Bistro Petit Salut – Le Affordable Authentic French

22 12 2010

Bistro Petit Salut holds a dear place in my heart because as far as I can remember, it was the very eatery that got me madly in love with French Cuisine. At that time, I was a newly initiated foodie convert and French Cuisine was unappealing to me with its high barriers to entry, being seemingly perched up on a pedestal with it’s sophisticated sounding dishes and unaffordable cost.

A visit to Bistro Petit Salut changed this presumption. It made me realize that authentic French nosh can be sought at a friendly price and that French Cuisine is not synonymous with Fine Dining.

Wanting to share this experience with my SMU bidding group, which we have aptly named ourselves The Humbled Group after getting pwned and humbled in class participation during our first class by some North Indian students, I suggested celebrating S’s birthday lunch here.

3-Course Set Lunches here goes for $25++ which is also inclusive of coffee, making this one of the most affordable set lunches around in my book.

For Appetizers, we had the Salmon Tatare in Lemon Dressing, Basil and Arugula Salad (more commonly known as Rocket Salad). To put it more simply, this was just Diced Raw Salmon with Rocket Leaves, with the Lemon Dressing used to lend a brighter and cleaner flavour to the fish. Sashimi lovers would love this.

The Homemade Pork Rillettes, Mesclun Salad with Walnut Dressing and Toast wasn’t as well received. Think of it as canned tuna soaked in brine in where the tuna was substituted with pork instead. To be used as a spread for the toast, the cured pork was not very agreeable with our Asian palates.

The Appetizer I would definitely recommend ordering is the Half Dozen Baked Burgundy Snails with Tomato and Garlic Butter. After all, where better to eat Escargot then at an established French bistro? There aren’t many places in Singapore that serve escargots so having it here would set a good benchmark at a very reasonable price.

The last of the Appetizers we tried was the Prawn Salad with Vine Ripened Tomatoes with Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette. I’m not sure how restaurants do it but there’s definitely a secret in how they manage to make their prawns taste so fresh and crunchy. I don’t cook so this question has always eluded me but I have heard soaking prawns in sugar solution before cooking makes it more springy.

For Mains, we tried the Catch of the Day with Mixed Garden Vegetable and Nicoise Vinaigrette. If I’m not wrong, the fish used was Treadfin and it was cooked in a healthy manner with minimal use of spices, allowing the natural flavours of the fish to be accentuated.

Good Risottos are hard to make, and even harder to find in Singapore restaurants. It’s always a challenge to balance the right amount of cheesiness and viscosity of the cheese and Arborio rice but Bistro Petit Salut seems to have gotten it just right with its Mixed Mushroom Risotto with light Cream Emulsion & Parmesan Cheese.

MZ was quite unlucky, having chosen the Pork Rillette which we considered a miss. Unfortunately, her unlucky streak continued in her choice of main, the Braised Lamb Shoulder “Navarin” Style with Carrots and Potatoes. The meat was utterly dry and tough and subsequently left unfinished.

I was really pleased in my choice of Chicken Leg Confit with Sauteed Potatoes, Bacon & Mixed Green Salad. Lightly crisp skin and tender flesh, with fried cubes of bacon soaking up all the chicken fat, utterly utterly sinfully delicious.

For desserts, J had the Classical Creme Brulee. I felt that it had the perfect consistency and sweetness but with the large portion that was given, a risk factor would be “gelatness” so this would be best shared.

Having had a great experience with the Choux Bun at Au Petit Salut, I decided to get it here as well, the Choux Bun with Vanilla Ice Cream, Warm Chocolate Sauce & Slice Almonds. I definitely didn’t regret it. The closest resemblance I can link to the Choux Bun is the push cart ice cream served with bread. Of course, there is a much higher satisfaction level crunching on the Choux Bun here than a $2 ice cream sandwich.

Normally cheesecakes in set lunches are shams, but I really savoured the “Gateau au Fromage Blanc” aka Homemade Cheesecake with Madagascar Vanilla Beans here which I found surprisingly not too cloying after the rich and oleaginous mains.

Wanting something lighter, you might want to consider the airy Homemade Strawberry Shortcake. Both the Strawberry Shortcake and Cheesecake came with a scoop of Sherbet (forgot what flavour though) which I thought was very generous given the already reasonable price of the set lunch.

Having a penchant for Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, S decided to supplement an extra $5 for it. I thought it was fairly decently executed, nothing you can’t get in other establishments. I really like how Bistro Petit Salut is so flexible in terms of set menu item changes, maybe I should try switching to a Foie Gras appetizer next time.

Compared to sister restaurant Au Petit Salut, I would prefer the latter for its location amidst a lush landscape and classier ambience but if you are just looking for no-frills authentic French food, Bistro Petit Salut would be slightly friendlier on the wallet.

Bon Appetit!



Tel: +65 6474 9788

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