Amuse by the Esmirada Group is a casual eatery and bar serving an array of international small bites and libations in a stylish setting at Orchard Hotel. Renowned chef Armin Leitgeb plays a part in developing the menu, bringing exotica and novelty to the table.
Amuse accommodates up to 60 pax in the al fresco area, on the veranda and the sidewalk. Its location is superb for people watching.
The indoor dining area which seats up to 40 people boasts a spacious, airy and uncluttered environ. The sleek open concept allows guests to feast their eyes upon the action in the kitchen, which sports high-end equipment from Gaggenau.
The row of counter seats offers the best view of the bartenders in action. Holding the reins is a talented young Austrian, Klau Leopold. The whimsical concoctions are evidence of his creative spirit.
The Amber Bowl is an Amuse signature drink. It is an elegant balance of Rhum Vieux de Père Labat, apple juice, house-made vanilla syrup, Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, chilled with a classy ice ball that is moulded in-house.
The Finest Red Velvet is a fruity blend of vodka, raspberry purée, cranberry juice, cherry brandy, and starfruit.
Klau Leopold’s creativity does not stop at the alcoholic libations. Recommended virgin cocktails include the creamy and frothy Raspberry Field, which is a composition of pineapple, monin coconut, cream and raspberry purée.
Tropic Flavour is a refreshing thirst quencher, with a playful blend of orange, passion fruit, strawberry purée, Monin coconut, lime juice.
A La Carte
Helming the kitchen at Amuse is Chef Lee Chee Kheong, the trusted right-hand man whom Armin has worked closely with over the past three years. The menu offers a full spectrum of global tastes, showcasing quality ingredients that are prepared deftly with high-end culinary techniques and equipment.
To start, choose from the bite-sized appetisers under the section “Little Snacks”, which include the Alsace-style salmon tarte flambé with sour cream and chives on a thin crust.
The Beef tartare cone is highly recommended. It comes with a horseradish mousse, and is encased in a thin crisp filo pastry. The chives add a refreshing touch to the meat while the filo pastry provides a crispy contrast. You get a zippy hint of horseradish with every bite.
The ciabatta wrapped crispy egg puts a quirky spin on the local soft-boiled eggs and toast. A crispy sheet of ciabatta is wrapped with prosciutto, shielding a perfectly poached egg. It is then nestled on a delectable mushroom ragout. Egg lovers will not be able to resist this.
Chef Armin’s signature items include the crispy pork crouton served with lightly smoked eel. These pork croutons comprise a thin layer of house-made pork terrine spread deftly over a slim piece of ciabatta, and toasted over the plancha (a flat-top metal grill). Its exquisite presentation is simply awe-inspiring, while its execution and taste impresses with flair.
Grilled to succulent perfection, the Spanish octopus comes in a vivid presentation that pleases the eye and stimulates the appetite. Accompanied by heirloom tomatoes and drizzled with Austrian pumpkin seed oil – this is cholesterol-free – this healthy dish will receive nods from those on a strict diet.
The country-style Chorizo “Groest’l” comprises roasted potatoes, onions, sunny side-up egg and chorizo, specked with marjoram (an aromatic European herb of the mint family).
The pickled Kurobuta pork cheeks are exemplary. Tender chunks of pork cheeks, reclining on luscious mashed potatoes with uber smooth consistency, are dressed up with grated horseradish and caraway – simply ambrosial in flavour.
The spicy lamb burger is an instant hit. The lamb is marinated using an in-house harissa spice blend, sandwiched between soft pita buns together with eggplant, and served with fennel pollen aioli for a taste of Middle East.
Armin also pays homage to his Austrian roots with traditional creations such as the char grilled Wagyu “cubes” cooked in hay. The method of execution seals in the beefy juices and imparts a smoky char on the outside. It is served with mushrooms, lettuce and drizzled with a mignonette sauce.
The spicy lobster pasta comes with smoky homemade chilli paste, chorizo, tomato and a decent amount of lobster chunks.
The goulash is a notable choice. The robust sauce lends a burst of flavour to the tender beef, which is stewed to tender perfection.
Amuse is fairly new to the scene and has yet to develop a dessert menu, but if you’re craving for a sweet treat to conclude the meal, you can request for Esmirada’s dessert menu. The award-winning Tiaramisu spiked with kahlua is highly recommended.
The food at Amuse is consistently splendid, with mostly hits and no misses. With its name from the French term “amuse bouche” literally translating to “mouth amuser”, your palate will certainly be pleased here.
442 Orchard Road #01-29
Tel: +65 6735 3476 | Website
Monday to Friday: 5pm – 1am
Saturday: 12noon – 1am
Sunday: 12noon – 11pm