it is friday night (soon)! and I hope you have a nice one planned, because it’s the start of the work year after that lovely long break, and we all know these few weeks are the lazy lull before the storm.
if you don’t have one planned, well – maybe you could pop over here for a drink or two. just maybe not stay for the whole night though – it feels like the sort of place you come for a quick mandatory post-work drink for which you don’t want to linger.
not that the place isn’t somewhat pretty or the food bad – just that it’s rather pricey, and seems gepgraphically mislocated. let’s discuss.
this is actually the newest (or was, in case I’m not updated) addition to the paradise group on our tiny island – and it’s marked out to be posh fine-dining chinese food. and it looks that way – it reminds me of the dark glamour of hakkasan in london (one of my favorite chinese restaurants) – you enter into a cozily-lit bar area lined with chillers of expensive-looking alchoholic beverages, and walk through to arrive at the more cavernous and even more exclusive-looking dining area. it’s all dark, romantic lighting, glam furnishing, and snobby staff.
it’s a good start: I’m already a big fan of the paradise group’s efforts – they churn out consistently and reliably good food throughout. add to that a gorgeous dining space and the whole luxurious feel, and they’ve got me.
just that I wasn’t quite as impressed with the offerings here. we did eschew the more traditional proper dining menu to take tapas at the bar area since it was a friday night, but I expected the same quality of execution as they usually bring – and didn’t really get it.
the tapas dishes are a new-age take on chinese dishes, like a dish of drunken chicken in chilli sauce, topped with century egg. or foie gras diced-and-fried into fritters alongside a chilli bean paste. or our order of chilli crab kueh pie tee that had shelled meat atop micro-green sprouts in the traditional case.
I can see where they were going with it all – but the flavors didn’t meld for me. the microgreens in that pie tee were too grass-green and loose to hold the moistness of the toppings, the foie gras too rich for deep-frying, and so on. ultimately, the weakest point of the dishes wasn’t a lack of flavor – a quality they had in abundance – but the different components didn’t form a cohesive product.
and to finish – my partner and I were really baffled: why was this place located in suntec city? for one, the mall is swarmed by children-totting families and is blindingly lit – which doesn’t make it amenable to the sort of pleasant post-drink tipsyness you hope for after a successful friday night; and two, suntec city isn’t the sort of place you wear a suit or cocktail dress to (whereas the restaurant is posh enough to warrant it).
it’s a pity then – because I think this place would do so well in the glitzy marina bay sands. but as it stands – I’m not quite sure what to recommend: post dinner drinks, or a posher type dinner with the in-laws perhaps?
LÈ Restaurant & Asian Tapas Bar Singapore
#02-314 Suntec City Mall
3 Temasek Boulevard
tel +65 6338 8775
$.5: tapas for two (maybe 5 or 6) and two happy-hour drinks = 120 (and we weren’t even full!)