Dinner at Au Jardin Les Amis
For our wedding anniversary this year, DH took me out to a surprise dinner at Au Jardin Les Amis. 🙂
Good thing it was a surprise…if I’d known, I might have talked him out of it because I certainly jumped out of my skin when I sat down and saw the menu prices!!
As I had no idea where we were going and what time we needed to leave, I had all of ten minutes to get ready after feeding a very messy DS his dinner, figure out what to wear to go to where I didn’t know, leave hurried instructions and kiss the kids goodbye! So, yeah, bringing a camera…not the uppermost thing in my mind.
But you can click on the link here for the restaurant’s website and menu details and pictures of the food.
Au Jardin is in a restored 1920s black-and-white colonial bungalow surrounded by lush greenery in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. We arrived just around dusk and were shown to our table on the second floor terrace after a brief wait at the first floor pre and post dinner drinks room.
image from amosbteo, Panoramio
It felt rather funny walking from the carpark, wearing a dress and heels, through the passenger drop off area and visitor centre where families and couples attired in caps, shorts and tee shirts, and people walking their dogs were just about making their way home! 😛
The dining terrace which is a floor-to-ceiling glass panelled balcony, provides a 180 degree view of the greenery outside. As the evening progresses and the sky darkens, the lighting from the huge chandelier in the centre of the room, complemented by the strategically placed garden lights illuminating the foliage and trees outside, provides the dining area a wonderful warm glow.
I liked the setting. It was not so dark that you couldn’t see what you were eating, but warm enough to provide a nice ambience. And what great fun to have a fine-dining experience with your spouse, not worrying about having to impress him or her with your knowledge of wines or the proper way to eat the amuse bouche! 😉
Speaking of wines, the wine list is. extensive. with a capital E. It’s almost as thick as a textbook! With more prices to make one jump out of one’s skin.
After flipping many pages to decide on the country, and region, and wine type, we finally settled on a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Kaesler estate in Barossa Valley, Australia with a little help from the very kind and discreet sommelier.
As for the meal, I’d say that I know mostly what I was eating, but I’m going to have to do some serious Wiki-ing to understand some of the French terms! My best friend L, is going to say now, that I really should have signed up together with her for the French free elective during our second year in university instead of Saturday 8:30am Public Sector Economics lectures!
Dinner started off with two different amuse bouche.
Prawn in spring roll with some grape leaf and olive thingy.
Deep fried oyster and chilled leek and potato soup.
For hors d’oeuvres, DH had the Alaskan King Crab carpaccio with French caviar, white miso, pepper kinome and oxalis. I chose the Maine lobster served with orange-vanilla and herbs salad.
For the entrée, we both decided on Foie Gras.
Then for mains, it was either fish (poissons) or meat (viandes).
I decided on roasted pigeon breast with caramelised endives and “anjou” (I’m still trying to figure out what exactly that is…) sauce.
DH chose the wagyu striploin with grilled tongue and spinach and pickled onions.
For dessert, I chose a ginger brownie, which is essentially a slice of brownie topped with chocolate mousse, poached pear and pear sorbet which had a tinge of ginger in it.
DH went for the lemon lime which consisted of sable breton, lime gelee, orange foam and mint ice cream.
A delightful selection of petit fours and coffee and tea are served after the meal.
Oh, and they asked DH when he made the reservation if there was a special occasion. So the restaurant prepared a complimentary slice of cake with a candle in it, for our anniversary. 😀
On the whole, I am still reeling from the bill! It is the most expensive meal I have ever had by a very very far leap.
But extravagant though it was, I did have a delightful time.
And I’m very glad I didn’t have an opportunity to talk him out of it.
I have never tasted most of the more exotic items on the menu before this, and it was nice to experience new tastes and flavours.
The service was attentive and discreet, and the setting elegant and beautiful.
And it’s so very dangerous because you’re savouring all this absolutely delicious food and wine, and enjoying entertaining conversation with your loved one…and unbeknowst to you, the clock keeps ticking and hey presto, it’s 9:35pm and way past the kids bedtime and you wonder if they gave their grandparents any trouble!
I also enjoyed the drive into the Botanical Gardens, with all the greenery around, and back out again. Especially back out again, because it’s all dark by 9:45pm and for that brief moment, it reminded me of the drive back to our accommodation in the almost pitch darkness when we left Leeuwin Estate in our Western Australia holiday.
… Right until we turned back onto lighted and busy Orchard Road. 😛