Bistro du Vin – $29++ 3-Course Set Lunch

26 10 2010

Our initial plan was for luncheon at Aoki. It was my reward for enduring a harsh and hectic week, a week where sleep was a privilege rather than an entitlement.

Alas, there wasn’t going to be an Aoki Chirashi in my tumtum today. Aoki was fully booked and we were turned away by their staff apologetically. So the choice was now between Tatsuya or Bistro Du Vin. We chose the latter after a quick bout of scissors-paper-stone, I was too lazy and famished to walk over to Goodwood Park Hotel anyways.

It’s my first time dining at a restaurant under the reputable Les Amis Group so expectations were running at an all time high. Being a bistro (cafe or small informal restaurant) rather than a restaurant, the setting is laid back and casual compared to neighbouring sister restaurants Les Amis or La Strada. As such, their 3-Course Set Lunch (inclusive of coffee/tea) is also priced more affordably at $28++.

For French Haute Cuisine or Nouvelle Cuisine, there is an emphasis on elaborate platings, involving small and numerous courses. This is not the case for Bistro du Vin where the food is presented simply and plainly, sticking to the use of  traditional crockery.

I think it was just the hunger pangs, that I found the warm complimentary bread so very addictive though it was slightly charred.

For Starters, the Smoked Salmon & Couscous was decent but unspectacular. I’m not a great fan of couscous anyway as I find these round gritty granules unalluring.

The most enjoyable dish today was the Pan-fried Foie Gras, Spanish Red Onion & Dates (supplement of $6). A light sprinkling of salt with the wobbly lipid-laced goose liver drenched in lots and lot of oil. Seriously yummy!

For Mains, we had the Braised Pork Knuckle with Choucroute & Garlic Pork Sausage. The Garlic Pork Sausage was savoury and tasted somewhat like ham and I quite enjoyed it. On the other hand, I found the pork knuckle slightly on the tough side, not the soft butter-like texture I fancy. Unlike German Sauerkraut, I preferred the Choucroute here as it wasn’t as sour and managed to capture much sweetness and unctuousness from the pork knuckle.

Our second Main was the Beef Cheek Braised in Red Wine, served with Mashed Potatoes (supplement of $4). While scoring well on the tenderness rating, I didn’t really like the idea of braising the beef cheeks in the red wine as it left an unpleasant aftertaste. I haven’t really encountered problems with red wine reductions in general but somehow I wasn’t so fond of the one here. I did enjoy the buttery mash potatoes as well as the assortment of carrots, mushrooms, shallots and pork belly though.

For Dessert, the Warm Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream was mediocre. It was a nice pairing no doubt but the tart wasn’t buttery or flaky enough to warrant my ravings.

I made a mistake in ordering the Creme Caramel. I found it too eggy and rather forgettable. Should have probably had the parfait or profiteroles instead.

Apart from the delectable Foie Gras, everything else fell short of expectations. Well, I guess a $25 set lunch over at Bistro Petit Salut would have been cheaper and more noteworthy.

Bon Appetit!



TEL: +65 6733 7763

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