Category Archives: French

Rhubarb Le Restaurant

After a spiffy lunch time-out, the gang was back in full force to also celebrate L’s birthday at Rhubarb.

Given the fussy eaters amongst us, there were a lot of questions to sort out before we got down to ordering from the 3-course set lunch menu ($42++) – what is “veloute”? is the soup a red meat based broth? which two ways are the quail done?

We were impressed from the word “go”, or rather, right from the amuse bouche. It was ocean trout with rhubarb sauce in a charcoal cone, topped with tobiko. Lovely presentation. The sourish sauce complemented the seafood flavours well. The softness of the fish, with the hardy cone and bursts of rubbery tobiko was a good play on texture.

IMG_1188.JPGStarters

White onion veloute

IMG_1185.JPG Translation: white onion thickened soup. I stretched to reach S’ soup from across the round table (very unglam, but sacrifices are needed for this review). It was creamy and sweet, thick like a potato soup, but nothing too fancy.

Pork & pistachio ballotine

IMG_1190.JPG Translation: Cold pork roll with pistachio nuts. I didn’t quite like it texture-wise – slightly dry and flaky. Taste-wise, it was briney and tasted so-so with the sour gherkin.

Salad of Little Gem “Achoiade”

IMG_1202.JPG This was N’s healthy choice, as the server put it – salad with cheese and anchovies.

(Soup and Salad photos courtesy of N)

Mains

Quail two ways

IMG_1193.JPG Two ways – breast meat “plunger” style (I swear I heard “plunger” but now I can’t be sure but it was seared and transferred to the oven to bake) and drumstick confit style. The quail was excellent! Would rank as one of the best quail dishes I have had; the meat held together well and was very tender and succulent. Even S and J (who are not fans of meat) liked it!

After the lesson on “veloute”, we had lesson #2 on that green layered vegetable in this dish – (huge) spring onion and leek were tossed up. But after checking against the menu, “endive” was the only item we couldn’t place. This led to frantic googling amongst the group (nerds, I tell you) and somehow all sorts of images came up! So it seems there is a whole family of various sorts, but yes, it is an endive.

Lamp rump

IMG_1194.JPG Z ordered this medium, the recommended style, and it was superb. Soft, tender, and dripping with iron juices, without being gamey. Z had high praise for the accompanying bombay onion too. It is a tough fight between the quail and lamb for best mains for the day.

Norwegian ocean trout

IMG_1191.JPG I thought this was pretty, with blushes of yellow, pink and green peeking out from under the white foam. Really wasn’t in the mood for fish so here is S’ review: not bad, but maybe very slightly overcooked, could have been tenderer.

Desserts

Chocolate and cream cheese mousse

IMG_1195.JPG A few of us ordered this and I was the last to be served. This meant I observed this plating from different angles and … I’m sure it is not just me… but never mind… let’s focus on the taste. 😉 The chocolate mousse was extra rich and creamy (I guess from the cheese); it was not overly sweet but was a tad hard and quite difficult to scoop with a spoon. The biscuit bits added crunch and brandied cherries are always well appreciated.

Pistachio meringue, bergamot curd and vanilla ice cream

IMG_1197.JPG The various flavours came together nicely and made for a light and refreshing dessert.

(They also had a choice of sorbets and fruits which none of us picked given the other exciting options.)

Overall, interesting and well-executed dishes. Service was slow (could be initial kinks). Pretty posh ambience, without coming across as trying too hard or making one feel out of place. I would return for a special occasion.

IMG_1183.JPG 3 Duxton Hill
Open (Mon-Fri) 12nn-3pm; 7-10.30pm / (Sat) 7-10.30pm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rhubarb-Le-Restaurant/1505748192995678

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Fleur de Sel

Of the 2 choices given to her, LC chose Fleur de Sel for our lunch date. I was quite excited as I remembered enjoying myself when I dined there last year.

We both had the 3-course Executive Lunch Set ($38++).

Starter – choice of La Boeuf, L’oeuf or La Courgette. Or in English, beef tartare, poached egg or zucchini soup

It was a tough call for me between the first 2 choices but I went with the poached egg since I had already set my heart on the beef for the main course. The poached egg came with sautéed mushrooms, parma ham and chicken jus. It was a bit of a letdown; it was bland and the various parts did not quite come together as a dish.

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LC had the zucchini soup. It was fancily presented with the server pouring the soup at the table into the soup plate of tomato, olives and croutons. LC’s face cringed up a little on her first spoonful, which incited me to have a taste. I do agree with her that it was a little weird; it tasted like a sweet creamy fruit soup, with hardly any hint of zucchini. I was not sure what to make of it but she finished her soup anyway.

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Main course – choice of Les Crevettes, Le Risotto or Le Plat de Cote. Or in English, poached prawns and squids in fish soup, pumpkin risotto and slow cooked beef short rib

Service that day was terribly disappointing. Our main course took at least 40min to arrive after the starters. The servers remain friendly and responsive to our (many) chasers but we were really not sure what caused the delay. Bearing in mind this was lunch time on a weekday and part of their set lunch menu, the long wait is frankly not quite acceptable.

We both had the beef short rib and although I won’t go to the extent of saying it made the wait worth it, it was darn good. The beef was “melt-in-your-mouth” tender. It was good enough on its own and I hardly took notes on the accompanying chips, spinach and mashed potato. It may be too small a portion for a big eater though.

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Desserts – Les Framboises or L’ananas. Or in English, raspberry parfait or Sarawak pineapple with ice cream

We shared both desserts.

The raspberry parfait had layers of cake, cream and strawberries, with marinated berries and coulis. It was a good mix of sweetness and sourness and tasted alright.

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Again, LC’s face cringed up when she took a bite of the Sarawak pineapple and she purred: “Very very sweet; take a small bite first.”. So I did. A small bite wasn’t too bad. It is like the solid form of the pineapple filling of CNY tarts. The sweetness was toned down when eaten with the milky vanilla ice cream, and with the tiny not-so-ripe crunchy pineapple bits and rum coriander piled on, it was quite an interesting mix of flavours and textures.

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Minus the long wait, lunch was enjoyable (even some of the “misses” were ok in an interesting sorta way). It would probably remain in my “Tras Street Eats” list.

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64 Tras Street
Open (Mon-Sat) 12nn-2pm I 6:30-10pm
http://www.fleurdesel.com.sg/