Tag Archives: Les Amis Group

V Day ’13: The Les Amis Group Presents APHRODISIACS at Casa Verde

On the 5th day of the Lunar New Year this year, we celebrate one of the most commercialized and recognised dates around the world- Valentines’ Day. While detractors and haters usually claim that Valentines’ Day is overrated and simply a day for restaurants and gift-related vendors to cash in, one cannot deny that it is nice to have a day set aside or even a couple of hours in the midst of our busy schedules to celebrate love. Be it with family, your other half or even with your girlfriends, February the Fourteenth can be a very special day with a little bit of planning and thought.

And as the saying goes: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (though I am strongly inclined to believe that the term ‘man’ is not gender specific), lunches and dinners are usually and always the highlight of our Valentines’ Day celebrations.

This year, the Les Amis Group has deliberately designed aphrodisiac- centered menus at their 6 participating restaurants- Les Amis, Au Jardin, Bistro Du Vin, Canele, Peperoni and Casa Verde that aim to seduce, allure and excite both you and your partner. From the more extravagant 6-course dinner for $460++ per couple at the very romantic Au Jardin, to an affordable $18++ per person at Canele, it is all about oysters, figs, avocado and most important, chocolate this Valentines’ Day.

Do check out the Les Amis website for more details on their menus!

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If you are planning a nature-themed date around Gardens by the Bay to explore the beautiful ‘City in the Garden’ that spans for 101 hectares against the mesmerizing Marina Bay skyline with your loved one, dont forget to drop by Casa Verde at Supertree Dining for a Heart-shaped Honey Chicken Pizza at $24 nett to set the mood and kickstart your romantic evening.

Served whole as a complete heart, this wood-fired pizza is topped with chunks of juicy and sweet pieces of honeyed marinated chicken. The crust was thin and crisp with a good amount of melted cheese that blended all the meat, cherry tomatoes and pineapple bits together. You can also request for the pizza to be cut into slices once you are done taking photos!

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Other recommended appetizers to enjoy alongside are these nice and crunchy Calamari $13. For extra flavour, dip those deep-fried squid rings into the Arrabbiata sauce or homemade Tartare sauce served in the ramekins at the side.

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A personal favourite, this Portobello Mushroom $16 which I never fail to order at Peperoni, is also featured at the Casa Verde- Gardens by the Bay branch. One whole large sized portobello mushroom deep fried in a batter to a crisp and golden brown and covered with sauteed onions, chicken strips and red wine sauce. Simply enjoyable. The best part is always cutting through that crackling crusty outer coat to reach that juicy beefy and somewhat earthy texture of the portobello mushroom. And that contrast in character is what really seals the deal.

Weekend Breakfast @ Bistro Du Vin (Zion Road)

A classic French breakfast is traditionally a simple affair. Unlike your elaborate hearty American or Continental breakfasts which often feature whole sausages, thick bacon strips and the like, the French value quality and satisfaction over quantity and is instead all about freshly baked baguettes and croissants served alongside a good brew of coffee or freshly squeezed fruit juice. The Bistro Du Vin branch at Zion Road offers just that very experience.

Available exclusively at only the Zion Road branch, Bistro Du Vin has recently added a breakfast menu on the weekends. From 8.30-11am every Saturday and Sunday, one can expect only the classics of Le Panier (1 croissant, 1 Pain au chocolat, Baguette) $9, Brandade with poached Egg $14, Plates of Cheeses, Ham & Saucisson at $20 each and Eggs prepared in different ways for $16. The menu, while limited in variety, is comprehensive enough to re-create the actuality of having a very Parisian breakfast in a little French bistro.

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Le Petit Déjeuné Complet: $23.00
Choice of hot Beverage
+ Glass of Juice
+ Basket of Bread & Croissants
+ Choice of “Let’s Get Serious”

  • Omelette $16.00 (ala-carte)
  • Fried Egg $16.00
  • Scramble Egg $16.00

I strongly recommend getting the Le Petit Déjeuné Complet. For $23, one can enjoy two beverages, a basket of freshly baked French breads and a choice of eggs done the way you like it. The eggs also come with sides of Sautéed Lardons, Iberico Ham, Sautéed Mushrooms & Grilled Tomatoes as well. An absolute bargain for a hearty brunch, let alone a quality French one at that.

Nam Nam Noodle Bar @ Raffles City Shopping Centre

The latest venture by the Les Amis Group, Nam Nam Noodle Bar is a casual Vietnamese bistro that has recently opened at the basement of Raffles City Shopping Centre. The concept is simple- authentic Viet food, fuss-free service and an affordable price tag. The dining area of Nam Nam Noodle Bar is cosy, with mostly bar counter seats and a few wooden tables and stools that are packed so close together, it might actually trigger a few memories of eating along the streets of Vietnam, short of the gratuitous sounds of motorbikes and the crazy honking of cars stuck in traffic.

Tip no. 1 if you are planning a visit here, avoid the lunch crowd of 12-2pm or you will find yourself waiting in a really long queue, rushing with everyone who are also jumping onto the bandwagon for a good bargain of a $9.90 nett set lunch or hearty servings of Banh Mi for only $5.90. With 11 different types of bowls of Vietnamese noodles from as cheap as $7.90 and 6 savoury Banh Mi choices, ranging from pork to tofu and chicken, it is no wonder that crowds are flocking to this month old eatery.

The drill here is simple really. Using the order sheets and pencil provided at the table, tick off your choices, before proceeding to the counter to make your payment. The food will then be served to you. No service charge and GST is already included in the prices stated on the menu.

Between the two of us, we ordered a 3 course set lunch which came with a bowl of Beef Pho, Vietnamese Spring Rolls and a choice of coffee or lotus tea for $9.90 nett and an additional bowl of Dry Sauteed Lemongrass Pork Noodles for $7.90.

Restaurant Week ’12: Au Jardin Les Amis

Au Jardin by the Les Amis group is a hot favourite every Restaurant Week. Needless to say, for this October’s edition, seats were all taken up even before bookings were open to the public. I was however rather fortunate as Nat, with his connections, was able to help my friend and I score a Wednesday lunch reservation. And since it was a DiningCity restaurant, we had to top up $15++ for a 3 course meal.

Nestled amidst the beautiful lush greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and a rough 2 minute walk from the Visitor’s Centre, Au Jardin is clearly hidden from sight until you turn a corner and walk up a lane. A restored colonial house, this restaurant is almost like a greenhouse with glass windows all around and tall ferns lined on the outside that lend a comforting touch, it is no wonder that the English translation of Au Jardin is ‘In the Garden’. The main dining area is on the second level and I simply must insist that an afternoon experience at Au Jardin is mandatory for you to wholly appreciate its elegance, beauty and especially the view from your seat.

Request for a window seat when you make your reservation and you will enjoy privacy and intimacy with your dining partner as wooden partition screens are strategically placed between tables.

APPETIZERS

Grilled tuna with marinated black eye peas salad, Serrano ham, citrus vinaigrette

A lovely summery salad to start us off, the slices of grilled tuna were thinly sliced and seared perfectly, retaining its flavour with minimal seasoning. The freshness of this dense fish gave the salty Serrano ham a little depth and with some citrus vinaigrette tying everything together with a touch of fruitiness, this salad was both welcoming and refreshing.

Braised Escargots with scrambled egg, mushroom and asparagus, Madeira sauce

Escargots are a must-order at any French restaurant for me and Au Jardin’s version though uniquely prepared, did not disappoint. While most French places choose to serve their escargots in shell and drowned in garlic and butter, the ones here were already shelled for us. How considerate. Though I must admit that I personally enjoy using the snail forks to extract the meat. Anyhow, no complains for the well-marinated and chewy texture of the meat and I loved how various types of mushrooms were added. The scrambled eggs too were smooth and had a great consistency. However, the Madeira sauce was for both of us, a little too intense and thick that it got a tad too overwhelming towards the end of the dish.

Peperoni Pizzeria @ Greenwood

The casual dining sister arm of the Les Amis Group, Peperoni Pizzeria is notorious for their family sized XXL pizzas that is simply a party on a wooden board. It’s a family affair here at Peperoni Pizzeria as these ginormous pizzas are definitely for sharing and is indeed double the fun when everyone is fighting for one more slice of cheesy dough. With four branches all around Singapore (Greenwood, Binjai, Frankel and Zion), everyone is assured a bite of that authentic Italian wood-fired oven thin-crusted pizza that Peperoni Pizzeria does such a great rendition of!

Six of us patronized the Greenwood branch one Wednesday evening, which also happens to be the original outlet which first opened back in 2004.

We started off with an appetizer to share before diving straight for the pizzas for which we ordered the family XXL size for both!

The Funghi Portobello con Pollo $20 was actually a crumbed battered whole portobello which was deep fried and topped with a heap of caramelized onions and sautéed chicken fillets in red wine sauce.

Mushroom lovers will rejoice at this dish and non-mushroom fans will become converts. The portobello was thick and juicy while the sautéed chicken fillets and onions lent a subtle sweetness with the red wine sauce and added a softness to the crunch of the portobello exterior. We cleaned this up quickly, not even leaving a single onion strip left on the plate.