Monday, 4 August 2014

Fleur De Sel

Do not confuse French restaurant Fleur De Sel with Brasserie Gavroche or Café & Bar Gavroche. The former, by chef-owner Alexandre Lozachmeur who has worked in three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée Restaurant in Paris and at Au Petit Salut and Brasserie Les Saveurs in Singapore, opened last year wheras the latter are by Chef Frédéric Colin. All are located along Tras Street with Italian, Japanese and Spanish restaurants  Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare, Sushi Mitsuya and Bam! Tapas Sake Bar respectively. Fleur De Sel has an open-concept kitchen with counter seats, and natural light streaming into the charming shophouse from the skylight. There are also wooden tables with white table cloth or runners and unless you are sitting at the bar counter, chances are you will be sitting on wooden chairs with cushioned seats and backrests.

Against white walls and ceilings that gave the place an airy and spacious feel, are wooden panels for a simple and warm yet classy vibe. It is named after hand-harvested sea salt, not just a sprinkle of seasoning but the final touch of every dish. As such, expect to see two crucibles of Fleur De Sel salts infused in-house with rosemary and truffle flavours on the counter or in front of a little lamp on the tables. Have a dash of them with the fluffy bread slices, after the pleasant amuse-bouche. For the set dinner I ordered, entrée was sautéed snails with butter, parsley, garlic and tomato. A well-balanced execution without any overwhelming ingredient, it was good but not the best I had. My dining companion's pan seared scallops with mushrooms, Arugula, Parma ham and chicken jus were seared nicely with a different dimension of flavour.

This was followed by my cold tomato soup with croutons, olives, pesto and crab meat. More like tomato puree served in a bowl with croutons and crab meat to bite into and chew, I still prefer to have my soup hot. While I ate slow-cooked pork cheek, potatoes, carrots and creamy mustard sauce, my dining companion had poached Maine lobster, fork mashed ratte potatoes, chives and bisque jus. Tender meat balanced by sweet carrots and potatoes lightly tossed in sauce so it was neither too dry nor creamy. Fresh and firm crustacean contrasted in texture with crispy potatoes and frothy bisque to stop short of being a cloying main course. Then, it was time to wash down the savoury food with coffee and tea before dessert of stewed Rhubarbe, marinated berries, custard cream and crumble. Sweet and tart, creamy and crumbly  a perfect finish to a lovely meal with service I could not fault.

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