This affordable French spot has been transplanted from Ali Baba Eating House in Joo Chiat to more conveniently located digs opposite high-end Italian stalwart Garibaldi, bringing a heartland crowd to the CBD.
The menu at Saveur may be compact but regulars aren’t here for variety. Instead, they just want competent and easy-on-the-pocket classics. The business model seems to be working. Its no reservations policy means the line to get in forms at 5:45pm daily for the dinner service which begins at 6pm. It’s intimidating but the wait’s really only about 15 minutes.
True to its kopitiam roots, the new place is still basic (expect a black and white color scheme with framed pictures of the original site on the walls). The menu has stayed pretty much the same too with familiar favorites like foie gras with lentils ($7.90) and the Asian-inspired angel hair pasta with sherry-minced pork and sakura ebi ($4.90).
Mains remain traditional but are prepared with local tastes in mind. The duck confit with shitakes and mash ($8.90) is less salty than standard while the premium plate of pan-fried monkfish ($23.90) features a side of leeks that still has plenty of bite despite being called a “fondue”. Real missteps are few and easily forgiven. The “textures of citrus” dessert is an overworked dish of citrus jelly, granita and cornflakes which looks garish but is a pleasant enough mix.
Frankly, a bargain meal buys a whole lot of goodwill around here and at these prices, there’s little to fault. Just remember to bring your own booze—drink options are skimpy—and anyway corkage is only $20, ensuring that you should leave happy.