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Archive for the ‘French’ Category

Friday evening after Artisan Boulangerie Compagnie (ABC) opened, I told my boss to check out this new bakery since it’s so close to where he stays.

Saturday morning, I received a text from him: “New bakery good but a little pricey”. We exchanged a few messages and he mentioned “bread looked high quality” and bakery “looked legit” so it made me want to go too!

Sunday afternoon, K drove me over so that I can satisfy my curiosity about this (yet another) new kid on the block helmed by experienced baker Eran Mayer *grin*

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I already knew I wanted the kougloff (or kugelhof or kugelhopf or gugelhupf or gugelhopf, there’s so many alternative names!) even before I stepped into ABC. Not meant to be though; only the largest one was available and one massive bundt cake for tea sounded way too much. Hope to see the manageable mini kougloff next time!

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We ordered off the savoury menu and baskets of sourdough and rustic white bread were served. Not into plain bread so I skipped them.

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K had the healthy roast chicken baguette ($11.50)…

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… while I had the healthier-than-his quinoa and lentil salad *victory sign* haha. I actually wanted something with bread or their signature challah rolls since this is after all a bakery specializing in breads. But the tuna sandwich was sold out and salmon quiche didn’t exactly fit the bread-y criteria so it was all or nothing for me. Next time next time, as I always say!

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Happy that I had a lot of stomach space left for desserts and was pleased with our choices: a vanilla éclair filled with lovely pastry cream dotted with vanilla specks…

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… and saving the best for the last: pecan caramel tart ($6)! Nutty sticky sweet, love this!!

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Artisan Boulangerie Compagnie (ABC)
#01-01, 118 Killiney Road
6444 8130

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Au Chocolat

Dinner at Au Chocolat was an afterthought since our first choice was fully booked on a TGIF night, sigh. That said, our meal at this French-inspired-but-made-in-Singapore bistro was satisfying!

Truffle fries seem to be one of the signatures; almost every table had a faux newspaper cone of synthetically perfumed fried carbs (such a wet blanket description I know haha). Not a fan of truffle fries in the first place so I’m far from qualified to rave or diss it. Friends polished off the chicken tenders and duck confit (read between the lines); K ordered his usual big breakfast (or king’s breakfast, as Au Chocolat put it) and I had a really wonderful handmade shellfish crêpe! Succulent fresh tiger prawns, stewed crab meat, and the chef was kind to agree replacing the flower clams with smoked salmon for me. So that’s essentially all my favourites on a plate (plus, K let me have the avocado from his brekkie dish, score!) –> no wonder I like it : )

Dessert was blah though. We had two orders of the famous frozen hot chocolate without whipped cream (I hate whipped cream!) so it looked less than magnificent. And it was weird, the friends asked for some whipped cream on the side to taste and were rejected. Something either the line of “either you want it or you don’t”, sheesh. Whatever~ Anyway, what made the frozen hot chocolate a “fail” imo are the very obvious bits of ice in it. Amateur blending skills, nothing special, overpriced, skip.

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Truffle Fries ($15++)
strips of crispy potatoes, white truffle oil, truffle sea salt, mayonnaise & BBQ sauce

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Corn-Fed Chicken Tenders ($16++)
strips of chicken breast, bread crumb batter, BBQ sauce

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Au Chocolat King Breakfast ($26++)
pan-fried chicken chipolata sausages, bacon, smoked salmon, black truffle scrambled eggs, grilled tomato, tater tots, sliced avocado, brioche bread with butter

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Savoury Shellfish Fiesta Crêpe ($22++)
tiger prawns, flower clams (not for me!), stewed pacific crab meat, white wine & red shallots cream sauce, homemade garlic pesto, salad with chocolate balsamic vinaigrette

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Duck Confit ($27++)
pan-roasted duck thigh, potato mash, white wine poached pear, tangy chocolate orange sauce

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Au Chocolat Frozen Hot Chocolate ($12++)
chocolate fudge sans whipped cream and chocolate shavings

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Au Chocolat
#01-03, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
6688 7227

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Haze sucks, but let’s smile and eat crepes!

Take care, everyone!

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sweet/dry cider ($6.50 each); salmon spinach egg buckwheat crepe ($9)

Crep’Licious
301 Upper Thomson Road
9005 0814

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I feel emotionally affected that Saint Pierre has closed its flagship restaurant at Magazine Road and relocated to Quayside Isle. Because I work in the same building (Central Mall) and there’s now one less lunch option, SADness. Oh well, I hope another French restaurant takes over Saint Pierre’s spot as lunch at Trattoria Gallo D’Oro is getting boring.

So. Saint Pierre officially opened its doors on May 29, and 4 days prior to that, we headed over to Sentosa to sample its Saturday brunch menu. Felt pleasantly surprised that the layout is much more casual, though no less classy. The window seats are the best since you get glorious views of the marina, perfect for a relaxing brunch or a romantic dinner when night falls.

The one-page brunch menu features classic breakfast mainstays with a luxurious Saint Pierre twist (black truffle, caviar, champagne hollandaise, foie gras mousse, see what I mean?) and while ala carte is available, the set menu offers a better deal. $38++ includes assorted breads and choice of juice/main course/coffee or tea, so affordable right! We were given free rein to order and after studying the menu (my favourite pastime when in restaurants haha), decided on 2 brunch sets + 2 more mains, yay!

Homemade breads were not spectacular; in fact, K (a bread snob) was quite aghast by the mediocrity. I was only bothered by the gorgeous looking croissant, which turned out to be not flaky and crisp enough. Mains on the other hand were excellent; I love the mushroom-y scrambled eggs with toast (ironically, this bread was very good! Maybe toasting it makes a world of difference?) and the home-smoked salmon was WOW, one taste and you’d know it’s unlike other smoked salmons (this trumps Smoke Shack to become #1 in my heart)! We DIY-ed and combined both the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on the toast and it was lovely! Can chef please put that on the menu? Haha. K fancied the eggs benedict (high praise, considering he’s never an eggs ben guy) and while the waffles with rich foie gras mousse was interesting, we prefer ice cream as toppings!

Since this was pre-opening, a few kinks were inevitable. Our juices were forgotten (co-owner Edina was most apologetic) and one of the poached eggs was less than perfect (inconsistent timing). Credits to owner-chef Emmanuel for being so open to feedback and suggestions! I’ve no doubt that they’ve already ironed out the kinks by now. The top restaurants always do.

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Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

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Homemade Assorted Breads ($15++)
croissant, sourdough, brioche, homemade jam, farmed butter

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Scrambled Eggs ($22++)
black truffle, mushroom duxelle, wild herbs, toasted bread

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Smoked Salmon ($18++)
home-smoked salmon, sourdough, wild chives, lemon juice

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Eggs Benedict ($24++)
brioche, iberico bellota ham, champagne hollandaise

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Waffles ($18++)
foie gras mousse, apple compote, vanilla beans

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Special thanks to the Saint Pierre team for the kind invitation!

Saint Pierre
#01-15 Quayside Isle
31 Ocean Way (Sentosa Cove)
6438-0887

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First time we went to Café Gavroche, both the tartines I’ve been eyeing were unavailable so we walked out (ya, I’m one of those thick-skinned diners who feel zero embarrassment at leaving even after being seated and glasses of water have been served).

Second attempt on a Friday night was all good! The whole place was packed, dim, loud and noisy — the right kind of buzz on TGIF! And they totally nail the tartines: crusty yet soft French-style country bread slathered with creamy salmon rillettes and a tangy spread made of crab flakes. I’d get them again in a heartbeat!

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 Salmon Rillettes ($11++);
Fresh Crab with Espelette Chili and Lime ($15++)

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Café Gavroche
69 Tras Street
6225 4869

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French-American db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands has become a dear friend. The menu is constantly changing and every few months, I head back for a taste, always excited and full of anticipation. This time round, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of flagship Restaurant Daniel, classic items from Daniel will rotate on the menu every Monday, featuring Boulud Sud’s famous Mediterranean Mezze and showy baked Alaska (look at those flames!!). The former happened to be my favourite starter of the night, mostly cuz I really really have an undying love for hummus (db does a solid garlicky rendition) and herby falafels so that was right up my alley.

I’m glad that the culinary team came up with seafood & vegetable aioli for non-meat, seafood-loving eaters! Think of this as the pescetarian version of meaty charcuterie — a light and clean-tasting platter of olive oil poached cod, tiger prawns, and a selection of fresh vegetables. Very healthy stuff. After that came two delightful starters: sweet white asparagus with black truffle dressing and juicy seared scallop on a bed of luscious pea mousse (you either love peas or hate them haha). I’m not impressed with the mains, and that’s not a very fair statement since the grilled sea bream was all I tried as I skipped the roasted chicken. Not that there’s anything wrong with the fish — I merely found it too simple and underwhelming, so it’s just me being hard to please as usual haha.

IMO, this season’s menu under the direction of new Executive Chef Jonathan Kinsella seems to have stronger Asian and Mediterranean influences, especially the desserts! Durian soufflé, mangosteen sorbet, jackfruit verrine, coconut tapioca.. Intriguing right? I guess they are worthy a try for novelty’s sake but what I really like is the tangy rhubarb tart, so rare in Singapore. And chocolate + banana + peanut will never go wrong so the cutesy Indian tepee-lookalike milk chocolate mousse cake is a no-fail too!

A Very Special Media Dinner
Introducing
Executive Chef Jonathan Kinsella

Seafood & Vegetable Aioli
olive oil poached cod, tiger prawns, market vegetables, garlic aioli

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Boulud Sud’s Mediterranean Mezze
herb falafel, english pea hummus, sheep’s milk ricotta, house made socca chips

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Jumbo White Asparagus
egg mimosa, shaved asparagus & radish, black truffle dressing

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Seared Diver Scallops
english pea mousse, smoked bacon, quail eggs, carrots, lemon chicken jus

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Herb Roasted Organic Spring Chicken “Provencal”
petits farcis, spicy fennel sausage, heirloom tomatoes, natural jus

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Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bream
fennel, orange and olive salata, arugula, orange gremolata

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DBGB’S Signature Baked Alaska
pear & blackcurrant sorbet, almond biscuit

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Durian “Royale” Souffle
mangosteen sorbet

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Rhubarb Tart
white chocolate, rhubarb variations

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Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake
peanut brittle, banana ice cream

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Special thanks to Philicia and Elzena from Marina Bay Sands for inviting and hosting dinner! It’s always such a pleasure to catch up with you ladies : )

db Bistro Moderne
#B1-48, Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave
6688 8525

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Kitchenette has potential, I think.

The prices are right, portions are good, food is fresh.

If only consistency is not an issue. The lady at the table next to ours ordered the exact same thing as me, but hers came with a nice little pile of rocket leaves while my eggs florentine looked kind of bare and sad.

Oh, and it’d be fab if the waffles are not so limp and soft too! FYI, nobody likes soggy waffles. N.o.b.o.d.y.

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Waffle Big Breakfast ($11)
scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sauteed mushrooms

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Eggs Florentine ($14)
spinach, artichoke, walnut rye bread, potatoes

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Kitchenette (Novena)
#01-01, Goldhill Plaza
51 Goldhill Plaza
6352 7484

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