The husband and I walked past this bistro a few weeks back when we saw a menu signage at the entrance that featured its value-for-money lunch sets for steak & free-flow fries. Being a steak frites lover, this was something I couldn’t resist so we had to return over the weekend to try it out. We hadn’t been to its flagship restaurant at Duxton Hill, so it was a good chance to compare their steak frites with my all-time favourite, Les Bouchons’ (read my review here). So how did it fare?
We did call to make a reservation the day before but it seemed unnecessary to do so as the restaurant was quite empty when we were there just after noon even though its neighbours were all quite packed with customers.
And these were the lunch sets that caught our attention.
If you’re wondering what’s the difference between Light, Classic and Large, well, the main difference is in the weight of the beef –
Light = 160g
Classic = 200g
Large = 300g
Also, the Classic and Large set meals come with a choice of kir (French cocktail) or soft drink and the dessert of the day.
Our orders were promptly taken and then scribbled on the ‘mahjong paper’ table mat which was a smart move so the server would know what each of us had ordered. The alphabet ‘M’ simply meant how we wanted our steak to be i.e. Medium.
We were first served a mixed greens salad with whole walnuts and a lightly sharp mustard dressing.
Next up was the duck rillette served with pickled gherkins and grilled buttered Poilâne bread. One mouth of this and I was on cloud nine. Simply to die for! I had good duck rillette at Melt – The World Cafe (Mandarin Oriental Hotel) before and this was on par if not better. Shredded duck meat processed in duck fat that turned out smooth, tender, a little creamy but with texture. Just spread over the crispy toast and top with a gherkin, the flavours that burst in the mouth were just indescribable. A must try starter indeed. The only downside was, the portions of rillette and bread (only 2 slices of really thin toasts) were probably enough for one person rather than for two to share.
And here was my plate of steak with over-flowing shoestring fries. The steak was pre-cut into slices and then drizzled generously with their signature sauce. There wasn’t a need for a knife because each slice of beef was of bite size. Despite that, I still preferred the usual way of cutting my steak, lol.
Even though L’Entrecôte’s winning formula was supposed to be the sauce, I found the sauce lacking in flavours, in fact, it was a little diluted. To make it more palatable, we had to add a dollop of Dijon mustard to boost the flavour as the beef was under-seasoned.
The fries on the other hand were really outstanding. Hot, crispy and just addictive. I was happily eating the fries with my hands unlike the ‘dainty’ husband who had to use his fork. And because my portion of beef was quite small, I had space to order a refill of fries. The service staff then brought out a plate of freshly-fried fries which she then hastily slumped (and slided) onto our respective plates when she could have used a pair of tongs instead.
Even though the steak was nicely done with a pinkish centre and little blood juice, the meat was a little hard and chewy for my liking. Perhaps I should go for Medium Rare the next time.
The husband’s Large portion which wasn’t a huge difference with my Light.
The Large meal came with a dessert of chocolate mousse which we shared. This was chocolatey, smooth and not overly sweet. Portion was small but good enough as a luscious finale to the meal.
This was what the husband noticed. The salt & pepper shakers and Dijon mustard were not made available on every table so we had to take from the table beside us. Imagine there were people seated next to us, were we supposed to ‘borrow’ the condiments then?
Restaurant service was average. The moment we made payment and was about to leave the restaurant, no one said ‘thank you’ or ‘please come again’ even though the restaurant wasn’t busy at all. A lack of welcoming vibes here. Pity.
My overall verdict? While I thought the steak and sauce were overrated, the fries were a bomb. I would still return next time to try the steak in medium rare and see if everything would work out fine. Forget about the Classic size and just go for the Light since the fries are free-flow and would be enough to fill you up.
#B1-128/129 Suntec City
Tel: 6690 7569
Opening hours: 11.30am to 9.30pm daily