Fellow fans of fusion cuisine, you’ll want to drop everything you’re doing and read on — Restaurant Espoir is the place to be, especially if a refined Modern European dining experience laced with Malayan influence sounds like your cup of tea.
It’s actually from the same folks behind The White Label, the popular French Malayan restaurant, so you already know it’s going to be good.
But first, the space. The first thing you’ll notice is the striking blue entrance and the ACS House signage, since the restaurant is housed in a restored shophouse — which was previously the renowned Anglo-Chinese School. Talk about being historical!
The first level features marble table tops and floral decor with blue, green, and gold accents all around — truly a grand sight to behold. Plus, you’ll find a little boulangerie with all their fresh bakes, and even a bar with halal-compliant drinks (more on that later!).
As you head on up to their second floor, you’ll be greeted with a minimalistic interior featuring white and gold tones. The area can even be used as a wedding venue, and it’s not difficult to see why.
If you fancy having an alfresco dining experience, there are even rooftop seating options on this level!
Their menu differs depending on when you visit, but their all-day items include starters like Vol Au Vent (S$22, puff pastries with creamed chicken), Pan Seared Scallops (S$26), Crab Croquette (S$24), and more.
The Hokkaido scallops were beautifully seared, and came topped with caviar and coriander lime emulsion. If you’re not a fan of coriander, you’ll be delighted to know that it wasn’t pungent at all — so feel free to enjoy the oh-so-tender scallops.
We also got to try the Chicken Lollipop Masala (S$22), and trust me — don’t be fooled by its unassuming appearance. The breading on these frenched chicken drumlets had an intense masala flavour and really hit the spot, especially when paired with the lime yoghurt dipping sauce.
The all-day mains and pastas at Restaurant Espoir feature dishes like Striploin With Pomegranate Reduction (S$42), Chicken Cordon Bleu (S$32), Beef Straganoff (S$26), and more. Plus, they even have meat-free options like Spiced Grilled Aubergines (S$22) and Creamy Polenta (S$26).
The striploin was tender and came perfectly medium-rare (the only way to have steak, IMO), and the well-seasoned garlic mashed potatoes really complemented the meat. However, I felt that the sauce for the steak was a little too sweet for my liking.
If you’re heading down during lunch, you can expect to find lunch specials like Spicy Prawn Aglio Olio (S$26) and Creamed Chicken (S$24). What really intrigued me, though, were the menu items exclusive to dinner — think Sea Urchin Tagliatelle (S$49), Moroccan Spiced Short Ribs (S$38), Slow Cooked Breast Of Lamb (S$44), and so much more.
I was really excited to try the Sea Urchin Tagliatelle, and boy was I impressed. The al dente pasta was coated in creamy uni mentaiko sauce, and was served with seared scallops, caviar, and air-flown uni.
I’d expected the sauce to be on the jelak side (as with most mentaiko pasta dishes), but it was surprisingly light — and I was still able to taste the infused uni. Plus, the uni itself was so fresh. Given the quality of ingredients used, I’d say this dish is practically a steal.
We had the Osso Buco With Risotto Millanese (S$40), which featured veal shank braised for a whopping six hours — you already know it’s going to be good. The veal was fall-off-the-bone tender with a good balance of fat and meat, and the risotto was the perfect texture for a great mouthfeel. Talk about a luxurious bite!
Restaurant Espoir certainly doesn’t lose out when it comes to desserts, either. Get Sticky Date (S$13), Matcha Moelleux (S$15), or even the Flower Pot (S$18), which comes with dark chocolate mousse in an edible chocolate pot.
What’s a meal without some drinks to go along with it? You’ll find mocktails like Rose Creme (S$10), Pandan Colada (S$9), and more — but what’s really interesting is their large selection of 0.0% bar alternatives. Yes, you can actually get 0.0% “Cocktails”, Chardonnay, Merlot, and other variations of halal-compliant, vegan, and organic alcohol-free drinks!
These drinks are super IG-worthy, and some even come with theatrics like dry ice. Choose from options like Elixir (S$16), Bleu Pamplemousse (S$14), Margarita (S$14), and so much more.
While the dishes are a little on the pricey side, I’d say the elegant atmosphere, unique drinks and elevated fusion cuisine makes it worth every penny.
The next time you’re looking for the perfect place for celebrations or special occasions, you know where to go!
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📍 70 Amoy St, Singapore 069889
🕒 11.30am—10pm (Mon to Fri), 8.30am—10pm (Sat), Closed on Sun
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Photos by Cindy Abner