One of the things that I like about the Singapore Dining scene is the vibrancy, there are new restaurants opening all the time. Some open with a big fanfare, while others prefer having a soft opening to fine-tune and tweak their menu before they are plot on the to-dine-at restaurant radar.
And when a new restaurant is being helm by chef Sufian Bin Zain’ who helped his previous restaurant Iggy’s being listed as one of the world’s top 100 restaurants, it’s not surprising that everyone will rush to the new establishment. I am not one of those that like to chase after new restaurants, that’s one of the reasons that it took me until now to drop by L’Entrepot Bistrot.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I hardly blog about restaurants in Clarke Quay, there’s nothing wrong with the area; in fact it is a well-known places for tourists to dine at, when visiting Singapore. And that’s precisely the problem. Awesome riverside view, gorgeous restaurants interiors, but I’d imagine it comes with hefty bills and the made-for-tourist stamp too.
For restaurants, set lunches are one of the ways to attract more customers and increase sales. In times like this, not everyone can still afford to splurge on extravagant lunches, and that’s when you have value set lunches. Given that a normal meal and a drink in a food court will probably cost you six dollars upwards, an affordable lunch for $15 nett in a nice restaurant with everything plated nicely, is very tempting.
Besides the perfect excuse to indulge in a good lunch, it’s an opportunity to check out the restaurant and see if it’s worth coming back for dinner. On normal occasions, L’Entrepot Bistrot’s normal 2 course lunch is $25++, while the 3 course menu will set you back by $30++, but there’s a current promotion for all the Clarke Quay restaurants where a 2 course set lunch is $15 nett.
The promotional menu is almost identical to the normal lunch menu, with a few exceptions. One of those is the escargot which we wanted to get, but since it wasn’t available for the promotion, we went for the French Onion Soup, served with Emmenthal Cheese. It was a good decision, the onion soup is the classic example of the rustic French Bistro food.
On this visit, I chose the Vongole, which came with clams amidst the leeks, onions tomato and spaghetti. There was a subtle white wine taste in the spaghetti sauce. The generosity of clams were admirable, but the presence of leeks drove me to verge of irritation; I ain’t no fan of leek.
I’m not one who will always order fish for main courses while it comes to dining outside. I like fish, but it pales in comparison when you can have steak, chicken, or duck – meat in general. But still, I love fish, it sounds fickle but I am only human, you know. So I was glad when my Evangeline ordered the Pan Fried Seabass, with mashed potatoes. It may sound very ordinary, but the seabass was actually pretty good. It sounds like a layer of crispy pan-fried skin with the fillet nicely settled underneath.
It was a toss between Creme Brulee and Profiteroles when it came to desserts, but as Tampopo deli is nearby, we went for the former. Now, there will be vanilla beans inside, I’m sure. And true enough, there were tiny speckles of them in the custard, and the surface was caramelized beautifully.
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3E River Valley Road
#01-02 Clarke Quay
Tel: 6337 5585