Creative reinterpretations of French classics alongside the standards
There was a lazy weekend stretched ahead of us….for the first time in 9 months, we didn’t have one single appointment on the weekend. This had been planned intentionally. The good thing about running this blog is the wide variety of adventures and experiences we have. The bad thing can be there is little to no down time. And so we awoke on Saturday morning and went to our friend Helena’s restaurant Epicurious for a lazy breakfast. As we ate, Helena came and joined us and was chatting about a lovely French meal she had enjoyed the night prior at Le Bistrot. As she told us more we were intrigued and then something about a Wagyu Beef Cheek Crumble sealed the deal. We knew where we were going to have dinner that night…
At first we thought it a bit peculiar to be heading to a stadium for dinner…I mean coming from America, the stadiums are full of food (nachos, hotdogs, beer, French fries), but these are not places that are culinary destinations. But we had in fact heard that Singapore Indoor Stadium was different in this regard with several destination food outlets. But even if it had been in a basement somewhere, we simply had to check out Le Bistrot given Helena’s tantalizing description of “melt in your mouth” Wagyu Crumble as well as her genuine surprise as a restauranteer on the creativity of the menu.
We opted for the Prix Fixe menu which seemed like good value given that you could get 2 courses for S$50 or 3 courses for S$60. Paul ordered Vichyssoise Glace to start…but this was no ordinary cold potato leek soup…this version featured arruga caviar, Pernod marinated tiger prawns and pickled cucumber.
I had the Veloute d’Ail au Sandwich de Rillettes, a hearty and rich version of soup and sandwich with creamy roast garlic soup accompanied by a toasted sandwich of duck rillettes and Emmental cheese. Paul’s Vichyssoise was in fact excellent, but honestly we were truly floored by my dish. A perfect pairing of mild and buttery roasted garlic soup with a dedacent buttery grilled sandwich filled with duck rillettes. It was just such a sinful mouthful between the two dishes…maybe one criticism is that it is insanely rich. But I loved it, and if the restaurant served nothing else, I would return again just for this perfect pair.
Next for the mains. Paul ordered the now infamous Crumble au Joue de Boeuf Wagyu, Pommes Sarladaises… beef cheek crumble with duck fat potatoes and mesclun salad. OK, Helena you were right…it is such a creative dish…reinterpreting a crumble which is typically a baked dessert into a baked savory entrée. The crumble with the creamy sauce and shredded bits of tender beef cheek is in fact inspired.
I think Paul and I nearly arm-wrestled over who was going to order the beef cheek crumble and after all the debate, I really had a taste for beef. So I ordered the Steak Frites, a grilled steak with pink peppercorns and pomme frites. I must admit of all the dishes we had all night, this one was a bit less exciting. Of course, yes it is not an exotic choice but the execution could have been better. First the steak was a little thin…maybe ¼ – ½ inch thick. When steak is the star in a dish like this I personally think it should be an impressive cut. And second, it was not cooked as I had ordered…too rare for my taste I tried, but in the end had to send it back to be refired. However, I will say the restaurant owner / manager was so gracious and lovely and apologetic I almost didn’t mind. When service is very good, and it was here thanks to the warm and charming hosts, I don’t mind forgiving these little mistakes.
Dessert was next with Paul ordering the Pastilla au Pistache Chocolat Nior, a warm dark chocolate ganache and pistachios in pastry with pistachio crème Anglaise and vanilla ice cream. We don’t always have dessert…but all bets are off with Paul if there is a dessert option that is chocolate + nuts. This is a Paul-favourite. In this case it did not disappoint with its mix of textures and flavours.
I really had no business ordering dessert…I was stuffed! But since I had already ordered, I felt compelled to eat my 72% Dark Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse with macerated Morello cherries. This was R-I-C-H, but the cherries played the necessary role of cutting the density of the chocolate.
All in all, it was a high quality, well executed meal in a lovely setting…Paul loved the bistro scroll graphics and I appreciated the small touches that made it warm and inviting. As I mentioned, I am totally forgiving of the steak faux pas given the grace with which it was handled. I do think next time I will try one of the creative interpretations since it seemed these are the real stars of the show.
Don’t miss Le Bistrot, a real treat for out of the ordinary French bistro fare.
2 Stadium Walk
#01-03 Singapore Indoor Stadium
Telephone: +65 6447 0018