My adventure begins here in the lovely neighborhood of Duxton Hill, just around the corner from Chinatown. The architecture in this part of Singapore is rather typical with rows of shophouses, a magnificent testament to the city’s rich history. The Rhubarb opened only three years ago inside one of these classic buildings. It quickly earned a Michelin star in 2016 when the first Singapore guide was published, and maintained its status in 2017. Follow me for a photo review of the high-quality cuisine on offer from chef Paul Longworth.
In terms of cuisine, chef Paul Longworth is no beginner. Having cut his teeth in a number of prestigious British establishments, he settled in Singapore in 2009, working at several restaurants before arriving at the “Petit Salut.” There he met his two associates, manager Jerome Desfonds and Alice Low-Ang. The three undertook an ambitious project in one of the world’s most dynamic cities: Rhubarb, an intimate establishment offering gourmet French cuisine, was born.
As lunchtime approaches, we explore the main dining room. There’s nothing noisy or anonymous about this restaurant: here we find a lovely room with only seven tables where guests can admire the movements of the chef and his team thanks to an open kitchen, making for a lively atmosphere. The stylish décor is made up of neutral tones, with beige and grey hues accented by a few colorful paintings.
Several options are available for lunch: you can of course order à la carte, but there’s also a 3-course set menu, as well as a “surprise” tasting menu. The latter begins with a small hors-d’oeuvre before continuing with the first starter, my personal favorite: an “obsiblue” prawn tartare with red seaweed, pomelo, verbena cream, and caviar. An absolutely refreshing starter (perfect when the temperature in Singapore hovers around 30°C year-round) that transports me to New Caledonia, where one can find these famous blue prawns so revered by the world’s great chefs. For the second one, we try a white onion emulsion accompanied by a black truffle purée.
Next we get down to business with a main course featuring two different preparations of duck: there’s a classic roasted filet, but also a duck leg confit in croquette form, all flavored with redcurrant and accompanied by mashed vitelotte potatoes. It’s a delicious entrée, and the presentation is exquisite, as it was for the appetizers.
To complete our culinary journey, my husband and I are offered two different desserts, ever increasing our enjoyment! The first dessert features more exotic flavors, with caramelized pineapple, coconut purée and sorbet, and passion fruit jelly. A classic flavor combination, perhaps, but it’s absolutely delightful for the taste buds! The second dessert focuses on raspberries in every form: marinated, dried, puréed, jellied, and in a cake, all accompanied by a raspberry and fromage blanc sorbet. The dish is beautifully presented, with well-pronounced flavors. It’s hard to resist asking for more…
We finish off our lunch with a coffee and mini-pastries, all while admiring other clients who have also come to relish the chef’s superb cooking. It’s a cosmopolitan clientele, from a regular customer dining alone, to a group of girlfriends, to a business lunch. And here’s the icing on the cake: with so few table settings, the chef himself can come out of the kitchen occasionally to serve some of his creations, a pleasant exchange which he offers to all of his guests.
While there’s no lack of options for gourmet cuisine in Singapore, Rhubarb is undeniably one of the city’s best for French cuisine. I love the intimacy and exclusivity afforded by this restaurant, featuring only seven tables. Such an environment makes it possible to converse and share a delicious experience that will thrill your taste buds, all while admiring the stylish presentation of the dishes on offer.
- The exclusiveness with its 7 tables
- The excellent presentation – a sight to behold!
- A very good value at lunchtime
- The emulsion did not quite measure up to the other dishes served
- More information available on their website
- Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, and for dinner only on Saturday
Thank you to the restaurant Rhubarb for the invitation to explore their establishment. Of course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!