For 7 days, from March 22nd to 28th, Singapore hosted Restaurant Week. This concept has been around for a number of years – I’ve seen programmes on AFC where they featured Restaurant Week in Toronto – but this is the first time it’s come to Singapore. During Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offered set lunches for $25, and dinners for $35 (premium restaurants charged a further supplement of $15 for lunch and $20 for dinner).
Atetoomuch’s MO for Restaurant Week was simple – try to get a table at a restaurant that we can’t otherwise afford on normal days. Case in point – FiftyThree. Unfortunately, online reservations for Restaurant Week started while we were in Japan, so we didn’t have the luxury of being at the computer all day, clicking furiously for reservations. FiftyThree was predictably all booked up, but we managed to score a Friday night dinner reservation at Julien Bompard (thanks to cousin L, who helped us while we were away).
When we arrived, we were ushered into a separate room – presumably for the cheapo Restaurant Week “riff raff”, heh. The set menu consisted of:
Starter: Slow cooked egg with wild mushrooms
Main: Choice of snapper fillet or braised lamb rump
Dessert: Chilled apple tart with caramelised almond coulis
The egg was apparently slow cooked at a very low temperature for 3 hours, so the yolk was nice and runny without the whites being undercooked. This was a pleasant starter but not particularly mind blowing.
Being atetoomuch, we decided to try a few other Restaurant Week a la carte specials, namely the escargot with red wine sauce, and the lobster bisque. They served these in between the starters and the mains. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the escargots, but the lobster bisque was really good. It wasn’t a rich orange as you’d expect, but what it lacked in colour, it certainly made up for in flavour.
The main courses were good but my, were the portions tiny. The lamb course had 4 thin slices of lamb, but it was very tender and didn’t have too overpowering a flavour. One of the best dishes of the night was the snapper fillet – the skin was crisp and the fish delectably fresh and perfectly cooked. Pity it was just about the size of my palm and only about a centimetre thick.
Dessert was rather uninspired, but it was admittedly a very good idea on their part for something like Restaurant Week. I don’t think any part of the dessert was prepared a la minute – every component looked like it had been prepared and/or assembled beforehand. All they had to do was scoop out a quenelle of olive oil ice cream, drizzle on some chocolate sauce, and serve it.
All in all, the food was alright, but I don’t feel like the meal represented what the restaurant is all about. I know it’s a promotion, but I felt that the heart and soul of the restaurant could have been better portrayed, even at a ‘budget’. It certainly didn’t impress me enough to want to go back, throw caution (and my wallet) to the wind and experience a proper meal there.
The senior service staff are excellent. And the seafood dishes tasted amazing.
Even more amazing were the tiny portion sizes for everything. After sharing two extra appetisers, we still weren’t full.
I wonder how indicative the Restaurant Week portions are of their real menu.
We’ll probably see when we come back when we feel like splurging on high end seafood.
Ascott Raffles Place 2 Finlayson GreenTel: 6509-0908
Mondays to Fridays:
Breakfast: 6.30 am to 10 am
Lunch: 11.30 am to 2 pm
Dinner: 6 pm to 9.30 pm
Sat, Sun & PH:
Breakfast: 7 am to 11 am
Lunch: 12 noon to 2 pm
Dinner: 6 pm to 9.30 pm