good rustic french cooking at this lovely restaurant hidden away in little india. I’ve been here once before, nearly 5 years ago – and it was memorable for both the food and its decor: it’s done up all industrial-like in a boutique hotel, a far-cry from the more raucous atmosphere typical in this neighborhood.
this return was painstakingly arranged – it’s no easy thing to convince ol’-school parents that there is good fine-dining to be found in the
slightly dodgy little india enclave – and I’m pretty darn glad the effort was worth it. the cooking is still expert, the place enduringly gorgeous – a good meal in all.
this place holds a special bit of nostalgia: it’s one of my first few forays into fine-dining without the parents – and seems to have marked that part of my brain that decided I could actually be turning into an adult, somehow. you know you’re a little food-obsessed when meals denote turning points in your life.
we started off with a basket of warm bread – crusty french loaves with soft innards, which were a fortuitous stomach-lining during the wait for
the grilled squid and roasted cauliflower salad of baby spinach. this was tasty, especially that golden-ed cauliflower, even if the spinach portion was slightly paltry – and the anemic cephalopod could have done with a bit more color. this took far too long though: my dad did a game of foosball with the sis before this came.
we had time after that to watch a bit of prancercise before the mains – but these were rather worth the wait. the grilled pork chop was moist and porky – it can so easily dry out – a thick slab of pig alongside beautifully wrinkled roast taters and a large keropok-type bit of crackling. great textures, good meat.
the pièce de résistance was their signature roast chicken,
which was tender and glistening, and came with a fantastically browned skin alongside
very well-done accouterments: properly charred sprouting broccoli, proper fries, and a dish of good ol’ gravy. my only complain is that this was a very petit poulet – don’t they let chickens grow up any longer? – much more akin to a spring chicken.
the beef bourgignon was very good – a reasonable portion of beef over creamy mash. that sauce was something lovely – beefy and umami and properly thickened, I think this was the best dish that night.
the short of the perambulating long, is that the overall experience is lovely – good food in pleasant settings. but to be picky: the prices are rather high (with portions smaller than I remembered, though that’s the way things are heading on our tiny island), and while service is attentive, food-to-table times need to be abbreviated. and while very good – the food isn’t mindblowingly spectacular.
it’s very rustic french – simple flavors with cooking that makes the most of the ingredients. there is also something very nice (and sadly rare these days) about getting precisely what you ordered off a menu – no flowery nonsense or vague liberal hippie descriptions. great for dates and good-friend gatherings – and I’m glad to say it’s still rather deserving of the rosy-nostalgia-tinted glasses I view it with.
2 Dickson Road
tel +65 6298 1188
$$$: two mains + one small chicken + one app = 一百六十