L’entrepot Bistrot

In French, entrepot means “warehouse” but there is nothing warehouse-like about L’entrepot Bistrot. Its moodily lit interior, coupled with the rich autumnal palette and various French paraphernalia, makes it more cute than industrial. The focus here is on traditional bistro fare and as any chef will tell you, it’s the simple things that are the hardest to get right. Judging from our experience, L’entrepot still has quite a long way to go. Our starters, though beautifully presented, were ho-hum at best; If you’re a sushi or local seafood nut, you’ll probably find the seared Hokkaido scallops lacking the pop-in-your-mouth juiciness that these fine specimens are so famous for—apparently, Hokkaido scallops are highly prized, but we couldn’t really tell this from the ones we were served. Lacking a certain je ne sais quoi was the escargot, despite the little pools of butter, garlic and sea salt out of which they were peeking. And you know how foie gras is supposed to melt in your mouth and send your eyes rolling back in your head? Well, that didn’t happen here. If anything, it felt like it had been left on the pan a little too long. Things improved somewhat with the main courses. The Beef Bourguignon was easily the best of the three, a hearty affair served with a mellow red wine reduction. One of our companions thought the duck confit was a bit on the greasy side; the other felt the sea bass en papillote was pleasant enough, a sentiment that applied to the crepes suzettes as well. To put it simply, our experience here hovered between “meh” and “okay,” and this was compounded by the service. When we got their attention, the waiters were generally quick to attend to us, but that was the extent of things. In fact, no one gave us a wine list and we had no idea they had more than 90 labels (partly because we were sitting outside) till we did some research on our own the next day. We had only been told about the 1-for-1 Happy Hour promotion and we left thinking that there were only three reds to choose from by the glass. To end, all we’ll say is if you’ve never understood what the fuss over French cuisine is all about, you’re better off seeking enlightenment elsewhere.