Internationally Acclaimed Chef Julien Royer Opens New Restaurant in Singapore

24 Nov 2021
4 min read

Claudine, Royer’s second restaurant in Singapore — and his third in the region — is a reflection of what the chef believes a French restaurant should be in present-day Singapore. Inspired by the joys of home, Claudine acknowledges guests’ desire to revisit simple joys and the ease and comfort of authentic human connection around the table.

Over two years in the making, Claudine – which opened its doors on 16 November – speaks to a gap in the market for exceptional quality French cuisine delivered with the same level of focus and precision you expect of a fine-dining establishment. It is a concept conceived to be accessible — one that inspires diners to return with greater frequency. It is Royer’s second collaboration with interior designer Sacha Leong of Nice Projects, following the success of Odette, named the Best Restaurant in Asia on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

While the restaurant is named after Royer’s mother, Claudine is an expression of what he believes a French restaurant should be today. Having spent more than a decade working in Asia, Royer has come to be recognised around the world as a chef who has authentically transposed the focal tenets of his French upbringing and culinary principles — respect for seasonality and terroir — to his restaurants, while always infusing them with a contemporary sense of place. Claudine is a reflection of the person he is today.

“Home has always been the heart for social interactions,” Julien Royer, Chef-Patron of Claudine observes. “With Claudine, we recognise our guests’ longing to return to the luxury of simple joys. This is even more so now. We have focused on what this means to them — genuine hospitality, a lively and comfortable setting, and an intimate side of French cuisine that enables them to celebrate moments of togetherness over good food and good wine at any time.” As Chef-Patron — “patron” meaning “owner” in French — Royer is building on his role as a restaurateur with a team he trusts to run this new restaurant. While he continues to be based mostly out of his flagship venue, Odette, he will be working closely with the Claudine team to shape the overall experience. Bringing this to life is the team he has personally assembled — General Manager Glynn Tay oversees the care of guest experiences with the support of Restaurant Manager Antoine Capelli while Claudine’s Executive Chef Julien Mercier leads the culinary team, with Chef de Cuisine Loïc Portalier.

“Claudine has been an incredibly meaningful project to bring to life with this team – we fell in love with the building 14 years ago and now, we get to create another immersive experience. I am truly excited about the many memories that will be created in the space for the years to come,” shares Wee Teng Wen, Managing Partner, The Lo & Behold Group. “With Claudine, our vision is to create a blueprint for hospitality which positions people — both front-of-house and back-of-house talent — as the nexus of its success. The restaurant adds to our portfolio of brands that we hope will be an exciting addition to the local dining scene, whilst shining anywhere on the world stage.”

Generous French classics and personal recipes imagined for the present-day

Seeking to offer the simple joys of shared meals and cherished relationships, the menu at Claudine strikes a balance between quintessential French classics and personal recipes from Royer as well as the rest of the culinary team — all infused with a contemporary sense of place. Find selections for one as well as for many, with something for everyone here. At Claudine, guests will discover what Royer most loves to eat, what he cooks for friends and family, and some of the favourite dishes he grew up eating, updated with his own perspective.

The Mozambique Langoustine is a deeply indulgent dish that uninhibitedly offers a sense of locality. A seafood bisque enriched with kombu purée and poured tableside cradles crustacean dumplings and langoustine pan-roasted in butter. The dish showcases the combined strength of an accomplished culinary team sensitively utilising quality produce to develop an intimate and approachable contemporary French cuisine. Crisp sugar snap peas and delicate pea tendrils offer a fresh, textural contrast to the umami bisque while tarragon oil cuts through the decadence with herbaceous notes.

Capturing the way Royer particularly loves to eat on his day off or to cook for friends at home, the Claudine ‘Bouillabaisse’ is the restaurant’s take on the hearty classic Provençal fish stew. The juicy heads of the carabinero in this elegant and generous rendition are left intact – a nod to the preference of the local palate for the tomalley-like deliciousness they encase – flavours Royer has grown to appreciate over many years he has spent living in Singapore. Croutons are served on the side with saffron rouille to soak up more of the irresistible broth for greater enjoyment.

The classic Vol-Au-Vent was popularised by the seminal French chef, Auguste Escoffier. Traditionally born of the frugal practicality of wasting nothing in the kitchen, it elevates humble offal cuts and leftovers. At Claudine, the hollow case of puff pastry which accounts for its name — vol-au-vent is French for “windblown” — is filled with veal sweetbread, cockscomb, chicken quenelle and morel covered in a rich sauce. The addictively velvety sauce consists of mushroom jus that is then reduced with a touch of cream and Cognac.

A highlight of the dessert menu is the love child of Royer’s two favourite desserts, Paris-Brest and profiteroles. Christened the ‘Pariterole’, it is designed to be shared, embodying the kitchen’s belief in utilising techniques and good ingredients to create exceptional meals inspired by simple recipes. A ring of five airy choux puffs is topped with crisp, toasted-caramelised pecan praline and a touch of sea salt. They are filled with parfait-like New Caledonia vanilla cream and finished with a dark chocolate sauce. Baked Alaska is a Claudine signature that indulges in the romance of tableside service in contemporary fashion. Delicate meringue encases layers of chestnut ice cream, pear-ginger sorbet and hazelnut dacquoise punctuated with layers of wafer-thin dark chocolate. The dessert is flambéed at the table with Poire Williams.

To find out more about Claudine and to book, visit the restaurant’s website

Images © Claudine