| The small and intimate restaurant |
seats about 20-30 people
After the week long food show, I decided to treat myself and my wife, who had to put up with one week of my disappearance, to a French dinner at Fleur De Sel. Parking at Tras Street has become a nightmare so I parked at the Orchid Hotel located about 300m from the restaurant. As I entered the restaurant, I was quickly greeted by the hostess as well as the smell of cheese thanks to a platter of cheese displayed near the entrance. Guess I might have some cheese tonight. The small and intimate restaurant seats about 20-30 people and the open-concept kitchen takes centre-stage. Chef Alexandre Lozachmeur who you cannot miss is quick to greet me. I have met Chef Alex when he was formerly at Au Petit Salut and his credentials includes cooking alongside acclaimed French chef, Alain Ducasse.
|The beef tartar which was served with some salad |
and a bread crisp on top
As I studied the menu, I quickly dropped the idea of cheese in exchange for the Fleur De Sel set dinner. This is a five course dinner with three fixed dishes and a choice for the appetiser and main course. I started with the beef tartar which was served with some salad and a bread crisp on top. The pieces of beef were not finely chopped but instead chopped slightly coarser, something you should only do if you are using good quality meat. This coarseness allowed me to chew a little and enjoy the flavours of the herbs and condiments used to flavour the meat. It was a little spicier than most places probably from larger amount of Tabasco and/or Djion mustard and a little sweet and tangy from the egg and Worcester sauce.
The next dish was a choice between the lobster bisque with lobster tartar or the seared foie gras. Of course I went with the healthier option. The seared duck liver was served with an apple tartin, some salad and drizzled with duck jus vinaigrette. It was delicious to have a slice of duck liver with a slice of apple tartin in the same bite. You can really understand why the sweet tart combination of foie gras and apple and made for each other.
|Pan seared scallops served with parma ham|
For the third course, I had the pan seared scallops served with parma ham, chicken jus and pumpkin puree. The scallop was cooked to perfection! It was as tender as scallop gets and nice and moist inside. The scallop with just the parma ham can get a tad salty so eating it with some pumpkin puree helps to balance the saltiness.
For the main course, I had the option of the braised Monkfish or the slow cooked duck breast. Since I went for the sinful appetiser, I decided to go with the monkfish. The fish was served in bouillabaisse jus with fennel, dried tomatoes, croutons and baby potatoes. The fish was extremely hot when it I ate it which I enjoyed. One of my pet peeves is eating food cold when it should be eaten hot. The bouillabaisse jus was flavoured with some rouille and you could clearly taste the fish stock flavoured with garlic and saffron.
For dessert, it was Le Baba or Rum Baba as some know it. This traditional dessert is made of eggs, butter, flour, milk and yeast. The version here has a layer of vanilla whipped cream and is soaked with Grand Marnier just before serving. As the server placed the dessert on the table, she proceeded to pour chocolate sauce on the cake. The chocolate helped to lessen the taste of the rum and the airy cake was a light finish to a big meal.
I felt the set dinner I had for $108++ was reasonable. The great thing about this small restaurant is that Chef Alex is personally cooking all the dishes. When I was there, he only had one assistant to help him and the two man team did great to ensure the dishes came out at a good pace.
Fleur De Sel: 64 Tras Street #01-01 Singapore 079003