Singapore: LÈ Restaurant and Asian Tapas Bar

The newly renovated Suntec City housed several new restaurants that caught my interest. Happy to have more lunch dining options, even happier that these restaurants are having decent lunch promotions to draw in crowds. I met up with my ex-colleagues last week to try out Paradise Group’s new fine dining concept place on the second floor of Suntec City as there was an attractive 50% off all dim sum items. Clueless to even its name, we thought we were just going to another Taste Paradise outlet. Thus, we were pleasantly surprised to see a very chic restaurant with a bar at the front. Seeing the name of the restaurant, we joked that “asian tapas” was actually a very clever way of calling it a dim sum restaurant. Hence, Spanish tapas restaurant can also call themselves a western dim sum place.

We came to this restaurant twice as the first time was a very bad experience. The new restaurant suffered some teething problems and the items we ordered did not come despite repeated reminders. In addition, some of the dim sum were served cold. Determined to make us change our minds, the restaurant manager welcomed us back a second time round (FOC) for lunch the following week.  This time, service as much better. We were promptly seated and tea was served upon our ordering. The glass tea cups used here are tiny! They may look pretty, but quite impractical as we have to refill a million times since one sip will drain the cup. Every dish was piping hot and freshly made. Some of the more outstanding dishes include siew mai, which was fat and juicy. Fried mango roll was quite good too.

The cod spring rolls we had in the previous visit was much better. The second time we had it, the filling was mushy and there was no hint of cod flavor. At $12 for 3 (not very big) spring rolls, it is quite expensive. LE’s version of spring onion pancake included bacon, encrusted in flaky pastry skin. I definitely prefer the traditional type of spring onion pancake as I didn’t feel that the flaky pastry went well with the spring onions. The bacon flavor was very faint too. One of the more fusion creations we had was the baked escargot with cheese on puff pastry. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t very spectacular either. The stir fried carrot cake with XO sauce was also mediocre, with very little XO flavor.

We thanked the manager for their generous offer of a free lunch. Sad to say, it is unlikely that I will return again as the quality of food served here does not warrant such high price tags. I understand that they are going for fine dining concept but by serving food similar to Taste Paradise, and in smaller portions will not attract much crowd on a long term. The dim sum prices here are comparable to fine dining places in Hong Kong like Lung King Heen (at 4 Seasons Hotel). However, in terms of quality and value, LÈ still have some way to go.

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