Updated on 27 Apr 2014: LÈ Restaurant is no longer in operations.
Regulars will know that I am a huge fan of Paradise Group. It is really inspiring to see how a small Chinese seafood restaurant at Defu Lane has evolved and expanded to a restaurant empire within such a short span of time.
LÈ Restaurant & Bar at Suntec City is Paradise Group’s latest venture – and its biggest project till date, spanning over 10,000 square feet – consisting of a trendy bar, contemporary restaurant which faces the open kitchen, and eight classy private dining rooms. LÈ offers a complete dining experience where you can indulge in pre-dinner cocktails and tapas, before having a delectable dinner at the restaurant. After the meal, relax at the lounge over post-dinner digestifs till late.
If I were to sum up LÈ Restaurant & Bar in a paragraph, it would be this: polished and well-furnished interior decorations; attentive and genuine service from the eloquent and smartly-dressed staff; unconventional and ingeniously concocted cocktails at the swanky bar and lounge; tantalising modern and refined Chinese cuisine; stylish and sensuous music and lighting – LÈ takes pride in delivering even the tiniest details for an immaculate experience. It is very sexy and it makes you feel alive.
Here are some of the highlights of some of the signature dishes at LÈ Restaurant & Bar.
We started with cocktails and tapas at the bar. While you can find the classic cocktails (S$20 – S$28) like mojito and martini, what you must not miss is the list of LÈ’s Asian-inspired signature house cocktails. There are many brilliant concoctions such as the LÈ Special (S$22), a cocktail inspired by ice kacang; and Little Nonya (S$22), a combination of bombay sapphire east gin with fresh laksa leaf. Surely something you cannot get anywhere else.
There is also a wide range of Asian-style tapas which go very well with the house cocktails. Interesting options include Baked Escargot with Parmesan Pastry (S$9), Chilli Crab Kuey Pie Tie (S$15), Braised Cherry Foie Gras (S$26), and my favourite Mantou Burger with Braised USDA Prime Beef (S$16).
LÈ is having a 1-for-1 cocktail promotion (excluding house cocktails) till 31 October. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, DJs will be spinning upbeat groove tunes at the bar. So, if you are looking for a place to unwind and have some drinks and snacks after work, LÈ is the undisputed destination.
Upon stepping in to the main dining hall, you will find yourself in a voguish and grand space which feels more like an upmarket chi-chi Western restaurant rather than a Chinese restaurant. Another point that is worth mentioning is LÈ has a team of international service crew, all of them are well-trained and speak frequent English. No other Chinese restaurants in the market have hit this standard, and your benchmark of Chinese restaurants will never be the same again.
LÈ offers many popular, well-executed and straightforward dishes that you might expect from a good Chinese restaurant. But what sets them apart, however, is their effort to push the boundaries of Chinese cuisine to a new high. LÈ’s menu offers many novel creations, and there is a strong emphasise on table side service as it creates an intimate dining experience for the guests.
One of our favourite dishes was the Coral Trout Poached in Lobster Broth (S$16 per 100g, S$28 for the broth) with a whole filleted coral trout freshly and lightly poached right before our eyes. While the lobster broth was intense and robust in flavours, it did not overwhelm and mask the freshness of the fish. If any, it was beautifully balanced – the separate sweetness of the fish and lobster broth was so unpredictably yet so impressively complementary that we emptied our soup bowls almost instantaneously.
Another dish that was served ala table side style was the Pan-Seared Grade 9 Australian Wagyu (S$160 for 200g, S$240 for 300g). The beef on its own was fantastic, but the addition of truffle oil and lemon zest sea salt elevated and brought out the flavours of the beef; every bit was a joy to eat and gave every reasons to order this dish again on my next visit.
The piece de resistance was LÈ’s Dirty Duck (S$38 for half, S$68 for whole). Instead of the ubiquitous Peking Duck, LÈ serves an interpretation by stewing the duck in a special blend of spices, then flash-fried till crispy. The Dirty Duck was shredded tableside by the skilful staff, then wrapped with cucumber, Hoisin sauce and basil in homemade scallion crepes. If you love Peking Duck, you must try the Dirty Duck because it is a fascinating re-invention of the classic Chinese favourite. Simply put, I would not dine at LÈ without ordering this dish.
To round up the meal, try the Stir-fried Angel Hair with Dried Japanese Ebi (S$28/S$42) with assorted seafood in truffle oil. It had a good balance of Chinese and Western cooking styles and ingredients. On one hand, foreigners would not be intimated to try it as it is primarily a European-originated dish. While on the other hand, it is very similar to fried bee hoon, which most Chinese are familiar with. The addition of fried sakura ebi also completes the dish with just the right touch of sweetness.
Among the options on the dessert menu, you will be tempted by the Layered Durian Crepe (S$8/pax), Candied Strawberry (S$4/pax, min 3 orders) with candy floss, but we recommend the Sweet Temptation (S$13/pax) which is essentially a dessert platter of Yakult and Sesame Pudding, Avocado Puree with coffee ice cream, Chilled Mango Puree with Sago, and fruits.
LÈ Restaurant & Bar is, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular Chinese restaurants in Singapore. While concepts like LÈ are common in Western countries, it is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, and it is indeed enthralling that Paradise Group has created LÈ. Bold and innovative, this is one destination that offers a uniquely complete dining experience which no other Chinese restaurants in town can match up to. I have no doubt that it is set to redefine the high-end Chinese dining spectrum in Singapore.
It is the kind of place where I would bring my partner to for a special date or to celebrate an important occasion. If you love Chinese food, and have always lamented the fact that most Chinese restaurants are more than predictable and have nothing exhilarating to offer, I say with confidence that LÈ fills the gap very nicely and is your definite answer.
If you need any more reason to go there, LÈ is currently having an opening promotion of 30% off total bill, valid till 30 September.
LÈ Restaurant & Bar
#02-314 Suntec City Mall (Convention Centre)
3 Temasek Boulevard
Tel: +65 6338 8775
Restaurant Lunch: 11.30am to 3pm daily
Restaurant Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm daily
Bar: 3pm to 11pm (Sun to Thu), 3pm to 12mn (Fri & Sat)
Nearest Station: City Hall, Esplanade