napoleon food & wine bar, telok ayer

cute little wine bar hidden away in telok ayer run by a legit frenchman, filled with an impressive number of wine bottles and plenty of artwork with (slightly lame-o) alcohol-derived puns.

they serve plenty of nibbles and mains here to go with your glass of wine – but beware: the sharing plates aren’t small, and the well-seasoned, rich flavors almost necessitate sharing.

take the home-made terrine of foie gras, for example, which had the goose liver mix served with fig chutney, a balsamic reduction and a small roll of bread. this is plenty rich, and slightly overwhelming in such a large portion (large for me at least, since I do not favor the liver), but that chutney was delicious and helped to keep the dish fresh.

the hand-cut angus beef tartare was perhaps my favorite starter: served with a raw yolk, capers, and crunchy diced white onions. stir in plenty of pepper, mustard and just a touch more salt, and it is delicious. crispy hand-cut wedges came on the side, flavored with parmesan and truffle. all in all, super moreish.

the angus beef tenderloin has that same meat seared pink and served with a creamy gratin dauphinois, ratoutouille and a red wine sauce. but the carrot puree that arrived bright orange was the star of the show: soft, silky, and very pure-tasting (though the texture is slightly reminiscent of baby food).


the shrimp truffle capellini felt particularly asian, especially with those bits of salted seaweed strewn throughout. the noodles were well-cooked, and there were plenty of shrimps to break up the texture – it’s a nice fusionesque dish, and a light-tasting option if you’re looking for some substance.

but if you’re in for something rich, the lobster risotto is definitely the way to go. it was a particularly creamy (and wet) rendition, with tender grains of acquarello rice and al dente asparagus dice to break up the texture. and I haven’t even mentioned the lobster, which comes in nice thick slices and as sweet as you’d want.

the last part was definitely the best – but how can you go wrong with chocolate? a mi-cuit (half-cooked) canelle – I have never had one like this before – that had an oozy, oozy, molten centre, next to good vanilla ice cream and coffee crumbs. not to forget the slab of chocolate ganache though, and my goodness was that fudgy and rich and good.

it’s a small piece of parisian bistro in sunny singapore, and a very nice one run by a friendly frenchman. they know their food here, and it’s a lovely place to grab some wine after work on the weekdays. definitely one to try.

Napoleon Food & Wine Bar
206 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068641
tel +65 6221 9282
$$.5: 35ish onward

thanks to the entertainer and napoleon for the lovely meal and wine!

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bistro du vin, shaw house

this place is an institution for french food in singapore – and to my mind, rightly so. it’s been around for years but I’ve only got to it recently, and I like the food and the vibe. it feels like your round-the-corner french bistro (if you’re lucky enough to have one), with decor that recalls that balanced kitschy-but-cool decor I associate with paris.

there are two classes of french food – the poncy, and the rustic. my tastes run to the latter, which is what they do here, served up hearty and without fuss.

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mad about sucre, outram park

alright, slightly overhyped cake place with not very many cakes.

so this place opened recently in the sort of revitalised-retro part of the outram park area, and I’ve been hearing a slew of compliment-ary reviews across the board – but I’m not sure I was terribly impressed, even if the cakes were decent.

it’s a swanky place with a TINY door (like you-might-not-get-through-if-you-eat-far-too-much-cake kind of small), filled with kitschy, gilded items, (overpriced but very nice) merchandise, and wedding cakes.

note I said wedding cakes, and not wedding cake models – the waiters (is it fair to call them that, because they were rather theatrical, dramatic evangelists of the store) kept assuring us that the cakes were real.

not something I can understand – since the frosting dries up (yes, I know the sign said not to touch), and it seems a waste of food.

the dark chocolate dome was a moussey sort of confection with a square cube of liqueur-containing bonbon, sprinkled with gold dust. sat on a crisp biscuit and filled with banana creme, it was difficult to break the tempered chocolate neatly, and the biscuit also sort of shattered (unneatly, which is irritating to this OCD soul).

we also had a lemon-coconut tart, and I liked the tropical combination, with the barely discernible coconut flakes.

the pastries on offer were rather gorgeous and technically well-executed – I’m not quite sure why I wasn’t more impressed. perhaps you should give it a go, and let me know if you too feel like something’s missing from the experience?

Mad About Sucre
27 Teo Hong Road
Singapore 088334
tel +65 6221 3969
$$.5, also known as not-cheap

restaurant ember, hotel 1929

to follow on the local-gem theme started with yesterday’s post – ember is a stalwart in the dining scene for good reason: great, comforting, well-executed food and always-pleasant-and-friendly service in a modern space that manages to be business-like in the daytime and romantic at night.

the size is a boon – it manages to keep buzzy with its constant stream of diners, but the smaller size mitigates any too-much-loudness that would come with larger crowds. this was my first visit since the new chef stepped up to the helm – to much initial trepidation, which later proved entirely unwarranted – and the place retains both character and quality.


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sprigs, purvis street

very, very good food at this small, modern restaurant in bugis – very earnest, and it succeeds both in service and space and food. it’s still relatively uncrowded, which is surprising for its quality, but unsurprising for its relative tucked-awayness. add the fact that prices are more than reasonable – especially with a set offered at dinner time – really, I’m not sure I could like it more.

it’s a little like that comforting corner diner we all want – except that it’s quite a bit away from my actual ‘hood.

and, I’m back!

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&made burger bistro, pacific plaza

I am back! I’m going to pretend you are just about excited about this as I am – it’s possibly the longest hiatus between posts on this blog, and I feel a vengeance. you never know how obsessive connected you are to your electronics until you’re separated.

we’ll start the engine up with a set of rather out-of-the-ordinary photos taken at this okay cafe at pacific plaza. I’ve been here before (how has it been two years since!) – and it maintains its rather meh-but-edible status.

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new asia bar, swissotel

upscale-ish, quiet-ish (crowd, not the music) hotel bar at the top of the swissotel (or the fairmont too, seeing as how they share the same compound). I want to stress the hotel bar part, as it rather explains the customers – not the glamorous, highly made-up sort, these are people who want a drink and a place to sit overlooking the city.

and this place does it well. it’s got an honorary dance floor, loud music and colorful moving lights – and on some nights there are actually quite a decent crowd dancing. but on the most part, it gives me what I want: an incredibly good deal on bubbly, or just a glass of something to glide away the weekend on.

a darker, loungier style than level33 – and I certainly don’t know anything about the food. but if you want a good view and a nice place to escape the crowds (and enough loud music to clear the mind) – this is one of my favorites.

New Asia Bar
Level 71, SwissĂ´tel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Singapore
tel +65 9177 7307
$$: 20-ish

patisserie g, millenia walk

great little cakes at this popular cakery in millenia walk – so popular, in fact, that they’ve now expanded twice their original size. and for good reason, I think – if the cakes I had were anything to go by, they know their desserts.

and it’s almost friday, people – here’s to giving the weekend a head start!

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2am: dessertbar, holland village

’tis the start of the week, and no better way than with something sweet, eh? the 2am:dessertbar (ah, the days when punctuation oft made its way into titles and store names) has a marked place on the asian san pelligrino award list, and a blurb much lauding the skills of its head chef.

and was it good? I certainly thought it was on par with many of the innovative, deconstructed desserts I’ve had at good (and expensive) full-fledged restaurants (as opposed to this slip of a place serving up only drinks and sweet constructions) – which already puts it at an enviable standard. whether she’s the best pastry chef in asia – that’s certainly subjective. she’s certainly prolific, with a menu that runs long and a couple of cookbooks under her sleeve (one teaching you to make the very type of desserts she serves up), and the desserts are certainly creative – but I suppose I would have expected to be more impressed, given that award.

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