Hot! Rêve: Indulge in a French-Japanese Fusion Experience in a Quaint Atmosphere


CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie

Hidden in a quaint section in the quiet streets of Kreta Ayer, a new Japanese-Parisian fusion restaurant Rêve has just recently opened its doors to the public. Helmed by one of the youngest chefs to win the highly acclaimed Taki Hisao prize by Japan’s RED-U-35, Executive Chef Kawano Masahiko brings his years of experience in French and Japanese Cuisine and showcases his techniques and skills on a plate for his guests to admire and enjoy!

While one might miss spotting the restaurant entirely due to it’s obscure and simple exterior design, the restaurant’s interior designs will take your breath away with its minimalist yet distinct architecture and colours. As you enter the restaurant, you will feel as though you are taken to another world, a hidden enclave of peace and serenity that insulates you from the outside and the clatter of everyday life. The intimate setting of a six-seater bar counter promises diners a front row seat to see Chef Kawano in action in preparing the specially curated masterpieces and to have a casual conversation with the chef. Don’t be intimidated by Chef Kawano, as his aim is to make the dining experience as comfortable as possible and show his love to his guests through the dishes he curates for his diners!

We also had an opportunity to sit down and try out the restaurant’s seven course lunch menu (S$158++) for ourselves and here’s what we thought about it:

Abalone Uni

Abalone/Uni– Served in an eye-catching porcelain bowl, the feast hidden within is as eye-catching as the bowl it is served with. Upon the first bite, the natural flavours of the steamed abalone flow seamlessly with the light textures of the cauliflower mousse and harmoniously balances out the intense flavours of the Hokkaido Uni and not overpower the dish- the perfect Amuse-Bouche before the main courses are being served!

Chutoro/Tomato– Served on a traditional porcelain plate made in Japan, the fatty tuna sourced from Nagasaki is very lean and contains barely any fat to let it’s natural flavour shine through. The chefs have only lightly seared the meat to give it a smoky aroma and taste, while the artichoke and tomato purée helps to further enhance the dish, lending a mild sweetness to the protein and acts as a subtle palette cleanser to ensure the taste of the fish does not linger in preparation for the next course!

Pigeon Miso

Pigeon/Miso– Using pigeons in any dish is considered a risky endeavor due to its delicate meat and its notorious reputation for being easily overcooked, but Chef Kawano has managed to pull it off well. The pigeon was perfectly cooked, retained it’s moisture on the inside and left a nice sear on its skin that gave it a charred crispy texture. Overall, an extremely rich dish that will leave anyone content!

Kinmedai/Mussels– Showcasing his skills on a plate, Chef Kawano has poured his heart and soul into the star dish of the menu! Sourced from Shizuoka, the scrumptious snapper has been cooked to perfection, with an exciting burst of flavour permeating the palette from each bite of the protein. But what’s most impressive is the crispy charred skin that provides a delicate and tantalising texture to the fish- a technique that is incredibly hard to nail due to the risk of overcooking the protein! The spinach mussel sauce itself isn’t overly rich that it’ll overwhelm the main star of the dish, but blends well and gives the fish a mild sweetness to it!

Duck Noodle

Duck/Noodle– Finishing the lunch’s main courses on a high note, the intense flavour of this simple yet hearty dish will not disappoint! The broth itself is filled with flavour despite not serving a single ounce of meat- and the recipe behind the broth remains a closely guarded secret! The dish was so delicious that we jokingly suggested that the restaurant should come up with their own line of instant noodles and sell it to the masses!

Mango Tea

Mango/Tea– The sweet treat involved an interactive session where Chef Kawano will get some of his diners to help prepare the final course of the meal- further emphasizing the homely and friendly atmosphere between chef and his guests! While the dessert was a simple combination of tea-flavoured panna cotta, freshly cut mango and vanilla ice cream- it was the perfect end to an already decadent meal!

Bread/Coffee– A slice of homemade focaccia bread with echire butter will be served between courses, along with a cup of coffee along with the dessert course.

Vegan and vegetarian options are also available at Rêve, diners simply need to call 3 days in advance to give time for Chef Kawano to prepare the dishes. A nine-course dinner menu (S$218++) option is also available, but the seasonal menu will change every two to three months, depending if ingredients are available at the time.

39 Kreta Ayer Road, #01-01, Singapore 089002

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