Saveur proves that French cuisine need not always be an extravagant event.
Unknown to many, they started out as a humble kopitiam stall hidden behind plastic chairs in Ali Baba Eating House: an off-the-beaten-track location in the eastern border of the island. Now, take delight that they had found their new home along Purvis street, thus inevitably smacking a grin on the faces of the CBD lunch crowds. And whilst the latter offers a more atas dining environment in comparison, the same cost-conscious prices remained. No wonder there’s one unifying mood here———everyone seems satisfied.
Never mind the minimal decorations, the white-coated walls and furniture looks clean and inviting enough. And beware that the 60-seater can get pretty hectic during lunch hour, so we suggest you pick up the pace and beat the crowd.
We appreciate the fact that our bellies and pockets are properly taken care of, and this calls for a celebration.
The lightly seared foie gras rested itself upon a bed of unctuous lentils and leaves of pickled onions, and we have to admit that the delicacy was nowhere near a gentleman’s portion. Nevertheless, happiness flooded the palate as the rich, fatty goose liver slowly disintegrated in our mouths and glided beautifully down with a creamy finale. The lentils, on the other hand, had a great bite and the pickled onions lent a further tangy dimension. With a kind budget like this, we were really tempted to treat ourselves to another serving of cholesterol.
Our pasta was visually captivating.
Expect to see luxe dices of tiger prawns embellished upon the perfect swirl of angel hair, with tiny clusters of lumpfish caviar riding along the waves of the noodles. The noodles were cooked precisely al dente alright, and the slightly bland texture was complemented by the savoury bursts of the accompanying black jewels. Similarly, the tiger prawns were fresh and we had a delightful crunch with every bite.
The pan-fried duck encased in a crisp skin teamed with creamy mash, orange segments and sauteed shittake was a clear winner as well. The bird, prepared using the sous vide method, was fork-tender and flavoursome, and any excess juice from the body had been conveniently soaked up by the mash below. The dish also wouldn’t be complete without the oranges as they lent a touch of acidity to balance out the heartiness of the meat, and gave it the necessary aesthetic lift. Likewise, the plate was polished off with much ease.
With only two weeks into business, Saveur has already garnered a sizeable following and it is not hard to see why. Delightfully, we stepped out of the restaurant feeling pampered without the need to abuse our wallets. Fortunately, flavours were not compromised due to the low price tag and the absence of the much dreaded upon GST and service charges. Let’s just say we are already finding another excuse to visit them again.
05 Purvis Street,