[SG] La Table d’Emma | Timeless classics of Alsatian cuisine

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hi! It is a surreal mix of feelings when signing in to realize that our last food review on this blog was 8 years ago - thank you for those who'd followed us on www.instagram.com/makeyourcaloriescount!

At the point of writing, we are unsure if this is a spur of the moment ecstasy that inspired us to hop back on or is this the beginning of a new chapter, only time will tell. For now, let’s focus on sharing our love and journey for all food that make our calories count!

For those who work in the CBD, we are spoilt with culinary gems across all price points but can’t say there are many that are value for money and calories-worthy. La Table d’Emma led by Chef Michael is one of the latest to join the F&B scene at the newly opened Mercure ICON Singapore City Centre Hotel by Club Street. 

We visited during lunch and it was expectedly busy for the 6-week old restaurant. The spacious 130-seater restaurant made us felt at home as the tables were comfortably distanced so we didn't have to worry about unexpectedly eavesdropping like how most CBD restaurants are designed to maximize revenue per square foot. I was particularly intrigued by the book shelf that stands in the way of the otherwise open kitchen. We had a table at the corner of the restaurant which provided us much privacy for discussion but it was unfortunately also closest to the kitchen and they could do with improved ventilation. 

I had to do some Googling and ChatGPT to learn more about Alsatian cuisine as it was new to me. The cuisine originates from the Alsace region of France on the east, by the border of Germany and Switzerland which explains the influence on the dishes. With the restaurant named after Chef Michael’s wife, Emma, the expression of ‘love’ is almost a given from the on-point service to the delicious food. While we were carried away by our discussion, our orders were regrettably overlooked amidst the lunch madness but Chef Michael saved the day by stepping out of the kitchen to apologise in person and we caught up with some small chat, for us to learn more about his cooking and background while he genuinely sought feedback on the dishes that we had.

We had the 3-course set lunch at S$48++. Expect to be charmed by the starters with delicately diced char-grilled calamari that juxtaposed the crisp romaine lettuce and toasted croutons. Plenty of flavors and textures going on with each mouthful. I was slightly surprised with how the dish turned out as I wasn't quite expecting it to be a salad! 

The Alsatian potato dumpling was also a joy with the sautéed chewy potato slow poached in onion and chicken broth. 

As the Norwegian salmon was sold out, my fish was replaced with pan-seared red snapper, flawed by the bones picked from the otherwise delicate fresh white fillet that was coated by a perfectly crisp skin. 

We also shared the signature ‘les bouchees a la reine d’emma’ (S$34++) that is an absolute must try with the delicate puff pastry enjoyable on its own but when soaked with the veal, chicken and mushroom veloute, sublime. 

We both rounded off our meal with ‘le riz au lait caramel beurre sale’ (I’m struggling to spell it as much as I did when trying to order but that’s when sign language comes in handy). The Japanese rice slow cooked in vanilla was sinfully delicious. Indulge in the richness of the vanilla milk and the softness of the rice, very well balanced by the crispness of the crunchy nougatine with a butter caramel sauced drizzled atop. Consider yourself warned that you can reasonably expect yourself to slip into a food coma.

I was slightly awed by Chef Michael’s slight hint of Singlish and when pressed, we got to learn that he has been in Singapore for the last 21 years. He first honed his skills at Michelin 1* Le Jules Verne in France and was also the Executive Chef of Jaan. He then managed multiple upscale dining concepts as Executive Sous Chef for Fairmont and subsequently Director of Culinary Standards for Resorts World. Prior to starting his own restaurant, he was the APAC Executive Chef for Meta (bless those working at Facebook!).

Certainly one where we look to return to try other dishes that we didn't have the stomach for and it was quite difficult to enjoy French fare without some wine to pair - more to come.

Verdict: 8.0/10

8 Club Street, Mercure Icon Singapore City Centre
#01-04, Singapore 069472
T: (65) 8101 8691

Operating hours:

Monday to Sunday (including public holidays)
Lunch service: 11.30am - 2.30pm 
Dinner service: 5.30pm - 10.30pm

Currently listening to 'I had some help' by Post Malone featuring Morgan Wallen - 

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