Daniel Boulud’s name is synonymous with fine dining in New York, and his signature Manhattan restaurant DB Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands needs no introduction.
While the general taste is not fantastically out of the world, the food is always consistently good. These days, sadly, even the better restaurants have neglected this point. There is nothing more disappointing than to return to a restaurant only to find that your favourite dish is not as good as before. And it is especially not acceptable at fine dining restaurants where we have to pay so much for a meal.
However, this is not the case at DB Bistro Moderne. I have dined there a few times and I am glad to say that they have always maintained a high standard.
The Wild Mushroom Soup ($15) came first. It was decent, but nothing much to speak about. This was followed by the Seared Foie Gras ($39) with a brioche toast and spiced apple marmalade. The foie gras was a mouthful of delicious richness bite after bite. I would be hard-pressed to find a better one in town.
The Lobster Salad ($36) – with avocado, tomatoes, green beans, artichoke and basil aioli – while good, was nothing fantastic. DB Bistro also features other salads such as the Frisee Salad Lyonnaise ($24), Roasted Beetroot Salad ($25), Iceberg & Blue Cheese ($23).
For appetisers, we would recommend the Ratatouille ($20). The classic vegetable stew was hearty and very comforting. It was the perfect start to the meal and whetted my appetite for the main courses.
Rested on a bed of greens – tomatoes, artichokes, carrots and salsa verde – the Line Caught Tuna ($39( was meaty and very fresh.
The Saffron Tagliolini ($24 appetiser, $36 main course), on the other hand, did not leave a strong impression. It was not mindbogglingly good, but it was decent with the delicious spanner crab. The other pasta option on the menu is the Tagliatelle Nero ($24 appetiser, $36 main course), but if I was you, I would skip the pastas and go for the main courses.
Coq au Vin ($34), a traditional French dish, is one of the highlights of the menu. DB Bistro’s rendition was very good. I would strongly recommend to go for this.
Our favourite dish was DB Bistro’s Duck Confit ($36), cooked so that the skin was crisp, but the meat tender and flavourful, and served with savoy cabbage and olive oil crushed potatoes.
The DB Burger ($42), pictured in the first photo, also lived up to its name. A juicy and superb burger with seared foie gras in the middle. This was heaven on a plate. Definitely one of the best burgers around. That said, I am not sure if I would pay so much for a burger.
We had the Australian Flank ($45) and USDA Prime Ribeye ($80). The former was pretty decent, but in no way comparable to the latter. The ribeye was tender and full of flavour, with a good proportion of fat to lean meat. If I close my eyes, I can still imagine the tender steak. The fries were excellent, too.
For their winter menu, DB Bistro had a Chestnut Souffle ($15). It was nicely paired with a blackcurrant sorbet, which provided a good counterbalance to the hot chocolate sauce. However, on a recent visit, we found out that it was replaced by a Durian Royal Souffle ($15) with mangosteen sorbet.
We also sampled the Chocolate Passionfruit Fondant – a luscious mix of the rich and sweet dark chocolate with a slightly sourish passionfruit.
The de-constructed Apple Mille-Feuille ($15) — apple confit, phyllo dough, mascarpone mousse, green apple sorbet — was also delightful with its contrast of textures and flavours.
If you are too full for desserts, you must at least order the Madeleine ($8) for the table to share.
A meal at DB Bistro Moderne, I must say, is not cheap. But it offers an excellent value considering that it is all delivered well on the plates in a sexy venue. For those who are on a budget, go for their pre-theatre dinner (5.30pm – 7pm) at $68++/pax for a three course prix fixe menu.
DB Bistro Moderne
10 Bayfront Avenue
#B1-48 Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 8525
Mon to Fri (Lunch): 12pm – 5pm
Sat & Sun (Brunch): 11am – 5pm
Sun & Mon (Dinner): 5.30pm – 10pm
Tue to Sat (Dinner): 5.30pm – 11pm