It was quite the heartening thing to discover that another rustic, bistro styled French restaurant (2 Dickson Road, Wanderlust Hotel, tel : +65 6298 1188) has opened and even more so, to find out that the food was enjoyably warm and hearty. In line with the communal theme of the restaurant, we ordered up a bunch of stuff for sharing so that we could have a little bit of various things that the place serves. And still, we were spoilt for choice because many things looked good.
We started things off with a bunch of items from the appetizers which included a very tasty slow cooked and subsequently deep fried tripe. I've had tripe in various forms, but these breaded and deep fried ones were a first and I thought they were pretty good. The pork rillettes were pretty decent if ordinary, but I discovered today that French mustard with butter on baguettes were delicious. The pissaladiere as I have gathered is a sort of onion paste tart. The soft and flaky pastry was nicely done, but I had expected more in the way of anchovies since it was really described as an onion and anchovy tart.
Moving on to the mains, I'd have to say that both Cocotte's roasted pork collar and boeuf à la ficelle were outstanding in their own different ways. The former was a nicely done pork dish with delicious fatty bits slathered in what was a creamy Dijon mustard sauce that surprisingly, didn't come close to overwhelming the flavors of the meat. To top it off, a very tasty side of nicely buttered Brussels sprouts that came with expertly toasted almonds which were impressively, very fragrant.
Away from the complexity of differing layers of flavors on the other end of the spectrum was their boeuf à la ficelle which was pristinely, a simple beef broth poached tenderloin with baby vegetables on the side. The flavoring on the top were no more than the said beef broth and some crystals of salt, so much of the natural sweetness remained. Oh yes, I liked the accompanying gruyère on toast too. This was for me, really good comforting food.
The steak tartare didn't quite look as minced as I thought when it was served, but it was all good after the condiments went it with a nice short knead. I'm thinking that the texture and flavor balance of this item would be an important determinant as to whether I liked it or not and I'm thinking, this would benefit from some capers and more chopped onions.
After meals were a citron tart and a small selection of cheeses. We finished the tart before moving on to the cheeses and on hindsight, I thought that the sourish and fruity tart of creamy lemon would have been good with the cheeses. On to the tart itself, it was a buttery base with a nice density with fillings that packed a nice sour punch. A lucky me got the section with the candied orange peel.