Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the French Stall, Singapore

As it was our last night staying in Little India area, after having such a divine meal here on our first night, we couldn't resist going back for more ....

The French Stall is run by Xavier La Henaff, who was a 2 star Michelin chef in France before coming to Singapore. He first opened a little hawker stall, where he worked with just one other chef 15 hour days. They made pastries, sauces and prepared various meats and seafood dishes all in a 3m square stall. After a couple of moves, they now seem to be staying put on Serangoon Rd. It's a nice red and white brick shop house on a lovely little corner that goes back one whole block.

Now, for the food ... They offer a few set menu's ranging from $16.80 up to $25.80. Dishes can then be upgraded/changed for a small fee. We however went for the al a carte selection. To start, we had pork rillete which came with cornichons and baguette and the house smoked Norwegian salmon, which was 2 generously thick slices with baby capers and a beautifully seasoned and lemon dressed shredded iceberg. We savoured each and every bite, the smokiness of the salmon leaving a lingering flavour in your mouth.

We then had the grilled lamb chops, with had a nice crunchy exterior but a deliciously soft and pink interior. They were served with marinated eggplant and sauteed potato. We also had the grilled entrecote of beef with black pepper sauce. Classic French bistro fare. Yum.

After seeing several giant profiteroles buzz by us throughout the meal, we couldn't resist. The giant profiterole came towered with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce. Divine!

Part II

On our second trip back, we had in mind to just order a bunch of appetizers to share .... Although after reading the daily specials, we decided we had to try the confit duck (good choice) and also hard to resist a 300g rib eye. A nice piece of steak is a rarity on our travels around Asia. We started again with the smoked salmon and another of the day's specials, aubergine confit. The aubergine flesh was soft with a little creaminess, almost a mousseline.. but still had welcoming chunks throughout. This was served with a tomato coulis and basil oil, a perfect pairing.

So main course, the confit duck leg. The duck meat itself was so flavourful. It's said that the duck meat, foie gras, escargot and various other tid bits all come from France. But the standout of the dish was the amazing braised cabbage. It was so savoury and so soft, but not a strong cabbage flavour. There was bacon, carrot & garlic and like it had been monte'd with cold butter just before serving, as it had a beautiful sheen. The plate was just finished with a little jus and devoured rapidly. The rib eye certainly hit the spot. A smokey, crisp outside and a deliciously tender well rested inside. It had a red wine sauce and fried potatoes with a touch of rosemary..

We then started again. Foie gras with spinach and a sweet Jerez sauce. The foie gras, divine! the spinach nicely sauteed and seasoned and it all surrounded by a lovely sauce made from the pan juices, a little vinegar and the Jerez. Did I say Yum...

This led into a cheese plate, 3 French cheeses with crusty bread. There was a double cream, a blue and a cheddar, which all went very well with a glass Roussillon, Maury Floreal oak aged red fortified.

After sitting for a few moments, we were ready for another profiterole. We also tried the chocolate souffle, which was the perfect size, nice and petite but still full of flavour. Have I said Yum yet?

the French Stall

544 Serangoon rd

Open 3pm - 6pm for drinks and deserts

6pm - 10pm for dinner

Closed Mondays and public holidays

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