Monday, August 8, 2011

Le Entrecôte: The One and Only Steak

The Exterior French Bistro look

This place sells only one main course-steak frites and has been receiving both mixed reviews about the ambience food quality and service. But besides the main, it has a whole list of appetizers and desserts.it is just a few shops away from The Jackson Plan but we were surprised to see a whole crowd of people already seated inside when it seems so peaceful outside.

( Top Right) The interior hustle and bustle and the waiter putting all the second servings of the main course on to the hot burner. The word "entrecôte" refers to the premium rib cut from the beef.
The name of "L'Entrecote" is actually the popular nickname for Le Relais De Venise-L Entrecôte a renowned restaurant that is based in France

(Left) We were really surprised that the seats were so packed together. The waiter had to carry the table away for customers to sit inside before putting back the table. You can hear what the people next to you are talking. 真的是每个人肩并肩坐在一起。But it is a delightful experience when the person next to us was an adorable Japanese girl. Very sweet looking.

Perhaps there was no other choices but to bear with the crowd and noise. Right after we were seated, a complementary glass of white wine was served. This was quite a pleasant welcome change from the usual butter and bread in French bistros.

First we had the appetizer......
Half dozen (6 pieces) escargots with parsley and butter($14)

It was the first time I tried escargots and oh my...it was really good:) the snails were really fresh and met the expectations of my dining partner who was a great fan of escargots. The garlic herbs and olive oil meld together very well and you can still dip the bread intot each hole to soak up all the juices.

It was interesting to note that the bread itself without anything was already very tasty and crusty. It had a little salty taste to the crust. The bread is apparently shipped from Poliane and the family next to us was asking for refills of the bread. So they were indeed a favourite amongst the crowd.

The Main Steak Frites (2 portion of this plate=1 order)

The main course was served after the salad. Well, as the only main course, we were expecting more to this dish. However tasty it was, there was not much to be raved about this dish. It was recommended to go rare or medium rare to get the full taste of the meat. The beef was done to medium rare and it was really soft and chewy and tender.  But if i can choose again, I would prefer medium.

Certainly, the meat was of good quality without any trims of fat. It tasted like slightly thicker slices of seared salmon but without the fishy taste. Nonetheless, we both agreed that there were better steaks and sauce at other places. We were glad we ordered this to share and not had two plates of it each by ourselves. The butter based sauce of herbs and mustard is apparently similar to the version in France but at serving time ours was slightly cold and I wished the amount of sauce could be more generously given.

Also, the fries were crispy, thin and lightly salted. It was a pity that we only realized that the fries were unlimited after we finished the main.

Nonetheless, the fries does not come with any dipping sauce. If you want more of their lengendary 独门酱料,there is an extra charge of $5. I was actually missing DB bistro steak frites when I had this and so I am not certain if it can be called a "faultless" steak yet.

Nonetheless, the desserts really put a sweet ending to that meal......

Vacherin du bistros($14)
A delicious tower of meringue, hazelnut ice cream, vanilla ice cream drizzled in chocolate sauce.

Topped with a mound of whipped cream, this dessert is sweet sweet sweet. But the meringue was crunchy and the temperature of the ice cream at serving time was just right. It was a refreshingly cool dessert and the ice cream was less cloyingly sweet than the meringue.


Creme Caramel with Almond Tuile ($9)
This was ordered by my companion but she found it rather cloying. For me, the taste was more eggy and less rich than a creme brûlée. I like this because the caramel was bitter flavour and balanced the dessert very well. But the Almond Tuile could be much crispier in texture.

It is easy confused creme brûlée with creme caramel but the difference is that the latter does not need to be baked in a water bath but the latter does. And usually, creme caramel are served unmolded with a pool of caramel sauce that was originally formed at the base of the mould. I like both but those who like a softer creamier versions might find this less appealing.

We did not want to order a third one but we could not resist the temptation. The half baked chocolate cake ($14) was certainly a right choice as the chocolate centre really did ooze out like lava, as though an egg has just been cracked.

Strangely, the lava was cooler than the exterior cake. But one thing that sets this apart from the other versions is that the lava was more than the cake layer so it was a joy scooping the lava the cake and the ice cream into one mouth altogether.

In all, with the exception of the steak, the rest was really impressive. Most of the people whom we saw dining there were foreigners. As so far this is the only place I've known that this really courageous enough to adopt the one-main-course concept, perhaps it might be worth going down to try the steak for once. The desserts and appetizers would still be the main draw of that day.


Le Entrecôte
36, Duxton Hill (No reservations allowed)
Closed on Sundays

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