Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Saveur: Really affordable French cuisine

I always had a hard time convincing my dining partners to try French cuisines. I guess it's the impression French cuisines gives to us. Food for the atas (High Class) people? Cuisine that is not meant for the common street boy? I can't really blame them. It's all about the perception each of us abide to...

There are still pockets of friends who still continue to associate me as an high class individual often judging from the way I speak and describe certain dessert terms such as Creme Brulee, Mille-feuille and Mont Blanc just to named a few of my favourite ones. Even the French term for cake, gateau is more than a mouthful for most of my friends to utter and much less indulge in them.

From my knowledge, the owners of Saveur started out as a small stall at some random coffeeshop at Joo Chiat, serving French food at coffeeshop price. Which if I translate into my own words, serving French food at affordable price...

Just recently, they moved into the city and set up their stronghold which is only two street away from Raffles Hotel. I have to be honest with you, I actually went there twice, each time with different dining partners and was turned away on both occasions either because our tummy couldn't endure the hunger pangs caused by the long Q or we came late after their last order. It was only on my third visit before I managed to get myself a table for two with an old friend of mine whom recently got an interest in fishing. 

I was determined to try their food you see. Where else in the central could you find a bowl of Pasta that cost $3.90 or a plate of Duck Confit at $8.90? Did I mention to you that they do not charge 10% for service too? I just knew I have to come and showcase this finding to my friends and fellow readers. 
The beautifully woven Angel Hair Pasta With Tiger Prawn And Lumpfish Caviar ($6.90). It's almost like a piece of art when the pasta arrived on our table. I love how the prawns were beautifully lined up along the hair of an Angel with specks of Caviar here and there. 

The taste was just as exceptional as it looks. The Olive Oil gave the pasta a moisturizing context while the prawns were succulent, signs of freshness I would infer. The Caviar though, gave the simplistic pasta something worth courting for. 
Personally, I'm a sucker for Foie Gras. it's one of those must have thing for me whenever I go for a French meal. Even more so that particular night because my dining partner had never tried one before! I spoke in the best French I could and I got myself the Pan Fried Foie Gras With Lentils And Pickled Onions ($7.90). Slightly overcooked if you ask me but the flavors seemed to explode within your mouth as you worked your way through the fatten Goose Liver. My partner still didn't like the idea of eating Liver but hey, at least he gave it a try right?

Do note that this is 35g only. Rather petite I have to confess but for our first time, it did just fine...
Being an angler himself, my partner knew he's so going for the Barramundi With Crab Potato And French Beans ($12.90). The fillet was fresh and pan fried nicely. The meat was flaky and tender. Once again, signs of freshness. The Crab Potato though didn't have any crab taste with every bite we took. 
La Petite Cuisine somehow has set the standards of a good Duck Confit should taste in me. I'm looking for a juicy meat thigh to sink my metal wares into. Afterall, the meat should be simmered in it's own fat. Hence, I was expecting an explosion of umami taste to it. But somehow I was disappointed by Saveur's rendition ($8.90). The meat was just too dry. It's almost like eating a fried one to a confit. I expected more but then again maybe I expected too much?
Just in the nick of time, our last order as it is Saveur's last order. The Pistachio Panna Cotta ($6.90) couldn't have ended our dinner any better... I swore I could have ordered a few more if I didn't have a high tea buffet to attend the following day. But hey, I love my high tea buffet just as much so no regrets here :)

Saveur is set to impress the crowd that's for sure. Just look at the number of diners strolling in? Service was commendable since there's so few staffs catering to a full house. Our cups always seem to be filled perceptually by the attentive staffs. I'm more than happy to pay $0.40 for my cup of tap water if this were the service they provide. If only their waiting time could be as fast as they served their food... I think you will see me frequent here. 

My advice to you if you wanna try Saveur would be to come around 2pm for lunch and after 8pm for dinner. That's when the place gets a bit empty and less vibrant (noisy) if you know what I mean. Do note that they do not accept reservations so don't bother calling them unless you need to.

So after reading this post, do you still have the impression that French cuisines are only for the rich? 

5 Purvis Street #01-04
Singapore 188584
Tel: +65 6333 3121

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