Marked as the most anticipated restaurant opening of 2015, modern French restaurant Odette sits on the ground floor of the newly opened National Gallery. This timeless establishment brings together first-time restaurant owner, chef Julien Royer, and hospitality veterans, The Lo & Behold Group.
Odette is named after Royer’s grandmother, who fittingly inspired this milestone project after his stellar success leading JAAN, while also shaping his culinary philosophies highlighting warm hospitality and fine ingredients.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Odette is the precious, feminine elegance which breezes through the space, centred on the suspended art installation, A Theory of Everything by Singapore artist Dawn Ng. Inspired by the chef’s kitchen process and thoughts over many months, Ng has created a piece with hand-cut oak, poly foam, brass and paper floating and pirouetting like butterflies above the dining area.
A soft colour palette of blush pinks, pure whites and dust yellow tones gently coaxes out the natural lighting, flattering the wooden panel backdrops and symmetrical dining tables while welcoming guests to peer through a glass-enclosed kitchen.
Food and drink
Chef Royer’s dishes are termed essential cuisine “where every ingredient has its place and purpose, and is treated with the utmost care to highlight its purest flavours.” This philosphy is guided by his respect for seasonal and artisanal ingredients, sourced from the finest boutique producers in the world.
This passion for produce underscores the cuisine at Odette. Diners can experience this with a selection of both a four and six-course lunch (S$88 / S$128) and dinner (S$208 / S$268) set with slightly cheaper vegetarian options.
Everything from the plating of the food, to the plates themselves (custom-made by Kevala ceramics) delivers the warm charm of Paris and is almost an artwork in itself. The variation of heirloom beetroots from Italy sit in shades of pinks and purples of beetroot jelly, meringue and sorbet, peppered with pomegranate and held together by the wonderfully smooth stracciatella burrata.
The Challans guinea fowl, which is inspired by Chef Julian’s childhood favourite Poulet à la Crème, is served two ways with a leg confit and breast grilled over charcoal. Placed atop a bed of nutty celeriac risotto and accompanied by a foie gras coolant and Swiss chard, the dish is rounded off with a traditional French cream sauce, sauce albufera.
Fans of Chef Julien’s work at JAAN will also be pleased to see signature dishes brought over including the show-stopping organic eggs, poached for 55 minutes but this variation smoked with France procured pine needles, before being gently placed amongst a variety of root vegetables and topped with Burgundy Aestivum truffle.
Close out the meal on a high note with the loosely arranged millefeuille, separated by nougatine and gingerbread crumbs, alongside a slice of poached Williams pear and scoop of salted caramel ice cream.
No one will be surprised that Odette is already flourishing as a new restaurant, but truly witnessing the dedication to culinary artistry is no less amazing. Under Chef Julien’s lead and passionate philosophies, we’re strapped in to see the next phase of this journey, which we’re confident will only get better.
Odette, #01-04, National Gallery, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957, +65 6385 0498, www.odetterestaurant.com