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A memorable lunch

May 6, 2009

My mobile rang while I was personally administering an injection to somebody. Someone, suddenly, had this brilliant idea of lunching at Les Amis as he wanted to try the efforts of its visiting Vietnamese chef Nam Nguyen (formerly of The Lighthouse at Fullerton) and had the good sense to call me along. Why not? These things don’t happen everyday. We arrived in good time and was led by Timothy himself to a spacious private room on the upper floor. The 4-course menu definitely looked better than the 3-course, but we had time only for 3 courses. A quick decision was made to opt for the former, leaving out the trout.

We began with an amuse-boushe consisting of a single, very fresh oyster dipped in a aperitif that exhibited complex flavours of lime and citrus with notes of apricot that ended in a very long minty finish as the whole preparation, including the oyster, glides down the throat in one single gulp. What a perfect start.les-amis-001

This was followed by the first course of scallops, akami, botan shrimp and raw foie gras topped with a liberal sprinkling of spring truffles. The aroma was to die for. The perfect foil to this simple yet highly imaginative dish was a Chassagne-Montrachet from Domaine Dujac (in our delirium we didn’t catch the vintage…2006?), which was soft, medium-bodied, with just the right blend of fruit and minerality that never once threatened to overwhelm the seafood. les-amis-003

We opted for a half bottle of 2001 Chateau D’Aiguilhe to go along with the lovely loin lamb (served with caramelised prawn and aubergine with salted fish) that was our main: deep purple, excellent bouquet of red fruits and currant, medium-full, lush, excellent mouthfeel, long. Really excellent, quite a perfect accompaniment. Just shows that you don’t need to break the bank to drink a superb wine.

The dessert (marinated mango plum, roses, peach e’spuma with apricot sorbet), petit fours and coffee that followed ended the meal perfectly. Les Amis can be pricey, but on this occasion, where the service was at its usual efficient best, the food delightfully delicate, and the company excellent, I’d say it’s a bargain.

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