Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bistro One Zero Three

C says:

We came here purely by chance on Sunday night. It wasn’t at all on our radar, but we had run out of ideas for something simple near home that we hadn’t tried before. It’s a very unassuming little joint in a row of nondescript shophouses (a few doors down from Manhill), and I’m actually surprised that (a) it hasn’t closed down yet, and (b) whenever we drive by it actually isn’t empty.

We were even more surprised when we walked in, and when we said that we had no reservations, were told that only a handful of tables left. I guess there’s a steady supply of regulars from the condos and houses in the vicinity.

For our starters, we ordered the warm mushroom salad, and the salt and pepper calamari with chili mayo dip. The salad was ok, though the balsamic dressing was a tad thick and goopy. The calamari were exceptionally tender, but the flavour was all but masked by the very thick coating of batter, which we ended up scraping off and eating with the salad instead. It’s a shame – the squid was cooked well enough that it really didn't need to hide behind the thick batter.

A ordered the lamb shoulder rack, which was very well seared… on one side. Strangely the other side had barely any colour at all. For non-lamb eaters this would be good, because the meat didn't have much of a lamb-y, gamey smell, but that’s actually what I look for when I have lamb. The ratatouille that it was served with was the best part of the dish. The vegetables were grilled before being tossed in the tomato sauce, which gave a really good smoky flavour.

I had the Kurobuta pork neck steak, which was slightly tough but had enough fat in the meat so that it wasn’t dry. I think this was the better of the two meats, and it came with some pretty good potato wedges.

The place is definitely very basic, with no lofty aspirations or pretense. While I really don’t think it’s a destination place, I quite like and respect how real and simple the whole set up is, and the food, though not spectacular, is actually prepared with some heart.

A says:

Not bad. Friendly service and decent food. Worth considering if you live around here but not really a destination place.

Bistro 103
103 Pasir Panjang Road
Tel: 6476-6373
Lunch (Tues – Fri; Sun): 11.30 am – 3 pm
Dinner (Tues – Sun): 6 pm – 9.30 pm
Closed Monday

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