Tag Archives: Bistro

Sarang Korean Bistro @ Orchard Central

Korean food aficionados rejoice! Sarang, previously known as the heartbeat of Seoul has recently undergone an overhaul and since reopened as a revitalized, much improved upscale and decidedly chic Sarang, Korean Bistro. Modeled after the modern contemporary restaurants in the posh and upmarket district of Gangnam, Sarang is the first to introduce the avant-garde concept of Korean Tapas in our country, which is indeed a fresh and exciting addition to our vibrant local dining scene.

Apart from serving up tapas in their menu, Sarang will also be rolling out Korean cocktail pairings of Soju and Makgeolli, for a whole new dining experience that you will appreciate with Master Chef YY’s customized food creations.

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The space along the balcony of the 7th floor, sports all the trappings of a well-tended garden, with planter boxes, lush greenery and largely Mahogany fine-grained furniture all included. And if any of the quirky light bulbs or unique steel framed chairs catch your eye, you probably will not find an identical piece in Singapore as every single item here has been specially imported from Korea, with the sole purpose of maintaining the uniqueness of Sarang.

Sarang means ‘to love’ in native Korean, and this affectionate term is translated in every aspect of this Korean bistro. From the careful conceptualization of the menu, which is an amalgamation of both Korean and Singaporean influences, down to the plating of every dish and even the potted plants that fringe the perimeter of the outdoor terrace, every little detail has been thoughtfully designed and purposefully orchestrated to augment your Sarang experience.

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Classic Tapas – Pairings (Soju Bomb and Makgeolli Sprite)

Sarang Japchae $7 [must try!]

This classic Korean dish of sweet potato noodles is one that I always order at Korean eateries and I am most pleased to say that Sarang’s version is by far one of the best I have had. Bouncy, chewy and QQ with a slight sticky texture, these noodles were spot-on and every bite was peppered with a whiff of sesame oil that was most appetizing. Complimented by the crunch of shredded carrots, onions and black fungus, this dish was every bit as colourful in its presentation as it was in flavor.

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Spicy Chewy Rice Cake $7

Putting his own unique spin on a popular street snack in Korea, Chef YY’s spicy rice cakes are different from what you may be used to, especially if the instant version of Tukbokk is what you usually have. With a stronger intensity of flavors that interplays and injects excitement to your palate, these cylindrical rice cakes are sure to whet an appetite. But for those who are not too accustomed to spicy foods, you have been warned.

Weekend Breakfast @ Bistro Du Vin (Zion Road)

A classic French breakfast is traditionally a simple affair. Unlike your elaborate hearty American or Continental breakfasts which often feature whole sausages, thick bacon strips and the like, the French value quality and satisfaction over quantity and is instead all about freshly baked baguettes and croissants served alongside a good brew of coffee or freshly squeezed fruit juice. The Bistro Du Vin branch at Zion Road offers just that very experience.

Available exclusively at only the Zion Road branch, Bistro Du Vin has recently added a breakfast menu on the weekends. From 8.30-11am every Saturday and Sunday, one can expect only the classics of Le Panier (1 croissant, 1 Pain au chocolat, Baguette) $9, Brandade with poached Egg $14, Plates of Cheeses, Ham & Saucisson at $20 each and Eggs prepared in different ways for $16. The menu, while limited in variety, is comprehensive enough to re-create the actuality of having a very Parisian breakfast in a little French bistro.

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Le Petit Déjeuné Complet: $23.00
Choice of hot Beverage
+ Glass of Juice
+ Basket of Bread & Croissants
+ Choice of “Let’s Get Serious”

  • Omelette $16.00 (ala-carte)
  • Fried Egg $16.00
  • Scramble Egg $16.00

I strongly recommend getting the Le Petit Déjeuné Complet. For $23, one can enjoy two beverages, a basket of freshly baked French breads and a choice of eggs done the way you like it. The eggs also come with sides of Sautéed Lardons, Iberico Ham, Sautéed Mushrooms & Grilled Tomatoes as well. An absolute bargain for a hearty brunch, let alone a quality French one at that.

Weekend Brunch @ Cocotte, Wanderlust Hotel

By definition, Cocotte refers to ‘a small fireproof dish in which individual portions of food are cooked and served‘. It is in Singapore however, a quaint little French restaurant situated at the lobby of Wanderlust Hotel along Dickson Road. While it is certainly not one of the easiest locations to reach by public transport and even by foot, I can assure you that the trip is definitely worth every step.

No stranger to the French cuisine scene in Singapore and known for serving up authentic, unfussy and traditional French food, Cocotte- Communal | Restaurant | Bar is committed to quality and taste. With Head Chef Anthony Yeoh at the helm, you know you are in for a gastronomical French treat when you dine here.

We came here on a Saturday afternoon to try out their relatively new weekend brunch menu and were pleasantly surprised that only a few tables were occupied. I loved the layout of the place, which was rustic and charming with little touches of purple coloured Baby’s Breath in our cutlery containers and vases at the window panes. Checkered or striped napkins dressed the plates with a minimal touch and colourful stainless steel chairs gave a burst of sunshine to the overall scheme. It was certainly a delight just being here and sitting by the windows with the morning rays shining through. The people here at Cocotte definitely got the brunch mood set right even before the food is served.

A quintessential item to the French in the mornings is their bread. And so we paid tribute to their tradition by starting with a Mixed Basket $12 that came with a choice of one artisanal jam (request for any extra and it is $3 each). The brown woven serving basket had three miniature Pain Au Chocolat and Croissants. After taking a bite of these fluffy viennoiseries, I have to say that they were by far one of the best I have had and commensurable with the much applauded croissants at Tiong Bahru Bakery. This is a must order here at Cocotte if you love French bread and even if you dont.

The Croque Madame $18 was simply scrumptious with that half cooked yolk of the sunny-side egg sitting atop the two layers of brioche served on a wooden board.

The Dempsey Brasserie

A contemporary mash-up between a casual French bistro and a sophisticated New York eatery, The Dempsey Brasserie (TDB) strikes a wonderful balance between the two with its extensive menu offerings strongly influenced by both countries. With sharing boards of cheeses and cut cured meats, various cuts of steaks, six different combinations of mussel pots and the weekend brunch usuals of Eggs Benedict and pancakes, it is European and American grub all in one setting. And of course paying tribute to the ‘Brasserie’ part of the name, TDB places a strong emphasis on their drinks as well. Whether it is chilling with the boys over beers or a girls’ night out with Martinis or Mojitos, there is something for everyone to enjoy a relaxing evening amidst the tropical greenery of Dempsey.

Almost an open concept with both alfresco and indoor seatings, with its high ceilings and tall doors with large see-through window panes that allow a generous amount of sunlight to enter the premises, the atmosphere is both welcoming and inviting. Using its spacious grounds to its advantage, tables are arranged at a reasonable distance from each other to allow privacy for meal conversations and providing that personal space that so many small spaced restaurants lack. Not forgetting the primed location of the bar counter which greets you the moment you walk into the eatery and also offers an alternative to patrons who are only here for a drink with their tall standing bar stools.

We made our way one Saturday afternoon to try out their weekend brunch which also happened to be a lovely birthday treat from the best friend. It was not too hard to decide on the following obvious choices that ‘jumped’ out at us and so after staring at the menu for less than 5 seconds, we placed our orders.

The Smokey pulled pork burger served with skinny fries and homemade apple sauce $25 was the first to arrive and we had also requested to have our skinny fries changed to Truffle fries for an additional $5. So when this wooden board was placed on our table, it was a true feast for the senses. It looked great and it smelled great. Overflowing smoked pulled pork sandwiched between slightly toasted buns with the truffle oil tossed fries strewn in the middle and some fresh greens at the side, we could hardly wait to chow down that burger.

And my was the pulled pork fantastic. The meat was so tender and the barbeque sauce that it was slow cooked in, was simply packed with flavour. Adding a crunch to the mix were some shredded cabbage that just made it an overall winning combination, although unfortunately the truffle fries were a little too over fried to our liking so that was a bit of a downer.

NYC Eats: Balthazar

Charming, beautiful interiors with high ceilings, bustling and a never ending stream of customers, Balthazar delivers the true french bistro New York City experience.

A one week in advance reservation for Sunday brunch only landed us with the 3.30pm slot (brunch ends at 4pm!). We were however half an hour early and decided to try our luck. Once we pushed through the heavy wooden front doors, we were immediately overwhelmed by the number of people and tables they had managed to squeeze into the place. Dont get me wrong, the floor area of Balthazar is not small at all but with every inch and corner occupied by a table and another barely inches away, you pretty much get an idea of how popular this establishment is with the New Yorkers. The noise level was high, really high- due to the number of people in the place, due to the number of gatherings held here and perhaps just due to everyone contributing to the boisterous atmosphere of Sunday brunch with family or friends!

Our first entrée was the Grilled Brook Trout over a warm spinach, walnut and lentil salad $25. A very simple looking dish, but a combination of so many different flavors that tied really well with each other! The sweetness of the grilled trout was a great match for the subtle bitterness of the raw spinach and the tenderness of simply boiled lentils. It was all so fresh and healthy tasting.

The chefs of Balthazar were flexible enough to allow us to change our main of Scrambled Eggs in Puff Pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus $22 to eggs done Over Easy instead. This is one of their best sellers and even if you are no fan of buttery pastries, you’d like this one! The puff pastry was more like a croissant which tasted so fresh, you would believe that it just came from their bakery next door. Even with the butteryness so obvious in the pastry, it was not heavy at all! And with the wild mushrooms and asparagus adding a lovely colour to the overall presentation, this was simply a pleasure to eat.