Category Archives: French

Crepes from Le P’tit Breton

Le P’tit Breton
Le P’tit Breton
200 Upper Thomson Road 01-11A
Thomson Imperial Court
Tel: 6259 4300
Opening hours: Lunch – Wednesdays to Saturdays: noon to 2.30pm. Sundays: 11.30am to 3pm. Dinner – Tuesdays to Sundays: 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Closed Mondays and public holidays

To everyone who’s been trying to keep this restaurant a secret – I’m sorry, but something this good needs to be shared. One visit to Le P’tit Breton and like me, you’ll want to keep going back. In fact, I know someone who’s determined to make his way down the entire menu. This tiny restaurant next to Thomson Community Club offers beautiful galettes and crepes, which are specialities from Brittany in the north-west of France.

Start your meal with a galette, a thin, savoury buckwheat pancake. It’s crisp all the way through and has a subtle, nutty flavour. Toppings range from blood sausage to mushrooms, but my favourite is the Goat Cheese ($6.20). Mild and creamy, the cheese is perfect with the crisp galette. You must also have the Andouille, Apple and Cream ($14.90) one. Baby, it’s good. The galette is topped with wedges of sauteed apple, savoury cream and slices of warm pork sausage (a speciality of Brittany and Normandy and quite unlike their New Orleans cousins). For dessert, the simple Lemon Sugar ($3.90) crepe is the best. It’s crisp on the edges and springy everywhere else, and comes with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of powdered sugar on the edges. So simple, so absolutely yummy.

But, and this is where a hollow leg comes in handy, you must also have the Hot Chocolate Strawberries ($7.50) and the Hot Chocolate, Almond and Chantilly Cream ($6.90) crepes. The dark chocolate sauce is homemade – need I say more? Only that you should order another Breton speciality with your meal – apple cider ($19 a bottle). It’s crisp, refreshing and served perfectly chilled in stoneware cups. I’m drooling even as I write this and I just had lunch there. Sigh.

Note: This review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.

Centre Ps

Centre Ps Cakes at Centre Ps
Centre Ps (pronounced as “Centrepiece”)
78 Guan Chuan Street
Unit No. 01-43
Tel: 6220 1285
Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm, Mon to Thu; 10am to 9pm, Fri & Sat; closed on Sun
Website: www.centre-ps.com (Under Construction)

When Steven Ong, one of Singapore’s top pastry masters, set up shop in Tiong Bahru a few months ago, there was no fanfare saved for the gorgeous French-styled pastries and cakes that made its debut in this very much lived-in colonial estate.

They became the new talking point among neighbourhood foodies who have been raving about the hawker food at the nearby food centre and the czecha eateries.

The shop’s named Centre Ps (stands for “Centrepiece”) cos that’s what Steven specialises in – big, stunning pastry centrepieces for weddings, birthdays, company and business functions.

But like any pastry chefs trained in the French tradition, Steven has to produce medallions of macaron, that petite confectionery which is devilishly difficult to make, to pass muster. He has concocted up to 17 flavours so far, both common and uncommon – mint; violet; caramel with fleur de sel; pistachio; cafe creme; chocolate coriander; matcha; lemon; apricot; rose; champagne; cherry; lychee; lavender; chocolate; black sesame and olive.

The super-thin fragile crusts collapsed into airy, soft chewiness. But Steven’s macaron could be enjoyed with just two bites and the natural flavour is intense without being too sweet. The grainy texture of the sponge of almond meal, sugar and egg white somehow overwhelmed the flavour and the cream sandwiched in between the discs.

Steven’s range includes some with shocking techno shades of metallic blue, silver and copper. Air brush does the trick, said Steven, who’s highly inventive to those familiar with his works previously at Conrad Centennial Singapore and Inter-Continental Singapore where he established a regional training centre for pastry in South East Asia.

His decadent Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch Cake was Conrad’s signature cake for nearly a decade while a fusion-style Manjari Chocolate and Lemongrass Gateaux won him third place at the World Pastry Team Championship 2004 in USA.

Surely third placing means among the world’s best. A creamy, fruity cake I ordered from Steven a few years ago for a child’s birthday was a big hit with many guests who wanted extra helpings and to know where the cake came from. And one of my pals think his dreamy Orchid Cake was the most sensational he’s ever eaten. Yeah, it’s made with edible orchids.

Today at Centre Ps, the Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch, renamed Grand Cru Royal, remains the top favourite among the big cakes. Taking 2nd spot is a dark and white chocolate cake, Ebony & Ivory, made with tanariva and ivoire chocolate and scented with espresso beans.

The 3rd most popular cake is L’Orient, layered with almond paste mousse, praline and kumquat cremeaux with pain de genes.

As for smaller cakes, the Mont Blanc of chestnut and meringue, at Number 1, is spectacular. The next favourite is Douce Fraise, assembled with strawberries and bergamot earl grey flavour.

Don’t just restrict to macarons and cakes at CentrePS. Ask for his eclairs, chocolate tarts, sable cookies, etc.

Note: This review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.
Post-Makan Note:

I visited Centre Ps on 21 November 2007 and bought some macarons.  Five (5) of these cost me S$10! If you buy a box of 10 macarons, it’ll set you back S$18! They are all pre-packed, so you can’t choose whichever flavour you like.  If you want that, perhaps you can call in advance to order.

They do have not much variety on display/sale.  Check out the menu (Centre Ps Menu) and my advice is to order in advance if you don’t want to be disappointed.

If you want to order their cakes for Christmas, check out their Christmas menu (Centre Ps Christmas Menu).

My verdict? I tried the cherry flavoured one and I like the crunchy pastry.  The filling is very chewy and too sweet! Coming from a sweet tooth like me, you can imagine how sweet the filling is!

Makarios Cafe

Makarios Cafe Creme Brulee Sandwiches
Makarios Cafe
100 Victoria Street #03-01
National Library Drama Centre
Tel: 6736 1070
Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm, Tue to Sat & Public Holidays; 1pm to 8pm, Sun; closed on Monday
Website: http://www.letroquet.dolob.biz/index.htm#Link

Makarios Cafe Bar is located at Drama Centre, on level 3 of the National Library, in a quiet, pleasant and airy space. It is a follow-up of its sister outlet Cafe Le Troquet (established in 1985 and which now concentrates only on serving a selected menu of authentic French cuisine), formerly at Alliance Francaise with made-to-order sandwiches, delicious salad combinations (served with its one and only homemade French vinaigrette sauce), shakes, juices and smoothies and the well sought – after homemade soups and hot dishes such as escargot, boeuf bourguignon, quiches, lasagna, moussaka, just to name a few, offering an upmarket alternative to the food court.

Please click here to see the Makarios Cafe Menu.  They also have a set meal from Tue – Sat that goes for S$12.90 nett and you get the following:-

  1. Starter – Soup of the Day or Salad
  2. Main Course – Spaghetti Bolognaise or Grilled Jumbo Chicken Sausage
  3. Dessert of the Day
  4. Drinks – Hot or Iced Coffee/Tea or Fruit Punch

They have also another item, Quiche with Salad and with Coffee or Tea for S$9.90.

Le Troquet Cafe Bar

Le Troquet Foie Gras 2 Creme Brulee 2
Le Troquet Cafe Bar
529 Balestier Road #01-01
Tel: 6736 1070
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3.30pm; 6.30pm to 10.30pm; off on Sundays only
Website: http://www.letroquet.dolob.biz/

I was dying for creme brulee and did a search on the internet for it.  The thing is I want to eat it in Singapore! And I want it cheap and good! 😛 Not an easy task but I managed to find one that’s reasonably priced.  No cheap creme brulee…. 😦

One of the main highlights in French cuisine is the pan fried Foie Gras ($18) (see picture above). How skilful a chef is depends on the quality of the Foie Gras he prepares. At Le Troquet, the Foie Gras is wholly marinated with 3 brandied cherries and when consumed together, brings on an all intense flavour, wholesome and gratifying. The Foie Gras had a crispy outer lining while maintaining a warm and soft interior. The main course served was the confit de canard ($25) which was essentially duck confit . It may appear to be more salty to the locals’ taste buds but that was the way the French liked it. Beneath the crispy layer atop were all the hidden fats which literally melted in our mouths. However, the meat was tough and not as tender as it could have been.

Saving the best for the last, we had the home-made Crème Brulee ($6.50) (see picture above) which had a crispy outer transparent layer and a smooth custard-like texture which glided down our throat easily, making it a pleasure to savour.

For S$48 for a set dinner, you get 1 glass of red or white wine selection of the day, 1 starter (pay another S$8 to get the pan fried foie gras as your starter), 1 main course, and choose either the French farm cheese platter OR 1 dessert + coffee/tea.

Check out their sister cafe, Makarios Cafe Bar.

Note: Some of the review was extracted from Street Directory.

Au Petit Salut (French Restaurant)

Lunch Menu Dinner Menu Ala Carte Dessert
Au Petit Salut
40C Harding Road (near Dempsey Road)
Tel: 6475 1976
Website: http://www.aupetitsalut.com/

I had the pleasure of dining here for lunch one fine day and the memory of its Burgundy snails remained with me till this day.

The set lunch is only S$25+++ per person (no sharing please)! For that amount you pay, you can pick an entree, main course, dessert (creme brulee is highly recommended) and regular coffee or tea.  Excellent value for money for the kind of quality that we are served. 

Go for the set lunch whenever you can coz the set dinner will cost you S$75+++ per person and for that price, you get an additional entree and better main course and desserts. But seriously, would you want to?

Their menu is listed on their website together with the prices (just like the restaurants in Paris where they display their menus prominently outside for diners to decide if they want to eat there or not).

The French Stall

The French Stall
Outlet 1:
544 Serangoon Road
Tel: 6299 3544
Opening Hours: 3pm to 6pm (desserts only); 6pm to 10pm (dinner only); closed on Mondays
Outlet 2:
Tel: 6280 2890
Opening Hours: 3pm to 6pm (desserts only); 6pm to 10pm (dinner only); closed on Tuesdays
Website: http://frenchstall.tripod.com/

 

If you’re hankering for some handsome French fare, then head for Little India (yes, you heard right) for a little slice of France on our island.

Here, French expatriates dine alongside curious local foodies as everyone sits almost elbow to elbow in this quaint corner coffeeshop, chattering above the droning whir of wall-mounted electric fans. A set dinner can cost as little as under $20 – the main draws are favourites such as a creamy chicken liver pate and a chocolate sauce-drenched giant profiterole. No dress up is required at this restaurant so you won’t have to put on your Sunday best.

Besides lunch and dinner, the French Stall also serves drinks and fresh pastries from 3pm-6pm daily – it’s the perfect place to satisfy your craving for warm, buttery croissants. And if the mood so moves you, make like a well-heeled Parisian, opt for a table on the sidewalk and watch the world go by. You’ll quite agree, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi appeal to it all.

Note: This article was extracted from Uniquely Singapore’s website.