My Selection: Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Julien Royer: My name is Julien Royer and I am the chef-owner of Odette Restaurant located at the National Gallery Singapore. We have named the restaurant, Odette, in tribute to my grandmother. It pays homage her as one of my greatest influences and aims to respect the fond memories often tied to food. Odette serves produce-driven, Modern French cuisine that showcases and respects the integrity of high quality ingredients. The concept is guided by my respect for seasonality, terroir and the skills of the world’s best gourmet producers. This is grounded by my upbringing in one of the most rural and agricultural regions in France with four very distinct seasons. At Odette, I hope to offer guests a unique opportunity to taste these exceptional ingredients at their peak, in the heart of a city that is itself at the crossroads of the world.
MS: What does your job entail exactly?
JR: My job involves helping to create unforgettable guest experiences by presenting remarkable dishes made with the purest ingredients, delivered in the most thoughtful, welcoming and hospitable manner. I am also dedicated to building an incredible team who contribute to delivering the Odette experience. I believe that Human Beings are the heart of Odette and it is important that we put them at the centre of the creative process. It is the people who create the restaurant experience. I hence believe that it is important to give as much attention to the team as we do to the food we serve.
MS: How long have you been living in Singapore and what brought you there?
JR: I first came to Singapore in 2007 before moving to the UK. I came back in 2011 and have been here since then.
MS: With work done, how do you like spending your free time in the Lion City?
JR: I enjoy simply spending quality time with my wife and friends. I also enjoy meeting new people, building genuine relationships with our suppliers and collaborators, travelling and sourcing for incredible products, and creative exchanges with my peers and colleagues inspire me.
MS: Singapore is famously a melting pot of cultures and, as a result, also of multiple cuisines. What are your favorites?
JR: There are so many great places and cuisines to enjoy here in Singapore. I am a huge fan of Tanjong Rhu pau! I also love visiting Din Tai Fung for Xiao Long Baos. I also think Indian cuisine in Singapore is absolutely great.
MS: Where do you like to have dinner in Singapore? Could you name your Top 3 picks among restaurants, bars & cafes in Singapore?
JR: It’s really difficult to choose! These are my favourite among the restaurants in Singapore: Chef David Almany’s Italo-american restaurant – Angeleno, Bar Roque by Chef Stephane Istel, Brasserie Gavroche by Chef Frederic Colin, Luke’s Oyster Bar, The Naked Finn by Ken Loon, Wine Universe for their outstanding raclette cheese. All these restaurants celebrate top-quality produce, harness an impeccable understanding of classic culinary techniques and puts hospitality at the heart of what they do.
Styled and shot by Lukes
MS: Selecting wine depends very much on the occasion. When do you like to drink wine? On its own / with a meal / alone / with company?
JR: I love wine!!! I’m definitely more of a Burgundy person, however, my wife and I recently enjoyed really good oysters with a great bottle of Sancerre, Le Mont Damne from Didier Dagueneau
MS: Are there any wines that you particularly like and would recommend to our readers? Or maybe you have your favorite pairings with the food you mentioned before?
JR: My absolute favourite pairing is a nice bottle of Vin Jaune and a 2-year aged Comte. I recently tried a great Puligny Montrachet from Philippe Chavy. This was a recent vintage 2013. The wine was impressive with a good balance of richness and sharpness with floral notes. Lastly I love Champagne, we always offer 5 different varieties of Champagnes by the glass at the restaurant. We also serve a Blanc de Noir from Eric Rodez that I really enjoyed.