Thanks (or no thanks) to Dempsey, the dining destination du-jour (how’s that for alliteration), Chip Bee was a veritable ghost town on Friday night. Not long ago, it was well nigh impossible to get a parking lot less than two streets away from the main dining stretch, but at 7.45 pm on Friday, there was more than just one lot available.
Bistro Petit Salut occupies the premises that used to be Au Petit Salut, which moved to Dempsey earlier this year. The owners decided to retain the Chip Bee location, and turn it into a more casual affair. Good news for people like us, who prefer casual dining outlets to outright fine dining.
Do take note: there are two menus on the table, that are identical in content, but one’s called the a la carte menu, and the other is the set dinner menu. The only difference is that the set dinner menu, in addition to the regular prices, has a few +4, +2 figures in red below some of the dishes, that indicate the amount you have to top up over and above the $48 set dinner price. Of course, I only realized this after we placed our order, because just our luck, A was the one who got the set menu; I got the regular one. After we ordered, I reached over to the neighbouring table to read the menu in greater detail (I always do this, to see what to order on our next visit), and that’s when I noticed the additional figures. I then saw the words “Set dinner menu” on top.
When I asked A if he had seen it, he said he noticed the additional figures but thought nothing of them. He really ain’t that bright.
Anyway, we shared a stuffed Portobello mushroom with goat’s cheese, and the baked scallops to start. The mushroom was quite ordinary – the one at Galbiati at Rail Mall can rival it in terms of flavour, but the bites with the goat’s cheese were pretty good. The scallops were much better; the roe part was nice and creamy, but I thought the scallop flesh was a tad overdone.
I wasn’t starving, so I passed on the 300g Black Angus steak, and opted instead for the oven-roasted quail, which isn’t on the menu, but was a special of the day. This was a bit of a cop-out, because it’s the same dish that I tried and really liked at Au Petit Salut on my birthday, but I really wanted to have it again. It didn’t disappoint; it was just as good as the one there – tender, stuffed with foie gras and mushrooms, and served with an intensely flavourful jus.
A ordered the home-made linguine with crab claw and tomato. While the linguine was very fresh and definitely did taste home-made, this was a rather ordinary dish, which didn’t really showcase what the restaurant is capable of.
I expected the place to be full on a Friday night; instead, we managed to call only at 7 for a 7.45 reservation, and the place was only half full all night. Now that Chip Bee isn’t the place to be anymore, I’m quite keen to come here more often. Food was good, service was polite, and they serve the most amazing rillette with their bread. I must have polished off 3 slices. Hmmm… come to think of it, maybe that’s why we were too full for dessert.
Duh… I like. Appetizers better than mains I think. Service good, even from trainees.
Bistro Petit Salut
Block 44, Jalan Merah Saga
Mon to Fri: Lunch 11.30 am – 2.30 pm; Dinner 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm
Sat: Lunch 12.30 am – 2.30 pm; Dinner 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm