Roast chicken with 40 garlic cloves served with potato gratin
What a great start to the lunar new year we’ve had. First we found great tapas, and then last night we managed to secure a reservation at a charming French bistro that has been fully booked the last four times we’ve wanted to visit.
Le Bistrot du Sommelier is at Prinsep Place, nestled in the middle of a row of shophouses that have been converted to bars and other restaurants.
It’s a busy, bustling restaurant, and based on last night, where all tables were full, I’d definitely recommend making a reservation to avoid disappointment.
And there’s a reason why it’s so busy – it’s great rustic French food at its best.
Foie gras terrine with fig jam and brioche
D and I could not go past the duck foie gras terrine for starters, which I’d actually recommend sharing between two (unlike last night where greed too over and we ended up too full from ordering one each) – it’s a very generous slice of rich, intensely flavoured foie gras terrine served with a fig jam and brioche. This paired so perfectly with the Sancere we ordered.
There is a beef menu where they serve 4-5 specials but for some reason D and I departed from our usual French-fare of duck and beef, and ordered the roast chicken stew with 40 garlic cloves and pan-roasted snapper fillet.
The roast chicken arrived in a claypot, stewed with white wine, onions, herbs de provence, and 40 garlic cloves, that had stewed into a sweet, mellow sauce that was crying out to have a crusty baguette dunked in it. But as with most bistrots, you are rarely short of carbohydrates, and this dish was served with a potato gratin (which was cooked with cream and nutmeg that you could smell and taste – yum). Exceedingly rich, this would have been tough for me to finish after the foie gras terrine I’d just eaten.
Snapper fillet over crushed potatoes with tomato salsa
Luckily I (for once!) let my head rule over my heart with my order of snapper fillet, which arrived with a simple “salsa” of chopped tomatoes, onions and basil, all over crushed potatoes that had been drizzled with olive oil. A sprinkle of fresh tarragon leaves over the fish gave each mouthful a refreshing aniseed flavour which I surprisingly loved given that I don’t usually like strong anise flavours.
We were so full that we couldn’t even think about dessert although the profiteroles have our name on it for next time 🙂
There is indoor and outdoor seating, and tables are very close together, which means you tend to overhear conversations from neighbouring tables (perhaps not the sort of place for an intimate dinner for two) and we heard that they now do not allow BYO. Which is a shame because that’s just so, “bistrot”, although their wine list is pretty extensive and reasonably priced.
We had to walk home because we couldn’t fathom sitting down in a taxi with such full bellies, but a lot of our conversation home was about what a great find this bistrot was and what we would order next time. And the next. And the next.
Le Bistrot du Sommelier
46 Prinsep Street, #01-01 Prinsep Place
Tel: +65 6333 1982
Open Mon-Sat: 6pm – 11pm