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Archive for the ‘French’ Category

Dinners at db Bistro have always been very enjoyable. But the one I had a couple of weeks ago was the best because the man himself was in the house! Yup, I’m talking about celebrity chef Daniel Boulud!

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Transforming his French bistro at MBS into db Bistro and Oyster Bar to reflect its ever-expanding culinary repertoire, the affable Chef Boulud has added a brand-new oyster bar in the middle of the restaurant, featuring the freshest seafood from around the world, hand-selected daily by Executive Chef Jonathan Kinsella.

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The new oyster bar offers a wide selection of seafood including freshly shucked oysters from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Boston lobsters and Alaskan king crabs.

tuna tartare, avocado, cucumber

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New menu highlights also include a daily selection of crudo and ceviches, as well as new seasonal seafood dishes such as whole roasted Mediterranean seabass and octopus “a la plancha”. These new selections complement db’s signature dishes including the world-famous original db burger, crispy duck confit and herb roasted organic chicken.

tuna belly, fennel, oscietra caviar

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Our menu that night was a spread of specials for the night as every day, the restaurant offers market specials to highlight the fresh seafood or French inspired classics of the brand.

dover sole, black truffle

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My favourite was the yin-yang-ish dover sole stuffed with black truffle. Chef Boulud made a surprise appearance to shave copious amount of black truffle on our dish individually. Gobsmacked! The delicate fish was the perfect vehicle to bring out the earthy flavour of truffle, so good!

homemade pasta, white truffle

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Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Siwek sweetens the meal with new desserts such as the chocolate s’mores made with graham crackers, dark chocolate crémeux, chantilly vanilla marshmallows and caramel ice cream. A brand new selection of ice cream sundaes awaits with traditional flavours like banana foster, rocky road and baba rhum.

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But what is Christmas without a festive log cake! db’s wintry version is worth anyone’s precious calories, of course!

chestnut, chocolate, ginger ice cream

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chocolate, blood orange ice cream

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Special thanks to Philicia for hosting dinner!

db Bistro and Oyster Bar
#B1-48, Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave
6688 8525

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P. Bistro has come a long way. It began as a small shophouse space along Owen Road serving simple Asian-inspired Western fare and French classics, and gained enough loyal fans and regulars to open a second outlet at Palais Renaisaance. Don’t be put off by the atas location though; the bistro is still sticking to the basic values of offering tasty, wholesome food at reasonable prices.

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K shocked me when he ordered two items which I absolutely will not order in a restaurant – garlic bread and chicken wings, omg!! Ha. To be fair, these are two of the most popular appetizers and light bites on the menu. Let me just say that both were very good – nothing beats freshly roasted garlic paste and well-marinated wings right?

Garlic Bread ($5++)
baked farm loaf bread, freshly roasted garlic paste

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BBQ Chicken Wings ($12++; half portion show below)
fresh chicken wings, chef’s special homemade marinade, chilli sauce on the side

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Salads here are substantial enough to be mains. I wanted to try the Thai-style pomelo salad but decided to go with the staff’s recommendation of prawn avocado mango salad. No regrets whatsoever! The colourful combination of juicy prawns, creamy avocado and tangy mango was a wonderful prelude to the real mains. Pomelo salad, next time!

Prawn Avocado Mango Salad ($20++)
cherry tomatoes, romaine rocket, japanese sesame dressing

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One of the most noteworthy dishes is the dory fillet coated with a special nonya gravy (secret recipe!) and cooked on a banana leaf. Beautiful and flavourful! P.S. the spicy, sweet, sour and deliciously crunchy achar on the side was delish too.

Nonya Dory ($18++)
chef’s signature nonya, dory fillet cooked on banana leaf, fragrant duo jasmine rice, fried egg

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K’s best burger to-date is Kua ‘Aina in Tokyo (even President Barack Obama likes it!) and the P.Bistro beef burger may be his second favourite so far.

P.Bistro Beef Burger ($22++)
open-faced burger, beef patty, pickles, caramelized onions

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Served open-faced, the generous slab of beef patty was tender and juicy – but surprisingly not greasy at all. We did think that an addition of avocado will make this a killer burger!

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When the salmon was served, I cringed inwardly because it looked overcooked. Wow, not only was I wrong, the fish was so moist and still pinkish in the middle! Lesson learnt, don’t judge a fish by its cover.

42° Sous-vide Salmon ($22++)
pan-seared 42° sous-vide salmon, crushed purple potato, seasonal greens

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The homemade desserts selection looked very tempting. The croissants baked with original Lurpak butter and Elle et Vire dry butter were already sold out by dinnertime so we turned our attention to the cakes. Matcha azuki dome had weak green tea flavour so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Luckily the chocolate mont blanc (love the strands of chestnut mousse with a dark chocolate core!) and light pistachio chiffon cake made with organic coconut oil were as gorgeous to look at as they were delightful to eat!

Desserts ($6-8.50++)
matcha azuki entremet; chocolate mont blanc, pistachio chiffon cake

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Special thanks to Pang for introducing P. Bistro to us!

P. Bistro
#B1-06, Palais Renaisaance
390 Orchard Road
6734 9268

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Looking for the perfect weekend indulgence?

Joël Robuchon Restaurant is bringing back their popular weekend lunch with a brand new line-up of delectable French haute cuisine, to give us a taste of fine dining without breaking the bank!

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I’m an unabashedly fussy eater so it’s great that we could build our own menu by choosing from a selection of appetisers, main courses (with the famous mashed potato!) and desserts to create a customized three, four, or five course menu ($48++, $68++, $108++, with coffee/tea and petit fours).

Bread Basket
six assorted varieties of bread

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From start to end, lunch was predictably luxurious from Imperial caviar (the rarest of caviars!) on a wobbly bed of intensely flavourful crustacean jelly and cauliflower puree to my main of a roulade-style seabass stuffed with langoustine topped with sea urchin to K’s rare (bloody-red, oh man) grilled Kagoshima beef!

Le Caviar dans une délicate gelée recouverte d’une onctueuse crème de chou-fleur
imperial caviar with crustacean jelly and cauliflower smoothness

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The crispy soft boiled egg with parmesan cheese mousseline and iberico ham (mine was with salmon and morels!) came highly recommended by our waiter and I’m glad we trusted him. So good with the different textures!

L’Œuf de Poule mollet et friand, légèreté au fin parmesan et jambon “Ibérique”
crispy soft boiled egg, parmesan cheese mousseline, “Iberico” ham

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Between K’s clear coriander-turmeric soup and my creamy green pea veloute, we unanimously preferred his! A familiar-tasting and comforting bowl of  consommé, with extremely fresh and melt-in-the-mouth shrimps that made this a winner.

Le Thé de crevette en infusion à la coriandre fraîche et au curcuma
“botan” shrimp in fresh coriander and turmeric infusion

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Le Petit Pois en fin velouté d’amandes, sur une marmelade de cébettes à la menthe fraîche
green pea and almond veloute, scallion jam, fresh mint

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Le Bar et la langoustine en fantaisie au cappuccino de fenouil et langues d’oursins
combination of sea bass and langoustine with fennel sauce and sea urchin

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Le Bœuf “Kagoshima” l’entrecôte cuite sur du gros sel aromatisé, fricassée de légumes
grilled beef “kagoshima” with vegetables fricassee and fresh morrels

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With only three desserts to deliberate over, it was quite a no-brainer for us. Both of us opted for the signature Le Sensation (the other two were fruity choices) – a chocolatey dream for any chocolate lovers! A must-try!

Le Sensation crémeux au chocolat Araguani, sorbet cacao au biscuit oreo
araguani creamy chocolate, cocoa sorbet cookie oreo

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Special thanks to Charmaine and Lavinia for arranging lunch!

Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Level 1, Hotel Michael, Resorts World Sentosa
8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island
6577 6688

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The Rabbit Stash used to be stashed away (ha) in an old shop house unit within a condominium but has since moved to a brand new spot on the rooftop of WANGZ Hotel in the eclectic enclave of Tiong Bahru. Born in the year of the rabbit (which explains the restaurant name), Chef Matthew is one brave man who defies the odds – master degree holder in building construction management who switched to a culinary career; trained locally without any overseas apprenticeship with big-name chefs; ideas come from his travel experiences and interaction with people. Sounds Heston Blumenthal-ish aye?

During dinner, the seasonal ‘ENSOPHI’ menu is available, inspired by the 7 characteristics of Exotic, Nostalgia, Soil, Ocean, Pristine, Heritage, Impression ($148+ for 7-course, $108+ 5-course, $90+ 4-course). Each element represents an artistic expression of his dish and the beautiful plating certainly reflects that! Because the price won’t make this an everyday meal, I’d save The Rabbit Stash on my list as a romantic place to celebrate a special occasion *hint hint to K* My favourite course was ‘Ocean’ – Hokkaido scallop paired with squid ink-infused seaweed, smoked trout topped with caviar, battered shrimp on goreng pisang-like mash, a lot going on on the plate but I love the freshness and variety! What about you? 🙂

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The goodness of artisanal produce is best savoured at its purest form without alteration or addition to the intrinsic flavour. Chef Matthew keeps his dishes pristine by sourcing fresh local organic ingredients daily.

Pristine
langoustine, cabbage dashi, 1st born egg, brown rice

Picture: Amuse-Bouche Platter
potato chips, onion jam, lotus chips, meat balls, smoked salmon crostini

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The uniqueness of each soil connects differently to the greatness of our land. Chef Matthew gains inspiration from what our soil has to offer. It allows him to select the best of the season and marry earthy flavours with protein from grazing land animals.

Soil
asparagus, beurre noisette, beetroot “mushroom” olive

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The ocean calms the soul, opens the mind, and fuels the passion. Inspired by the extraordinary beauty and abundant offering of the ocean, Chef Matthew spruces his menus with oceanic greens and algae, from sea lettuce to stone moss.

Ocean
scallop, black”coral”, smoked trout, shrimp & chips

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There will be beautiful flavours, new and old that one has tasted at some point in their life, etched deeply in memory. Chef Matthew seeks to fulfill his customers’ fond food memories by reconnecting them with his dishes. It is very much like a dopamine reward system when a food craving is satisfied.

Nostalgia
purple crab, black roe, lobster broth

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Life is like a canvass imprinted with impressions of people, scenarios, places, animals, seasons, flora and fauna. Every impression has several characteristics that co-exist and co-relate with personal life experiences. Chef Matthew’s creations are based on his impressions of the food, people and culture from his travels abroad.

Impression
berkshire pig, potato “mud”, watermelon

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It is true that heritage carries a familiar taste from our roots. Chef Matthew recreates food that he grew up eating or is cooked by his grandparents, mother and aunts. Brought up in a Peranakan family, he saw familiar ingredients done in a different way. Expect a facelift on fish head curry, a kuey salat makeover or a reinvention of Nonya assam prawns in his dishes!

Heritage
beef jowl, barley porridge, sesame, red date

Picture: Ocean Catch Confit
from the lunch menu

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It is near impossible to try every flavour in a lifetime but Chef Matthew attempts to create unique flavour pairings with simple and exotic ingredients from around the world. This makes his cooking more exciting; not knowing what could be the next revolutionary flavour. It may sound unthinkable but green curry ice cream goes astonishingly well with mango mascarpone.

Exotic
mango fromage blanc, snow pear, green curry, rose

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My thanks to Melody for hosting dinner!

The Rabbit Stash
WANGZ Hotel
231 Outram Road, Level R
9858 8607

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I’m very cautious when it comes to carbs since they are so dangerous to the waistline ha. But my willpower stood no chance against the lovingly kneaded and baked loaves of breads and pastries from authentic French boulangerie and patisserie Do.Main Bakery!

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Other than offering a range of freshly baked baguettes, chouquettes (grab a packet, these sell out fast!), puff pastries, tarts, danish pastries, choux pastries and entremets, Do.Main Bakery has rolled out a new savoury menu based on home-style classics all done via the oven (yes, no stoves in the kitchen!), jointly created by chef­‐owner Frederic Deshayes and chef-owner of Bar-Roque Grill, Stephane Istel.

Thin Crust Baker’s Pizza ($8-9)
onions, hams, olives or zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms

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So why the focus on oven-baked/cooked dishes? Well, it’s to pay tribute to the baker’s role during the olden times in France. In the era before stoves were invented, farmers used to prepare dinner by putting the ingredients in a cast iron pot in the morning, and drop them off at the bakery on the way to the fields. The baker would pop the pots into his warm oven, and the meal would be slow-cooked by the end of the day. That story sure put things into perspective as I was studying the menu!

Octopus Romesco Salad ($15)
homemade sourdough toast bread

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The platter of artisanal charcuterie comprises of three meaty selections. Chef Stephane, who hails from the Alsace region, an area celebrated for its hearty French-style charcuterie, curates the selection which will chance monthly depending on seasonal ingredients. Freshness is of utmost importance here!

Charcuterie Platter ($20)
duck pistachio pates, pork rillettes, kurobuta ham, assorted artisanal bread

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I expected pizza and lasagne to be on the menu and bingo! The thin crust pizzas made good little appetizers and perfect for sharing while the meatless lasagne was full-bodied with a plethora of fresh veggies, melted cheese and vibrant tomato sauce. For something lighter, the tender octopus romesco salad was expertly prepared with none of that chewiness which I dislike.

Lasagne ($14)
vegetarian

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A heady mix of reblochon cheese, bacon, potato and confit onions, the “Tartiflette” was a pleasant surprise! I thought it’d be a pretty heavy dish but it was so rich and flavourful that I could have finished it all on my own. That’s the ultimate French home comfort food, as is the familiar cassolette of garlicky bourguignon snails.

Cassolette Oven-Baked Escargots ($16); Tartiflette ($16)
oven baked reblochon cheese

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The “Broken Eggs” is baked until half-cooked on a stone bake oven, and then served piping hot with strips of toasted cereal bread for dipping. Watch this video to see how we ate eggs, French style! We almost didn’t order the tomato confit version but I’m awfully glad we did in the end – this was the best savoury dish of the evening imo! You can also choose to have it plain or with cream and bacon.

Ouefs Au Plat ($15)
broken eggs, tomato confit, mouilletes

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No one should leave Do.Main Bakery without trying the gorgeous desserts! Tangy lemon cream tart, salted caramel and chocolate eclairs, decadent royal chocolate cake, praline-filled Paris-Brest – it’s difficult to pick an absolute favourite so I shall not try!

Lemon Cream Tart ($5); Royal Chocolate Cake ($8)

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I also heard good things about the choux cream puffs and macarons but those have to wait till the next visit.

Eclair ($5); Paris-Brest ($5)

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Thank you for hosting us, Jenny!

Do.Main Bakery
226 Tanjong Katong Road
6348 1406

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Anyone looking for a romantic date night out, Brasserie les Saveurs is it.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, private dining alcoves and hand-cut crystal chandeliers, the restaurant exudes Opulence with a capital O – I’m sure your girl will be impressed. I know I was! Menus are specially curated to offer the finest of contemporary French cuisine and the prices certainly reflect that. Which is why the Restaurant Week menu is a good affordable “testbed”. Available from 14-22 March, take your pick between a 4-course lunch ($40++) or dinner ($55++). I had a preview of the latter and while the showcased dishes were admittedly on the safe side, produce was fresh and execution was pretty much flawless!

Brandade De Morue, Sauce Au Persil
cod brandade, glazed celeriac, grilled tiger tail, parsley sour sauce, focaccia crouton, balsamic vinegar mixed greens

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We started with cod brandade which is not very common in Singapore. Think of it as a light and creamy mash with dried cod but without any fishy taste, I like. For something warm and comforting, the flavour of the asparagus soup with a sous vide-ish egg was spot on! I don’t fancy licorice so I was very glad that the essence was not dominant at all.

Veloute Aux Asperges Avec Oeuf En Lente Cuisson
green asparagus veloute, “honsen tamago”, asparagus tips in tempura batter, licorice essence

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Imagine soft beef cheek, tender tenderloin (pun intended!) and rich foie gras all on one plate – ain’t that pure decadence for meat lovers?! I had a pan-roasted salmon with green olives in lieu of the meaty main and love the pinkish tinge in the middle!

Boeuf Bourguignonne Et Fillet De Boeuf Rossini
braised black angus beef cheek burgundy style, pan-seared beef tenderloin, shaved smoked foie gras, asparagus tips, black truffle madeira jus

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Dessert was the most exciting and creative! Bittersweet dark chocolate mousse paired with pungent poached pear (thanks to the turmeric curry powder) and coriander seeds ice cream. Interesting to say the least, and it’s a combination that works, just like chilli and chocolate!

Mousse Au Chocolat, Macaron Et Poires Au Curry
amadei dark 66% chocolate mousse, vanilla macaron, curry powder poached pear, coriander seeds ice cream

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My thanks to Nabeel, Eunice and Xavier for the preview!

Brasserie les Saveurs
Lobby level, The St. Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
6506 6860

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I don’t like sweet crepes made of plain flour but I do love the savoury buckwheat ones! Sadly, they are not easy to find in Singapore as creperies are so rare here. Enter Le Comptoir, my current favourite go-to place for buckwheat crepes (or galettes, their French name). The edges of their crepes were wonderfully crispy and delicate while the center remained soft but not soggy under the weight of the toppings. I chose Kao San Road – a Thai inspired crepe with prawns, egg, juicy mango and plenty of raw bean sprouts. It may sound funky but I thoroughly enjoyed the unique combination! Chase The Spices is Le Comptoir’s take on the Indian classic chicken tikka masala and oh boy, the accompanying small pot of harmless looking chilli sauce was so potent and spicy that it burnt my tongue and made my eyes tear immediately! Not joking and so thankful that this was all K’s. Alrighty, enough said, I can’t wait to go back for more!

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Dry Pear Cider ($8++)
ciders and crepes are best friends!

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Chase The Spices ($18++)
masala chicken, ginger, onions, peanuts, chilli, tomato, cheese

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Kao San Road ($20++)
pan-fried prawns, egg, tomatoes, garlic, soy, mango, mint, bean sprouts

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Le Comptoir Singapore
79 circular road
6534 7645

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