Traveling has always been a big part of Julien Royer’s life and career. Born and raised in the small town of Auvergne in France, he moved to Singapore more than a decade ago in 2008, returning to France once or twice a year for leisure and to visit his family with his wife. And as the chef-owner of three MICHELIN star restaurant Odette, Royer would make several more trips in a year for international culinary events, festivals and collaborations with overseas restaurants. But all that has come to a temporary halt with global travel restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I miss the feeling of being in a new, foreign environment, knowing there’s so much to see and taste and discover,” he shares. “And I definitely miss my family and the countryside—the simplicity of living closely with nature, and my mom’s cooking.” Luckily, Singapore’s vibrant food scene with its diverse cuisines and global food cultures allows the chef to still have a taste of home without leaving the country.
A French fromagerie in the heart of Serangoon Gardens
La Petite Boutique
4 Kensington Park Road
The day’s tour begins in the bustling neighbourhood of Serangoon Gardens, popularly known as Little France in Singapore because of the cosy French community and a smattering of French restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores that have sprung up in the area over the years because of its proximity to the French School of Singapore.
Tucked away in a row of shophouses just off the main roundabout is La Petite Boutique, a hole-in-the-wall grocery store carrying more than 70 varieties of cheese, charcuterie and other products from France. “It really reminds me of walking along the streets in France and popping into any of the small fromageries and you are hit by that pleasant, musty smell of cheese,” says Royer. “And starting the day with a piece of Fourme d'Ambert and Saint Nectaire makes me think of breakfasts with my grandad who would start his day with cheese, bread, charcuterie, saucisson, and a small glass of red wine.”
Written by Rachel Tan.
Read the full article and watch the video here: https://guide.michelin.com/sg/en/article/features/julien-royer-taste-of-france-in-singapore