Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pamplemousse Bistro & Bar

Sometimes festive dining does not necessarily equate to spending a bomb (for instance in occasions when one splurged more than hundred dollars for a lavish set course). At Pamplemousse, 3-course set lunches at $32 were fortunately still available on Xmas day and diners are allowed to mix and match their own appetiser, main and dessert from the 6-course christmas eve dinner that was available the previous night.

The reviews here had been good as the place embarks on a fusion style whipping up classic French food with some local spices/ingredients. The place was conceived by a married couple Adrian Ling and Cleo Chiang-Ling, who wanted to present something different from the usual European or French dishes by experimenting with regional ingredients. 
 
The portions for their set lunches were really generous and thus we were glad that we shared the set lunches instead of ordering one each.

Citrus marinated Salmon | Pamplemousse confit | Saikyo miso aioli | Croutons

Though pamplemousse means "grapefruit" in French, there was no sight of any grapefruit on their menu except in the appetiser shown above (the size can be equivalent to the mains in other places). The fillet of salmon was 70% marinated and 30% cooked. It looks raw but do not taste like sashimi, yet it lacks the salty flavour in smoked salmon. Nonetheless, this salmon has just the perfect tender texture that people who are strictly against raw food might accept it. The salmon is rather bland on its own and thus works well with the brown saikyo miso aioli to produce a strong umami taste.

Eggs "Meurette"
Poached eggs | Red wine | Kecap manis | Bacon, mushrooms & pearl onions | Brioche
This second appetiser is a rendition of the classic recipe of poached eggs in red wine sauce. with the addition of kecap manis, the sauce was full-bodied and had to be eaten with the crispy toasted brioche. This dish tasted better than it looked, except that the poached egg was not really poached well and resembles near fully boiled egg.

Cream of Chestnut
Smoked Foie Gras  | Coconut flesh water and milk  | Croutons
This was from the festive menu and we were glad to have given it a try. Though coconut and chestnut might sound weird together, the sweetness from both components was surprisingly not too overpowering. The brown bits on top of the soup were the foie gras that did not resemble foie gras but turned out to be it. With a crunchy coating on the outside, no one expected to taste it until the fats burst in the mouth.
 
Duck Confit (add $5)

Confit of duck leg  | Braised red cabbage  | Pommes sarladaise  | Lychee gastrique
This main course as recommended by the waitress was fairly decent and the duck met my expectations of a crunchy skin with fork tender meat inside. Though it was "confit" style, the dish was not greasy at all. The huge duck leg might looked daunting but easily swooned up with the gravy that is not just brown sauce but contained sweetness coming from cabbage and the lychee juice in the brown gravy. Nonetheless, it still has not beat the chocolate duck confit from Au Chocolat.
 
Wagyu Oxtail “Rawon” Tagliatelle

Indonesian spices |  Buah Keluak  | Cherry Tomatoes |  Chilli flakes
This asian-peranakan remix did not translate well on plate as the taste was bland and neither savoury nor spicy at all. Cherry Tomatoes and Buah Keluak seemed to be lost in wanderland.

Christmas Turkey
Slow poached turkey breast  |Turkey leg roulade | sausage stuffing  |cranberry  |"chicken rice" arachini
 
Turkey breast turned out extremely tender than steamed chicken with the slow-poached method and the rich savoury sausage stuffing was balanced by the red cranberry sauce. Perhaps turkey are tasting much better these days than 10 years ago.
 However, what I liked best was the chicken rice balls, deep fried with bread crumbs and filled with cheese in the centre that formed strands when pulled apart.



Osmanthus crème brulee | Lychee sorbet
This osmanthus infused brulee was the least sweetest creme brulee I've had so far. Perhaps this might appeal to those who prefer less sugar but the osmanthus taste was not very distinct and the lychee sorbet though small, had undeniably contributed a fair load of sweetness.



Melons + Sago V2.0
This was a welcome twist to the usual Chinese Melon Sago Pudding. Refreshing honeydew ice with caramel popcorn ice cream and a crispy sweet brittle. If only there were real popcorn bits inside the ice cream......
 
Christmas Log Cake
Available on their regular menu as well, this chocolate dessert is made up of log-shaped milo  ice cream, opera cake, cocoa crumbs, rose and pandan meringue. Tasted rather flat and failed to leave any deep impression.
 
The mains and appetisers fared much better than the desserts and it is heartening to taste creations of local chefs who seek to innovate. The place is actually quite famous for its Uni Tagliolini with Crustacean cream sauce and pork gratons ( not on the set menu) but our stomachs could no longer afford any more space for it. The set menus here are highly value for money for its quality and quantity. Suitable for those looking for something familiar and yet not too extravagant.
 
Pamplemousse Bistro & Bar
7 Dempsey Road, 01-04,
Singapore 249671
Menu and Details : http://www.pamplemousse.com.sg










 
 
 
 

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