The Fabulous Frenchies
#01-01, 36 Club St., 6225-2202.
Recently renovated, this homely restaurant gives an intimate vibe. The menu consists of a classic selection of French brasserie items—soups, meaty mains, yummy pastas and loads of desserts. It’s a good let’s-try-this-out type of restaurant to bring your friends to, as the lovely bar makes for a good ambiance. Plus, service is good, and we know that’s a big plus.
42 Waterloo St., 6238-8682.
We hope you like purple as that’s the color this restaurant is decked out in. Bring your clients and friends here for a nice meal as the food is definitely good and the atmosphere is decidedly non-phony. Again, you’ll get some very competent French fare (think champignon pasta, chocolate fondant, bread and butter pudding) accompanied with polished service.
#01-02 The National Museum, 93 Stamford Rd., 6336-8770.
The refined interior of this new restaurant will get you feeling all sophisticated right away. The fact that it’s located within the National Museum also plays a very big part. What can we say—the food’s fab and innovative, the service is good—plus there’s a 14-foot bar to have a few drinks at. Check this one out for a very mod-yet-historical ambiance.
#01-01, 18 Mohamed Sultan Rd.,6235-6006.
This newbie offers an interesting variation of French cuisine—it’s French-Vietnamese. The décor is modern and sophisticated with a lounge area and a menu of mostly Vietnamese dishes from Hanoi, as well some French dishes. Chow down on spring rolls, chicken pho and main courses like scallops and prawns with vermicelli.
The Irresistible Italianos
#01-02 Blk. C Clarke Quay, River Valley Rd., 6305-6768.
A 5,000 sq ft casual trattoria situated in the chill-out-wind-down locale of Clarke Quay, BICE believes in serving nothing but top-grade Italian cuisine. You’ll find pasta, pizza, risotto, ravioli that are all prepared in the authentic Italian style. Try the panna cotta and breaded jumbo prawns.
#01-61 UE Sq. River Wing, 207 River Valley Rd., 6333-8875.
This name of this restaurant is the latest to emerge after an extended period of name-changing. That aside, tempting Italian dishes like lobster tartare, pesto risotto and Mediterranean seabass abound on the menu. And oh, did we forget to mention a whopping 200 wine labels are available here?
Blk. 18B Dempsey Rd., 6479-7808.
Yet another new restaurant emerges in the ever-hip confines of Tanglin Village. Intriguingly warehouse-shaped and possessing a quiet, happy vibe, you can tuck into mains like proscuitto wrapped mozzarella and squid ink tagilatelli lobster. There are many interesting permutations of standard Italian fare to be discovered here. The service is a little disorganized but it’s still worth a try.
#01-01, 5 Boon Tat St., 6423-1123.
Hurray for restaurants located in the CBD. This newbie has good food, great service and even quirky art pieces on its walls—all for an affordable price. On top of the reasobale prices, the vibe is comfy too and the service is down-to-earth and real. Hop by for a nice lunch or dinner on a weekday.
We quizzed two chefs from respective sides of the culinary debate on what makes their cuisine tick.
“Although people do say that one can’t have French food every day but when you do, it gives something special to the day. French cuisine is more adventurous in adapting other influences. For me, French cuisine is about taking time to savor everything.”—Anderson Ho, Le Papillon
“Italian cuisine is not only highly regionalized, it is very seasonal. It doesn’t stop with just food, it’s about lifestyle. The French firmly believe their chefs have the best culinary skills, hence emphasizing too much additional process in cooking a dish. However, the emphasis of Italian cuisine is on bringing out the originality of the ingredients, be it in the taste or characteristics.”—Roberto Galetti, Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar
French Vs Italia (Who Wins?)
Butter vs Olive oil
Olive oil may have its health benefits, but at least butter isn’t so atas. What’s with this virgin, extra virgin and cold pressed jargon anyway?
Foie Gras vs Pork Belly
Both are sinful special occasion foods, but at least the pigs don’t suffer.
Crème brulee vs Tiramisu
The margin for error is too big with tiramisu (too soggy, too bitter, too dry, too alcoholic…), but when have you ever had crappy crème brulee?
Madeleines vs Macaroons
Duh, macaroons of course. They have loads of yummy fillings while madeleines (dry cakes) are only famous because of that whole Proust thing.