Saturday, June 30, 2007

Le Bistrot

C says:

Deceived, I say, deceived! A and I went to the Indoor Stadium on Saturday night to see the Genie in a Bottle herself, so we figured we’d take the opportunity to have dinner at Le Bistrot. Le Bistrot started out as a humble little café/bistro in Joo Chiat, serving unpretentious French food prepared by Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Lee Chin Sin. They moved to the Indoor Stadium Waterfront in February this year, after talk that the building in which their restaurant was located was to be sold.

Anyway, I called on Thursday intending to make a reservation for about 6 or 6.30 pm, just in time for the show at 8. However the person who took my call asked if I was going for the concert, and when I said yes, she told me to come at either 5 or 5.30. I was a bit taken aback, but agreed to a 5.30 reservation. We then spent the next few days checking out the menu on their website, trying to decide what to order.

Surprise #1 – when we got there, we were presented with an Express Pre-Concert Menu, with only a handful of the selections from the main menu, and some of our planned items weren’t available. Turns out on concert nights, they have a streamlined concert menu, and the main menu items are only available after 8 pm. No one told me this when I called to make the reservation.

Surprise #2 – the food came really quickly, so we really needn’t have come at 5.30 as advised. As much as we tried to prolong our meal and take minuscule bites, we still finished at 6.45 and spent a “romantic” hour strolling the banks of Kallang River and sitting on the steps of the Indoor Stadium.

However, as far as grouses go, they end there. Much as I wanted to complain about dinner itself, I couldn’t. The food itself was really good. They operate by way of a Prix Fixe menu - $38 for 2 courses, and $48 for 3. In the regular (read: non-concert) menu, there are about five or six choices per course. A and I both had a 2-course, with a starter and a main.

I had the Chilled Pumpkin Soup with Goose Rillette and Mint Crème Fraiche. This may sound a bit dodgy but it really tasted quite heavenly. The chilled nature of the soup actually made the otherwise thick pumpkin puree taste light and refreshing. The mint crème fraiche added more depth, and the rich, flavourful rillette complemented everything perfectly.

A’s starter was a Mesclun Salad with a Tian of Goat’s Cheese and Grilled Vegetables. Expecting a rather pungent concoction, I was pleasantly surprised with this – the cheese was savoury and delivered an initial burst of flavour, but it mellowed after first bite and became a nice creamy accompaniment for the salad.

The main course portions are quite hearty – my Duck Leg Confit came with two whole duck legs, mashed potatoes and a grain mustard vinaigrette. Since the method of preparing duck confit essentially involves curing and preserving the duck in a mixture of salt and its own fat, I always had preconceived notions that duck confit is overly salty and stringy, and indeed my previous experiences have proven this to be the case. However, these were laid to rest at Andre’s (in Telok Ayer Street), and confirmed by the duck confit here. The meat was tender and just fell off the bone with a gentle prod of my fork, and wasn’t at all salty. The skin could’ve been a little crispier, but that would just be nitpicking.

A had the Steak Frites with a 200g rumpsteak cooked medium rare (they only allow you to request for rare or medium rare here, good on them!). The doneness was perfect, and although A had some trouble cutting it (tenderloin, it certainly wasn’t), the resulting bites were actually quite tender and very sweet.

Initially I was spoiling for a fight and really wanted to either complain about the limited menu or the food, but they were so nice and apologetic about the concert menu arrangement that there was nothing for me to pick on, and the food itself gave me absolutely nothing to complain about. Conclusion? We’re definitely coming back after 8 pm to try the other dishes in the main menu.

A says:

Maybe I very the “low-crass” but the goat’s cheese and C’s duck tasted a bit like fancier (and much tastier) versions of La Vache Qui Rit and KFC respectively. But overall, the food is very good, the service very friendly, and the whole atmosphere very nice. Although I wouldn’t recommend going on a day when there is an event at the Indoor Stadium – getting out of the car park is FARKING INSANE!!!

Note to self: the Cappuccino is better, but C prefers the latte. Both come with very good, very dark Valrhona chocolates.

Le Bistrot
2 Stadium Walk
#01-03 Singapore Indoor Stadium
Tel: 6447-0018
Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm (last order 9.30 pm)
Lunch: Thursday and Friday 12 noon to 3 pm (last order 2 pm)
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10.30 am to 2.30 pm (last order 2 pm)


Anonymous said...

I'm SO not okay with gazpacho and any cold soup.

atetoomuch said...

I'm generally not a cold soup person either, so this was really an exception for me.