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(This review has two parts as we’ve dined here twice, the first time unfortunately was just with friends and I didn’t have my camera with me. The second visit covers the weekday dinner set menu)

The neon Heineken sign visible from the street coupled with twin oversized yellow umbrellas belied the charming interior and delectable French cuisine found inside. But once past the front door, L’Angelus French Restaurant transported me to the unassuming French countryside. Not the commercialized French experience with wrought iron cafe tables and doilies scattered about, but rather an almost homey atmosphere with walls decked out with vintage French movie posters, tables dressed in simple, white tablecloths, and golden lighting that warmed the room.

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While we were debating the wine menu, our professional yet friendly server passed us plates of complimentary Tuna crostinis. We opted for the current special on Veuve Clicquot champagne (88 ++ a bottle – a very good price for a such a special bottle of wine) and turned our sights to the menu. Though L’Angelus is a moderately expensive restaurant focused on fine French cuisine, you don’t have to be a gourmand to appreciate the meals on offer. The simple two-page menu is a well-assembled collection of French standards. The emphasis lies in choice, well-cooked meats with unpretentious presentation.

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Once our orders were placed we were treated to an endless supply of bread – wonderfully crusty on the outside and soft in the middle. In seemingly short fashion our mains began to appear from the kitchen starting with my friend’s steak tartar. The tartar was prepared table-side, with the server adding in the Tabasco, lemon and other dressings with direct input from the tastes of the diner. Next out, to the envy of our friends, was my partner and mine’s Chateaubriand (must be ordered for 2). The steak was carved table-side and presented with baked tomato topped with seasoned breadcrumbs. We were offered two sauces for the steak, my personal favorite being the creamy black peppercorn.

As good as the meat was the vegetable sides shone equally as bright. The Potatoes Dauphinoise (a dish famously invented in an attempt for turning the young prince Henry II onto vegetables) tempted even those on diets to indulge. Personally I couldn’t stop eating the spinach with cream.

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All at the table were fully satisfied by the end of the main courses, but thankfully a large onslaught of rain outside kept us in the restaurant a bit longer. We ordered the famous Crepes Suzette, molten chocolate cake and various coffees, served with complimentary madeleines and chocolates, and continued to bask in the warm, comfortable atmosphere of the restaurant.

A restaurant of this caliber could easily create a stuffy, pretentious experience, and while L’Angelus is by no means casual, it still manages to put it’s diners at ease and take the higher road of letting the experience of the food speak to the quality of the restaurant.

Dinner Set Menu (Monday – Thursday at 48 SGD) – meal not as smooth as up top.

For starters I went with the Raw Salmon Tartare. A bit heavy on the citrus for my tastes, but a nice start to the meal.

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and Joanna chose the Soup of the Day (French Onion who’d have guessed it

;)
)

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I chose wisely on the mains, ordering a Roasted Spring Chicken in Mushroom Sauce. The chicken was tender and creamy and the noodles were cooked perfectly.

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I’m a huge fan of table-side service.

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Joanna, however wasn’t so lucky. She ordered the Pan Fried Fish Fillet w/ Tomato and Basil Coulis. The fish was overpoweringly salty. She tried for a few bites to make it through the fish and finally decided best to just stop eating and send it back – not in attempt at free food, but just so the chef knew he had made a misstep. The waiter, uncharacteristically from our last visit, was unhelpful. After taking the dish back he came out and informed us that “that’s how we cook fish here. ” We’ve eaten a lot of fish in a lot of places and well, if that’s how they cook fish at L’Angelus, we WILL NOT be ordering fish here again.  It’s a real pity because Joanna was hoping to find a somewhat healthy menu option at L’Angelus outside of the chicken with cream, potatoes with cream, spinach with cream, soup with cream, etc…

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Lastly came desserts. I had to try the “Famous Hot Chocolate Cake”…I mean if it’s famous and chocolate, who am I to resist?

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The Dessert Joanna had her eye on wasn’t on offer and was instead presented with this. Honestly I’m not trying to be funny here but we simply couldn’t understand the server’s accent when given our back-up dessert options. We still don’t know what this dessert was supposed to be exactly, but it wasn’t pleasant.

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All in all the dinner set menu was a lot of food for a (for Singapore) good price. I think one order could easily be shared by two people, and that’s what we’ll probably do if we visit on a weekday again. I wasn’t able to finish my spring chicken and asked for it to be packed for take away (I know, I know big no-no in a French restaurant). Sadly I wasn’t able to finish it as the server never brought it or our extra order of spinach out to us. I suppose we could have waited longer for the waiter to once again grace us with his presence (we were seated outside) and then ask for the take away again, but at a restaurant of this caliber they should be more on top of things. Sadly the service (and fish) had already left a bad taste in our mouth and we’re not ones to complain so quietly walked home.

So we’re 50/50 here. I can only assume our dinner fiasco was an aberration and not the norm. Thankfully the memories of the Chateaubriand are still clear in my mind, calling me back for another visit.

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L’Angelus
No. 85 Club Street
Tel: 6225-6897
Operating Hours: 12.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. – Mondays to Fridays & from 7.00 p.m. till late – Mondays to Saturdays. No lunch on Saturdays & are closed on Sundays

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