I love French food - gourmet or not - I love the dainty portions artfully arranged on huge plates, the delectable food items exotically prepared, and the enchanting settings of French restaurants.
Which was why when my good pal Damien* suggested going for dinner at Balzac Brasserie Restaurant located at 9 Bras Basah Road #01-01 Rendezvous Gallery Singapore 189559 (yes, at Hotel Rendezvous gallery, how neat is that?), I instantly agreed. Reservations may be made by calling 6336 0797.
It is a quintessential French restaurant named after the famous French playwright cum novelist Honore de Balzac, furnished in classical French designs that emit strong cultural vibes. French doors, French seats, and friendly wait staff scurry around to attend to the scores of diners filling up the bistro restaurant every night. We loved the semi-romantic, charming setting; our only grudge was that the tables were a tad tiny, especially if we wanted to order many items.
Without much preamble, we placed our orders and were eagerly awaiting our delicacies to be served.
While waiting, they placed the Amuse Bouche (bread basket) to tease our appetites first - and savoured we did! Soft, sweet, wheat rolls that were butter-compatible definitely, but the impressive item was really the Smoked Salmon Rilette. It was a godsend, rich in taste and a buttery-mushy texture like pâté. Smoothened over the bread rolls, it was a food match made in heaven.
Then we had the Appetizers of Pan Fried Foie Gras with Caramelized Apple and Duck Juz - another dish of supple, delicious meat so soft, it literally deliqueses on the tongue. Lightly-flavored, though a tad pale in comparison with Foie Gras I eat elsewhere usually- it was unique on its own. Whether nibbled in delicate bites or consumed with the wholemeal bread served with this dish, it was still rather tasty.
We enjoyed the Lobster Bisque soup - piping hot when it was served, tantalizing in its frothy creaminess, palatable to the tastebuds because of the sweetness of lobster essence, and uniquely served with sauteed mini black Qwheli prawns.
The Duck Leg Confit served with orange sauce and mashed potato made its entrance next. Disappointingly, the skin was not crispy and the mashed potato was so pulpy it was more like thick potato soup. The taste of the duck confit was a strong salty flavor, nothing original - though the meat was quite tough. All I could say was that I have definitely tasted better confits out there.
The Beef Cheeks a La Cuillere was the redeemer - tender Wagyu beef cheeks with redolent bourdalaise sauce and mashed potato. Delicious beef so mellowy soft, that even the mushy potato did not faze us.
For desserts, we shared a Valrhona Chocolate Moelleux - molten chocolate cake served with Taihitian Vanilla ice-cream. The cake was moist, sweet, delicious, paired well with the refreshing sweet ice-cream.
In this ebullient, unpretentious French restaurant, one could rest assured that there are no faux airs and graces from the service crew or patrons. Even the dishware they use are plain and non-fussy, setting one's mind at ease that indulgence of good food does not always mean a rigid, cheerless beautiful but soulless environment. Whether to be enjoyed as a dating grounds or for friends to foster better relationships, this restaurant definitely has all the elements.
We spent SGD$80.00 each on this meal.