[SG] Le Bistrot Du Sommelier | where good food beckons

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hearing the name, Le Bistrot Du Sommelier, one would almost assume a humble restaurant offering French home-style cooking and some fine wine to pair along. That is spot-on and exactly what this restaurant has to offer. With one of the most distinguished wine lists in town, feel free to ask for recommendations and it shall not disappoint.

As one of our dining companions is a patron of Le Bistrot Du Sommelier, we managed to secure a comfortable table for six with much ease at a cosy corner of the restaurant, not to mention the signature dishes that were to follow! A modest setting spanning two floors, expect a spectacular selection of pâté and assortment of exotic charcuterie treats such as pig head terrine and rabbit rillettes.

Being served a basket of fresh loaf never fails to bring a smile to my face. I always find that such complimentary offering is good gesture for any restaurant to practise and being a huge fan of baguette, I particularly enjoyed the crisp crust with the chewy crumb on the inside.

Salade d'automne aux betteraves, chevre et noix | S$18/++

If you are overwhelmed by the French name of the dish, you are not alone but this humble steamed beetroot salad served with crisp baby spinach was one of my personal favourites for the starters ordered. Topped with thick slices of intense-flavoured goat cheese and walnuts, the varying textures offered a delightful savour. The natural sweetness from the mellow beetroot reconciled the rich cheese, certainly a hit among the health-conscious ladies at the table.

Garbure | S$18/++

Served in an impressive porcelain pot, it was a clear favourite among everyone at the table. The clear vegetable soup was simmered with duck stock, garlic butter, croutons and bacon but the star of this dish was the chicken dumpling.


The chicken dumpling was ingeniously prepared by the chefs but our takeaway was that it involved egg whites and the soft, sponge-like chicken dumpling was simply extraordinary. It was good enough for me to request for a second serving!

Various types of rillettes

This was yet another unforgettable offering with the signature rillette being the duck rendition (S$10.80/100 grams) featured above which would suit the palate of those craving for a savoury starter with its rich flavours. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the mackerel rillette (S$9.50/100 grams) most as the freshness of the fish was sharply enhanced by the acidity of the seasoning. Following the house's recommendations, we also ordered the salmon rillette (S$10.80/100 grams) but the lacklustre flavours were uninspiring for my palate.

Duck foie gras terrine | S$26.00/100 grams

Served with some fresh brioche, the moist and soft duck foie gras terrine complemented the crispness of the toast. It was almost the perfect spread to ask for on a relaxing Friday afternoon! Despite it being prepared as a terrine where typically the ingredients are coarsely chopped, there was a certain level of smoothness in this dish. Of a savoury touch, the fats from the duck foie gras surely made it sinfully palatable.

Cote de boeuf Angus rotie au four (Pour deux, 1kg) | S$148/++ 

For meat lovers, this oven roasted Angus prime beef rib was absolutely cooked to perfection. The requested order of serving the protein medium-rare was executed beautifully, retaining a desired level of pinkness in the mid-section. Being oven-roasted, the surface maintained a slightly crisp texture that refined the tenderness of the red meat.

Unmistakeably, the sweetness from the caramelised shallots and garlic confit balanced the savouriness of the beef and its accompanying brown sauce. Shared between the six diners at the table, this warmly satisfied the stomachs and brought a smile on each and every. That being said, another portion, please.

For those who are looking to dine as a couple or a smaller dining group, check out the Chef mood's special cuts which include red wine braised beef cheeks with root vegetables (S$30/++) or the classic beef tenderloin tartare served with fries. (S$32/++).

Gratin of potatoes | S$6.80/++ for an individual portion

Together with the Cote de boeuf, we could choose two sides to go along and we had the mixed greens and potato gratin. The latter was another delight as the richness from the cream was pleasantly delivered without satiating one's appetite.

Gigot d'agneau roti, pommes boulangere (for two) | S$68/++

If you are looking for a homely affair here, look no further than this oven roasted Welsh lamb leg served with baker's wife potatoes and brown jus, set to titillate your senses. The clever use of fresh herbs such as sprigs of rosemary alleviated the fragrance of the dish and paired with those beautiful potatoes, it simply defines comfort food.

There was no better way to end a sumptuous meal with some palatable desserts. Here we go!

Poire Belle-Helene (for two) | S$24/++

If you are a fan of the Masterchef series like me, then this dessert needs no introduction as it is a usual feature even among the professional chefs. The trick to perfecting this dessert is all about poaching the pear right, and in this case, the firmness of the pear was retained. Subjectively, for those who prefer their poached pears to be melt-in-your-mouth, this would not ace on your score-sheet.

The dark chocolate ganache enhanced the natural sweetness of the poached pear and what bit the dust for me was that crunchy hazelnut praline that set the base of this dessert. The varying layers of texture won me over and if you are willing to take that extra mile, take half a bite-size nip at the accompanying fresh mint leaf. The burst of flavours from the mint is guaranteed to push the flavours test to the limit, only to be brought home by the familiarity of the rich dark chocolate ganache.

Glace fromage blanc, compote de fruits rouges et biscuit sable | S$14/++

Tasting the sable, French shortbread biscuit, brought back fond memories of living days in the UK as it was one of my staple snacks. Topped with a sand-like coarse texture on the surface, it paired harmoniously with the smooth vanilla ice cream. The acidity of the berries compote was balanced with the right level of natural sweetness and you could even taste the fruits in the generous portion.

Profiteroles au chocolat | S$15/++

A classic profiterole dessert, magnified to the size of a burger, almost. If you are craving for some simple but quality desserts, this will not disappoint with its humble offering of two choux buns filled with vanilla ice cream topped with warm dark chocolate sauce and almond flakes.

Creme brulee a la vanille de Madagascar | S$12++

For those with a sweet tooth, the crème brulee is no stranger. With a crystallized surface, it gave a much desired layer of caramel crust to the otherwise soft and velvety custard base underneath. For a simple dessert like the creme brulee, I personally find that there is no short-cut to success as proven by this rendition, which infused the custard base with fresh vanilla beans.

Located on the 1st floor of the restaurant, you could have the selected pates, terrines and rillettes on the go.

Overall, I enjoyed the quality and culinary finesse of the food served though I felt that the portion size and prices would be more suitable for sharing. The ambience of the restaurant presented a modest and homely appeal which evidently drew the likes of expats and food connoisseurs. The service was impeccable as the staffs were approachable and it was easy to draw their attention. As the restaurant has a league of loyal diners, it is highly recommended to make a table reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.

Overall verdict: 8.0/10

Le Bistrot Du Sommelier
53 Armenian Street
Singapore 179940
Tel: (+65) 6333 1982

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  1. I do not understand why there are still so many good reviews about this French restaurant. I used to love this restaurant, but it is no longer a good restaurant. The service is actually very poor, the duty manager is not well trained to understand customer satisfaction. For the average spending say $95-100 per person, there are definitely many way better choices in Singapore. My friend also suffered from food poisoning after our dinner. I will not go back and will not recommend this restaurant to anyone.