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French haute cuisine with a Japanese touch
From its perch on the fourth floor of Mandarin Gallery, this one-Michelin-starred spot has moved a couple of storeys down to a larger, more elegant space. A counter for eight, overlooking the whisper-quiet open kitchen, dominates the fine dining restaurant, while two private rooms that each seat eight are hidden away on the side.
Other than a change of space, everything that won Béni its star has remained. That includes chef Kenji Yamanaka, who marries his training in fine French cuisine and love for Japanese food in the menus here: pick from a four- ($68) or seven-course ($128) set for lunch, and a six- ($178) or eight-course set ($258) for dinner.
As you'd expect of a joint of this calibre, the food is faultless: refined French techniques are used to make the most of the stellar Japanese produce. Like in the Vegetable Garden, a kaleidoscopic, textural plate brimming with 25 vegetables that have either been boiled, grilled, puréed, pickled, turned into foam… you get the idea. It looks like an edible Lilliputian forest.
And whatever you do, opt for a menu with Ozaki wagyu – it's chef Yamanaka's speciality – on it. Hand-picked by the chef for its lightness, silkiness and richness in umami, the beef pairs beautifully with his classic French-inspired sauces. The chef changes up the exact dish from time to time, but expect garnet slices of wagyu accompanied by a heavier sauce and robust veggies.
#02-37 Mandarin Gallery
333 Orchard Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 7-11pm|
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