J'ai Envie De Toi

J'ai Envie De Toi

French cuisine has been regarded as the upper crust of cuisine since the beginning of time, and it brings its own unique brand of poshness to the table. And if La France does their food as good as these places do, then I fully understand why French is fabulous.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

@lumbre.sg is a Spanish restaurant in name and in cuisine, but that doesn’t stop them from making forays into other regions of the culinary world. Their Homemade Foie Terrine, Cheese, Apple Purée and Pistachio ($26++) showcases their mastery of French cuisine as well, and gives it a fresh new twist.⠀

The foie gras pâté is capped by a layer of soft cheese and served on an apple purée, and garnished with crushed pistachios & pomegranate seeds. The pâté is almost as light as a mousse, and preserves a decent amount of that fatty, gamey & rich flavour that makes foie gras so highly prized. The cheese layer imparts more salinity into the pâté, making it a certified knockout combo.⠀

While the pâté & cheese mix were never in danger of getting too surfeiting, the sharp apple purée & pomegranate seeds were on hand to make doubly sure. The sour, zesty apple purée was the perfect foil to the heavy, fatty flavours of the pâté, cleaning out your palate in preparation for the next bite. The pomegranate seeds served the same purpose, but with the additional bonus of a burst of sweetness and a good bit of crunch. The pistachios were kind of a non entity here, and they had been crushed too finely to make an impact.⠀

If you need more palate cleansing, then look no further than the Japanese Grilled Corn with Sour Cream and Tomatina Sauce ($22++). The corn is exceptionally sweet, and it’s balanced out by a judicious drizzle of sour cream and a smear of tomatina paste. Sweet, salty, smoky and tangy, this is a simple appetiser that simply can’t fail.

The escargots were baked in macadamia nut pesto & garlic butter, and the snails were served de-shelled. It was sorely lacking in salt, however, and was nowhere as satisfying as it could’ve been. However, the lack of salt enabled me to taste that the snails were incredibly clean, with a taste only slightly more insistent than chicken, and a chewy, bouncy texture akin to squid.

If you haven’t tried escargots before, Black Pearl’s a pretty great place to get your cherry popped. Provided they remember to adequately salt the snails from this moment on.

As my birthday treat a couple of weeks back, my dad brought me out to @blackpearlsteak, a restaurant that he’s been talking about for years. Yes, I kid you not. Years. It used to be Perle Noir back in the day, but they transformed themselves from a high end steakhouse into a more casual steakhouse & grill.⠀

The two French appetisers they’ve retained from their Perle Noir days are the escargots bourguignon ($14++) and the pan seared foie gras ($18++). The foie gras was stunningly & sinfully stellar, and I was absolutely awed by it. It’s a substantial slab of fatty liver from either a goose or a duck, and it was pan seared to nothing short of perfection. A charmingly charred crust concealed the gelatin-like liver within that quite literally melted on your tongue. It’s simply butter with a heavier, more gamey flavour, and it’s certainly an acquired taste. But goddamn do I love it.⠀

It’s offset by a sweet and slightly sharp apple chutney & rosemary balsamic reduction, but even that can’t fully counter the hedonistic high from the ravishing richness of the fatty liver. If I were having my last meal right now, this fantastic foie gras would undoubtedly be my appetiser of choice. With an appetiser like this, I can’t lose.

@elevenstrands has been around for a while, but it’s my maiden visit mainly due to them being on #burpplebeyond. It’s a modest sized, simply decorated restaurant that was positively buzzing even when I visited it on a Thursday night, and you probably shouldn’t expect a quiet dinner here thanks to the crowd.⠀

The menu is pretty expansive, and the most unique appetiser is their Chicken Liver Pâté ($14 before an additional 10% service charge). The pâté was mild in flavour, with a muted gaminess & salinity flavouring every morsel of the silky smooth pâté. Much of the flavour actually came from the pickled onions were slightly sweet and suitably sour to rein in the richness of the chicken liver pâté, and the parade of strange little cubes on top of the pâté.⠀

After rereading the menu, I realised that those cubes are pickled apple brunoise. Fun fact: a brunoise is a julienned fruit or vegetable that is rotated & diced up into tiny cubes. The pickled apple brunoise was stunningly sweet, and it was the main flavour force in the appetiser. That’s right, this chicken liver pâté is a predominantly sweet & super smooth appetiser with undertones of salty & sour. It’s good enough to eat already, but it achieves perfection when spread thickly on the toasted baguette on the side.⠀

Chicken liver is a bit of an iffy ingredient for most folks, but Eleven Strands’ renditions is so stellar that it’s a must try. Don’t be scared to take the plunge, this is simply sumptuous and you really shouldn’t miss out on it.

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5 Senses’ New Year set menu lasted long after the New Year was but a hazy, alcoholic blur so that sluggards like me could get some. And boy was I glad I caught it before it was gone.

The three course meal ($25.90++ per head) consisted of the above pictured bowl of seafood bouillabaisse, a main of peri peri chicken thigh, and a dessert of chocolate layer cake. And I gotta say, at $25.90++, it’s quite decent value.

What I wasn’t expecting, however, was the unquestionable quality of the food. The seafood bouillabaisse wasn’t just loaded with fresh mussels, prawns and (unfortunately) slightly over cooked squid, the bouillabaisse itself was stunningly sublime.

The tomato broth is rich, briny and utterly umami after hours of slowly simmering with the seafood. As if the seafood wasn’t enough, there were a couple of superbly sweet cherry tomatoes that burst apart to deliver their palatable payload without much provocation.

To top it all off, there was an indecently irresistible wedge of pungently garlicky bread to mop up every last drop of that beautiful bouillabaisse.

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Fun fact: Culina ain't just a damn good butchery, they've got some high quality seafood on offer (which they shuck right before serving) as well. My dad & I decided to mix up a half dozen oysters with an even split between the popular Fines de Claire oysters (left), and the more exotic Perle Noire (Black Pearl) variant (right)

The fantastically fresh Fines de Claire is a reminder of why oysters are so highly prized round the world. Creamy, rich and moderately briny, these mouthwatering mollusks were pure pleasure to slurp down with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of tabasco.

The Perle Noire, on the other hand, was infinitely more briny and salty. It was almost as if the ocean had been trapped and encapsulated within the rich, creamy flesh of the mollusk itself. I found the Perle Noire to only really require a squirt of lemon juice to complete, as the Tabasco would've made it too salty to fully appreciate.

While these oysters may cause your wallet to take a bit of a shellacking, they're well worth shelling out top dollar for.

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Culina had Grilled French Veal with Caper Butter & Lemon Sauce (&45++) as the special on the night that I was there, and it sounded veal-ly, veally appealing. Thus, I ordered that as my entrée without much hesitation.

The three tremendously tender veal medallions are stunningly savory and were grilled to a magnificent medium rare with those gorgeous grill marks on the surface. Every bite was just a divine, succulent mashup of the meaty juices of the veal, the sensational seasoning, and the sharp, salty and rich caper butter that glazes the medallions. Don't forget to give the veal a dip in the zesty lemon sauce to keep your tastebuds alive and active.

The blackened carrots below were soft and sweet, and the roasted potatoes went wonderfully with the rich, buttery bone marrow hidden within the large bone on the plate. Protip: get a glass (or bottle) of 2014 St. Hallett Blackwell Shiraz to complement this dish and further heighten the heady hedonism of this dish.

This is veal good eatin', I'll tell you that right now.

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Arome is the French cuisine stall in the atas foodcourt that is Wild Market, and they aim to dish out a taste of la Ville des Lumières in sunny Singapore. They've successfully managed to deliver on that with their Seafood Bouillabaisse ($14.90), with its rich, beautifully briny broth in which a bounty of seafood stews in.

The fresh squad inhabiting the bouillabaisse is compose of a trio of mussels, alongside a good measure of squid and hearty chunks of fish. All of them happily swim around inside that savory, rich broth that is guaranteed to warm your belly and tantalize your tastebuds. Pretty good eating for less than $20, if you ask me.

Originally, I didn't even plan to write a review of this, but Le Bouillon's quarter roast chicken was so good I simply had to.

I was fortunate enough to snag a leg, and it was joyously juicy and succulent. The seasoning job the chefs did on this piece of poultry was simple yet superb, and each bite unleashed a torrent of savory flavors. Combined with a moreish reduction, this chicken's hind quarters really worked hard for my money. Top that off with Le Bouillon's signature, luscious mashed potatoes and and simple mesclun salad mix, and we're good to go.

All that, for just $7.90.

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Finally managed to put that Alchemist voucher to excellent use (thanks, Burpple!) with my dad and a couple of friends. My dad, being the fanatic for foie gras that he is, ordered the smoked duck liver parfait with no hesitation whatsoever. And boy did his prescience pay off handsomely.

Unlike all the foie gras I've had until this one, I always found the texture far too dense and rich for my liking, and some were far too gamey in scent and flavor, which is why I'm not particularly fond of foie gras. Alchemist's smoked duck liver parfait, on the other hand, is more than enough to convert me.

The foie gras is ridiculously light and airy, almost like a mousse, while still being ravishingly rich and superbly savory without being too gamey. The taste and texture is just utterly phenomenal! You could just pop it in your mouth and let it melt, that's how amazing it was. The mildly sour green apple 'slaw on the side helps to cut through the richness of the foie gras, letting you appreciate and enjoy every single morsel of liver.

Simply put, if you can only get one dish at Alchemist, get the smoked duck liver parfait. It's beyond amazing, and you'd be robbing yourself if you didn't order it.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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