Monday, 3 November 2014

The French Table

Last week, Ariella and I, went to The French Table for lunch. The restaurant is located at West Coast Plaza which is convenient for us as our factory and office is located nearby at Pandan Loop. The restaurant has incredibly priced set lunches for $12.80 for a two course meal and you can top up $3 for dessert however we decided to go a la carte since we were writing a review. The décor is simple and tries to incorporate some French elements to replicate a homely bistro style with the use of bricks, wood and French style rattan chairs and awning. There is a semi-open kitchen which is helmed by Chef Nelson Chua. Chef Nelson honed his French cooking skills when he worked under Chef Patrick Heuberger at Au Petit Salut many years ago. Ariella and I will be writing about our respective dishes so you may see a difference in writing style!

Salad Niçoise

For a start, I (Ariella) had the Salad Niçoise that came with generous bite-sized servings of smoked salmon. Though smoked salmon is not something commonly found in a Salad Niçoise, I am certainly not complaining.

Wild Mushroom Soup

Then came the Wild Mushroom Soup served with some Alba Truffle Olive Oil drizzled over. Its consistency is just nice for my liking and though I am again watching my weight, I licked the bowl clean. 

Pork rillette made with Spanish pork belly

I (Andre) started with the pork rillette which is stated that it is made with Spanish pork belly. I believe this is what made Chef Nelson’s pork rillette stand out from others I have tried. Very often chefs use other cuts like the pork shoulder and the rillette can be dry. This one is nicely seasoned and it is moist throughout with small pieces of carrot in it. It comes with some salad, cornichon and two slices of baguette. The two slices of bread is not enough for the amount of rillettes so just go ahead to order a basket of sliced baguette. This dish is a steal at $6.80.

Crispy duck confit

For my main, I had the crispy duck confit. The duck leg is cured for one day in salt and spices before being cooked. I can see why this is their signature dish. The crispy skin had just the right amount of fat still underneath and the meat was moist and tasty without being overly salty. The duck is served with red wine sauce, some spinach leaves and truffle mash. My only complain would be I would have liked more truffle mash as it was good. This dish which is often $30 at other French restaurants was priced at $18.80. On a previous occasion, I have tried their cassoulet which contains the confit duck leg and that is yummy too.

Lamb Navarin

Most of the braised meat I (Ariella) have eaten outside are made with red wine. I made a braised beef cheek recently using a recipe by Chef Francois also using red wine. When I saw Lamb Navarin on the menu and since it just so happen that I was up for an "adventure", I decided to give it a go. Lamb Navarin is lamb (of course) braised in white wine, tomato paste, herbs and vegetables. This is similar to the recipe I used for the beef cheek. Comparing white and red wine as the base, a red wine base lends a more robust and better defined character to the dish. Chef Nelson has chosen to use lamb leg, bone-less, cut into cubes, in this dish. Lamb leg is usually used for roasting therefore the use of lamb leg in this dish came as a surprise. Although the meat was tender and requires little mouth work to get it down the throat, there is a noticeable difference in the overall mouthfeel. 

After eating at The French Table, you will most likely feel swindled by other French restaurants. It is quite amazing how they are able to serve such quality food at these prices. Most likely they have passed on rental savings to the customer so if you live close by or don’t mind to travel for good value then drop by The French Table and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. 

The French Table
154 West Coast Road, #02-26 West Coast Plaza, Singapore 127371
For enquiries, call 6777 9483

                                                                                                                                                                                       ~Andre, Huber
                                                                                                                                                                                             Executive Director

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