Singapore - Brasserie Balzac @ Rendezvous Gallery
Seems like we can't spit over our shoulder without it landing on the door of a new French brasserie in town nowadays.
Brasserie Balzac is the latest of a line of Parisian-style brasseries which are sprouting all over Singapore (coming close on the heels of DB Bistro Moderne, Brasserie Gavroche and La Maison Fatien, amongst others).
Serenaded by Edith Piaf (another constant feature of French eateries in Singapore), lunch today was simple: started off with a bread basket filled with raisin-filled and wholemeal bread, served with herbed butter and a salmon spread. At times, I actually wished I'd get some plain baguette with good old butter.
Starters were: baked aubergines-tomatoes-zuchinni topped with Parmegianno-Reggiano (superb), frisee salad with lardons and poached egg (the lardons were delish, but the poached egg was overcooked & was still chilled when served to us, YUK!!) and a crabmeat salad (awful, overly creamy yet bland)
Mains were 48-hour-cooked beef cheeks with mash - out-of-this-world ! One of the best dishes I'd had in a while; and duck Parmentier (didn't like this overly-dry, salty dish)
Desserts: Creme brulee (nice) and a fromage blanc mousse with berries (not good).
Overall, some hits, outnumbered by misses. Hopefully, it'll improve, fast - Singapore's dining scene can be pretty unforgiving.
P.S. - coffee options (cafe au lait, espresso) here weren't very good as well.
Rendezvous Gallery #01-01
9 Bras Basah Rd
Tel: +65 6336 0797
Poaching eggs in advance and chilling them? How delightful!
I tried the chef's old venture at The French Kitchen, which wasn't too impressive. I think they were trying to keep their price point low but aiming for something above that. But when you are trying to keep your cost base low, quality (or otherwise) of your raw materials, etc. starts to become telling, and hospitality suffers as well, with their published wine list hopelessly out of date.
I haven't tried Balzac, but on your word, I might stick to db Bistro, which is genuinely excellent, if a little bit overcrowded at times.
I like Taratata Bistrot at Keong Saik Road. The two French chefs were from Brasserie Wolf and Top of the M respectively if I remember correctly.