Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bistro Du Vin - A Taste of Parisian Bistro Fare

The thought of finding a decent French eatery in Singapore has always been a daunting one for me. I tend to shy away from the central district and the premium names, and long for something simple yet rustic.

It was a surprise when I visited Bistro Du Vin, which is under the Les Amis group, to find that this has become my favorite place for simple, classic French cuisine in Singapore.

Set up like a typical Parisian cafe or bistro, the place is cramped and small, yet the food and service is not pretentious at all. The cooking is almost home styled, and the flavors are all natural, bold and straightforward.

What is more inspiring and celebratory is their lunch menu. You can have a sumptuous 3 course meal for about $30, and that is what I call value for money. It is not just your regular lunch set, as I discover that it is actually a very complete French meal that ranks with the best French fare I have had here.

Pan Seared Fois Gras

The classic fois gras was done like it always should be. Nothing fancy, just two pieces of well seared and perfectly cooked livers. The pickled eggplant adds just the right amount of acidity to counter the richness of the fois gras, and every bite is a heavenly one.
 
Rabbit Terrine

Terrine is something that you rarely find here, and when you do, it's usually not that impressive. As an entree here, it was just about perfect again. Beautifully seasoned, the flavors of the rabbit meat combined with the raisins, nuts and and spices brought the whole dish together in an avalanche of flavors that will leave you begging for more, long after the last bite.

Stewed Short Ribs and Celeriac Mash

Moving on to the mains, the delightful gastronomic experience continued to impress with this hearty beef dish. The short ribs were cooked to an amazing toothpick tender texture, and the mash was smooth, creamy and utterly buttery delicious. Beef and mash, classic and without fault. And it was also huge.

Duck Confit

Another french classic, the duck confit was beautifully cooked. There was the requisite crisp skin, and combined with some stewed haricot beans and some lamb sausage, it was a perfect compliment to the richness of the duck flavors. 

Baked Pear Tart

A slight variation to the classic apple tart, Bistro Du Vin elected for pear instead. Irregardless, the dessert was aromatic the moment it reached our table, and the crust and pastry was perfectly judged in the cooking process. Every flaky bit of the crust, taken with the sugary coolness of the ice cream is the ideal dessert flavor profile.

Every item we had on the day was cooked from scratch, and the effort showed. Using classic French techniques, and served in rustic presentations, this is how tradtional French food should be served and eaten.

I like the fact that despite the over hyped restaurants in some central areas, the fact that the best place to eat classic French food is in a little shop house modeled after a traditional Parisian cafe.

Does it take me back to Paris? You bet. Even if it's just for an hour.

Bistro Du Vin
56 Zion Road

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