I never quite understood what is all the fuss about Michelin 1-star, 2-stars and 3-star restaurants until I dined at Alma by Juan Amador. I was happy enough with the Michelin Bib Gourmand stalls and restaurants but Alma but Juan Amador totally changed my mind about the Michelin-starred restaurants.
Helmed by Singaporean Executive Chef Haikal Johari, Alma specialises in modern-European dishes with Asian influences. Alma offers a great value 3-course, 4-course and 5-course set lunch starting from only $78++ which is great for corporate lunches or a mid-week treat. We chose the 4-course Executive set at $88++ per person.
Alma – The Food
The meal starts with three seasonal bite-size snacks to whet the appetite. The one in a bowl is matcha with uni (sea urchin). The matcha is not bitter which goes really well with the natural sweetness of uni. The toast on the left side is crispy brioche bread with foie gras and scallions. There is no gamey taste from the foie gras. The white chocolate cupcake-liner is edible and it contains flower-infused cream. The cream is delightfully light with hints of flower fragrance.
Alma’s famous potato bread arrived in a cute wooden box with bordier smoked butter in an accompanying dish. The potato bread is still warm and it tastes heavenly when paired with the smooth butter that comes with a hint of smokiness.
For starter, I ordered Bafun Uni (top-up S$39). This is a cold dish, with cold angel hair pasta topped with amur cavier and lobster meat. The sweetness of fresh cavier and uni (sea urchin) pairs really well with the cold angel hair pasta.
I chose Boston Lobster Cappelini for appetizer. The pasta is cooked in dashi broth and presented with dashi foam. Even though there’s chilli, I can hardly taste any spiciness. The lobster meat was firm and sweet.
It’s not everyday you get to try Kumamoto A5 Beef [top-up S$58]. The chunk of kumamoto A5 beef is accompanied by chervil root, vidalia onion and perigourdine sauce. Everything is arranged so artistically, it looks like a work of art. I asked for medium-rare doneness for my beef and just look at that beautiful pink centre. The beef is cooked perfectly and it is so tender while the accompaniments gives the meat different layers of flavor and texture.
It’s either Cata Coffee or Apple Tart Tatin [top-up $19]. Since I don’t drink coffee, I ordered the Apple Tart Tatin. It is like a mini apple pie, served with Hokkaido milk ice-cream and almond slices. It is comforting and delicious.
Lastly, you will end your meal with a piece of Alma’s Petit Four. Canelé is a small French pastry flavored with rum and vanilla with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. Alma replaces the custard inside with palm sugar which gives it an intense coconuty sweetness that is addictive.
Alma places emphasis on the quality and not quantity. The portions are small but the presentation and use of premium ingredients makes one appreciate the food even more. It’s slightly pricey but you won’t regret it.
Alma by Juan Amador
Address: 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221
Opening Hours: Monday 6pm – 10.30pm; Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm (closed on Sundays)