When celeb chef Bruno Ménard and the Deliciae Group decided to go the casual route and set up burger joint &MADE, it was a bit of a surprise—though it clearly paid off. The follow-up to its success is its three-month-old sister restaurant LA CANTINE, a more upscale modern French brasserie at Asia Square with chic furnishings alongside unusual features like upside down red rooster fixtures suspended from the ceiling.
There’s no question that both the food and drinks menus are well thought out—the impressive, French-leaning wine list showcases 10 by the glass options including Delamotte Brut Champagne ($16/glass, $79/bottle). The Cévennes onion soup on a bed of foie gras royale with truffle-scented Chantilly crème ($24) is a signature for good reason, it’s so incredibly flavorful that we found ourselves fighting over who got to finish it—always a good sign.
Also decent are starters such as “La Tomate Farcie” ($14), a whole tomato stuffed with zucchini chutney and topped with a mild yuzu-kosho (yuzu pepper) tarragon sorbet, and an organic soft-boiled egg atop brunoise ratatouille and chorizo ($19)—although on our second visit, this was served far too cold.
Less impressive is the bland and much too fatty lamb chops ($38). You’ll fare better with steaks from the Butcher’s Corner, all served with caramelized onion, girolles mushrooms and Royan ravioli gratin, including a satisfying La Bavette beef flank ($42).
And if you’ve got room for dessert, the classic baba au rhum ($14) is truly stellar. We’ll allow ourselves a grumble about the inconsistent execution of the food, but the bigger failing here is the service.
Despite being mostly empty during dinner, the servers weren’t able to keep our orders straight on two separate occasions, which is unfortunate really, because it has all the necessary ingredients for a wonderful dining experience; we can only hope that they’ll sort out those kinks soon.