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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

French foray for Food Junction

Michelin-starred chef Laurent Peugeot opens restaurant in Tanglin Mall with Food Junction
The Straits Times - October 1, 2011
By: Eunice Quek
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French foray for Food Junction Highlights of the restaurant include Foie Gras de Canard and Daurade Tartar (above). -- PHOTOS: DELON HO, FOOD JUNCTION

A Michelin-starred chef and a food-court operator may seem like the most unlikely of partners.

But the people behind Food Junction see it as a recipe for success.

The food-court operator has joined forces with French chef Laurent Peugeot to open LP+Tetsu, a Japanese-French restaurant that will open at Tanglin Mall next month.

The 80-seater restaurant will feature an open-concept kitchen, wine cellar, a private room for eight with a view of the kitchen and a takeaway deli.

It takes over the space previously occupied by Japanese restaurant Tetsu, which Food Junction opened in 2008.

Peugeot specialises in French-Japanese fusion cuisine and owns two restaurants in Burgundy, France: Le Charlemagne, which earned a Michelin star in 2004, and Japanese restaurant SushiKai.

This partnership is part of Food Junction's efforts to move into the restaurant business. LP+Tetsu will be Food Junction's third restaurant. It opened Mediterranean restaurant Medzs at Orchard Central in April. Three other restaurant projects are in the pipeline to open by next year. While the company is unable to reveal the types of restaurants it will be opening, it plans to work with more Michelin-starred chefs.

Food Junction's group executive chef Martin Woo, 52, has known Peugeot for five years. They met when the French chef did guest stints at the Hilton Hotel Singapore, where Woo used to work as a chef.

Woo, who has been with Food Junction for two years, said: 'Chef Peugeot and I have already developed a good working relationship. When I knew that Food Junction's new direction was to move into restaurant concepts, the first person I thought of was him.'

LP+Tetsu will be the Burgundy-born chef's first restaurant outside France.

Peugeot, 37, said in French through a translator: 'There is more competition in France than in Singapore. I'm not worried as I'm bringing a new concept here and I'm well prepared.'

Fusing French cooking techniques with Japanese ingredients, a three-course set lunch will start from $50 while a Chef's Distinct Creation Menu will be from $190 onwards. Menu highlights include Foie Gras de Canard, which is a starter of wasabi madeleine with eel and celery jam; Daurade Tartar, which has a passionfruit fragrance, lomo bellota (a type of Iberico sausage) and lobster jelly; and Seared Turbot with yuzu, pineapple, coconut, smoked thyme and meat jus.

Dishes on the menu may change weekly, depending on the ingredients available.

LP+Tetsu will also feature Boko, a range of Peugeot's own in-house ready-to-eat foods, in a takeaway deli section that will be located at the front of the restaurant. The Boko pre-cooked products, which include sauces, soups, seafood and pasta meals, are sold at Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marche in France. Prices will start from $10.

The restaurant will offer a premium wine collection, mostly white wines, imported exclusively from Burgundy as well as a range of premium Japanese sake.

To prepare for the opening of LP+Tetsu, Food Junction sent five chefs to France to learn the ropes from the cooking team at Peugeot's Le Charlemagne restaurant. Peugeot plans to return to Singapore every three to four months to introduce new seasonal ingredients and dishes to the menu.

He says: 'I love the energy and excitement of opening something new here. If it were just me branching out on my own, I might not have come.'



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