarah
    sitisarah@holidaycity.com
    www.holidaycity.com

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  17. Did guy savoy serve tap water? or sparkling or still was the only choice. haha.

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  18. Hi Andy : I ordered sparkling...but I seriously can't remember whether tap water was an option. (I like your intended pun though....ie. the choice thingie, haha)!

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  19. Went to Guy Savoy at MBS last week and I must say they have improved a lot. Service was good, waiters have a sense of humour, and they even gave me a copy of their menu (as promised). The wine pairing was excellent. We had one additional glass of wine as a 'surprise' (7 in total). The maine lobster came with the plate with special holes this time :) It was cooked in cold steam (dry ice) before our eyes and the taste was heavenly. Pigeon was cooked differently and tasted fabulous. Glad I had the chance to savour such wonderful cuisine once in my lifetime.

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  20. Thanks for sharing! Glad you had a good dining experience at Guy Savoy.

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