Palais Renaissance in Orchard Road is probably on one of the less busy stretches of the area. I only frequented this particular place during my school days in the 90s when I was working part time at a Brit company located in Orchard Towers and the office manager would sometimes treat me to lunch at Fosters that was located in Palais (pronounced ‘pa-lay’) then.
It’s nice to just come by Palais again after it has been revamped with new shops and dining establishments. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of the prime shopping scene so it’s really a nice place to dine in peace.
This was like a non-alcoholic version of a mojito which was really refreshing with a citrusy punch from the lime and a slightly menthol taste from the mint leaves. However I found the drink a tad too sweet for me after mixing it up as the sugar syrup sat right at the bottom. The husband had to help me gulp down a big mouthful of it (his tolerance of sugar was way high!) so I could mix in some ice water just to dilute it.
I liked the texture of this thick and creamy mushroom soup which didn’t taste too starchy and heavy. I wished it was more mushroomy as there was heavy usage of cream that kind of masked the lovely earthy aroma of portobellos. It was still a decent mushroom soup as compared to many other places but I’d still prefer the one from Muddy Murphy’s which was to die for.
This was probably one of the best crab cakes I’d ever eaten. Not just the crab cake alone but the sauce was pretty good too. One bite of this perfectly fried crab cake and I was sold. It was full of sweet and juicy crab meat, so fresh and so delicate. The breaded crust exterior was crispy but not overly greasy. And the tomato chilli sauce really resembled the sauce from seafood restaurant’s chilli crabs which was more on the sweet than spicy side. Nicely executed.
While I thought the earlier mushroom soup was mediocre, this mushroom sauce was slightly more palatable than expected and went well with the bland beef which was also a little dry. The meat was done medium (but some parts were rare which I didn’t appreciate) and somehow it was just more chewy than tender. It could do with a darker crust too. It was as though this steak had been cooked on a pan that wasn’t hot enough, that’s why juices were not sealed in as the sides were not seared quickly. Anyway this is really not a place for steak frites. For the same price or cheaper, I could easily get a better one at Les Bouchons or L’Entrecôte.
The husband ordered their signature burger which looked quite impressive. Chargrilled Wagyu and US Chuck Patty topped with gruyere and mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, mesclun greens, sauteed mushrooms and spiced crispy onions. I took a bite of the burger and really liked it because of the different dimensions of the various ingredients. In the end, the husband gave me half of his burger and he ate my steak as he loved his meat anyway. I loved how thick and juicy the beef patty was. Full of meaty goodness. And the gooey cheese on top was just tantalizing. I wasn’t a big fan of the heavily battered onion rings though as they oozed oil when I bit into them. Comparing with the steak, this was definitely the better of the two.
My verdict? There were more misses than hits as the food failed to impress for the price we paid (just under S$150). Though the crab cake was fabulous, it wasn’t sensational. Will we be back? Very unlikely.
#02-09A Palais Renaissance
390 Orchard Road
Tel: 6887 2207
Brunch: 9.30am-5.00pm (Sat-Sun, PH)
Lunch: 11.30am-4.00pm (Mon-Fri)
Tea: 3.00pm-6.00pm (Mon-Fri), 4.00pm-6.00pm (Sat-Sun, PH)
Dinner: 6.00pm-12.00am (Mon-Thu, Sun & PH), 6.00pm-1.00am (Fri-Sat, PH Eve)