If you like food, you should move to the east. At least this is what our friends who live out there tell us. And a recent weekend Business Times article seems to validate their claim. We happened to eat at Le Bistrot, one of the featured restaurants, the day before the article appeared.
Le Bistrot is tucked into one corner of Breezeway Building, and the good thing is, parking is FREE in the evenings. Other plusses, beside the food that is, are the soothingly dim lighting, knowledgeable service and corkage waiver if you bring your own wines. But be careful when you sit down, we sustained papercuts from the crisp paper that covers the table.
The menu is prix fixe. 3 course dinner for the two of us came to a total of $70.40, a good bargain considering the quality of the food and the dining experience. One can order from the specials board or a regular menu.
Started with salmon rillettes for me, farmhouse pate for husband. Rillette was underseasoned, but nothing a pinch of salt could not fix. Farmhouse pate was rich and meaty though I couldn't help thinking how lovely it would be to serve it crumbled over a warm salad instead.
Next, oxtail braised till tender and unctuous for me. The mash on top tasted oddly metallic to me, the server attributed it to use of olive oil instead of butter. Why not butter, I asked. They serve provencal style cuisine he says. I shrug.
Tenderloin in filo shell for husband. Both dishes paired well with an assertive full-bodied Chasse-Spleen 2001.
Desserts were rich and satisfying: financier with vanilla ice cream for me, and a messy lemon tart for husband.
Eating at Le Bistrot brought to mind those little bistros visited in France where one can expect solid unpretentious food at affordable prices. The quality cooking, relaxing setting and fixed price policy would certainly explain why this place is fully booked on weekends. Joo Chiat is a long way to go for some, but this place is worth the journey.
#01-06 Breezeway Centre,
451 Joo Chiat Road.
Tel: 6447 0018