Nicolas Le Restaurant

The buzz: Since chef Nicolas Joanny closed his Keong Saik location back in March, his fans have been anxiously awaiting his return. After a trip to Japan (to train and search for inspiration), the toque’s back at a new spot—still in the Tanjong Pagar area—on Teck Lim Road.

The vibe: It’s eclectic. Out front, you’ll see the same sleek glass windows of Bistro Soori (just a few doors away). But inside’s a different story. The décor’s pretty oriental with antique-looking chests and rich jewel-toned cushions. It reflects the chef’s personal tastes: quirky paintings (like one of hanging salamis) as well as Le Creuset cookware are on display. A holdover from the previous setup is the open kitchen concept, which builds a good convivial atmosphere.

The food: Seasonal French fare. Dishes like organic hen egg “a la coque” with a crunchy pastilla of blue prawn sardinade, and pigeon from the Loire Valley (the leg is slow-confited and the breast roasted) served with buttery spelt risotto make their way onto the menus. Lunchtime brings a three-course set ($42) and a five-course degustation ($68). And at dinner, a six-course Tasting Menu ($98), which changes every two weeks, or an eight-course Surprise Menu ($128) for the entire table are on offer.

The drinks: There are half bottles (from $55) and full bottles (from $85) of wine arranged according to region—whites from areas like the Loire Valley or Jura and reds from Bordeaux and Savoie. Most come from small artisanal producers.

Why you’ll be back: For an expertly executed French meal by a cult favorite chef in a spanking new space.