Sunday, 3 April 2016

The French Stall

Saw in the papers that The French Stall, where I tried French cuisine for the first time in my life more than a decade ago, is closing in the middle of this year. Remembered leaving the corner coffeeshop located along Serangoon Road (within walking distance from Farrer Park MRT Station and City Square Mall) with my dining companions then, none the wiser what French food was. Fast forward to today, I count myself fortunate and thank my lucky stars for the chance to visit parts of France and try its cuisine  from affordable eats and bistros to cafés and restaurants. While I would not mind taking a trip down memory lane before it closes, did not feel a compelling need to specially do so. It was an impromptu decision to eat dinner together on a weekday when I suggested The French Stall, knowing it was near enough for us to walk there. Only two diners were seated at a table when we reached, a far cry from its heyday on my first visit.

In fact, the place was so quiet we almost thought it was closed. Plonked ourselves at a round table and pored through the menu. Was taken aback by the prices but we decided to indulge. We ordered half a dozen of baked escargots, and I added pan-fried foie gras to my duck leg confit, for sharing. My dining companions had carbonara pasta and steak, medium-done. Could neither rave about the de-shelled escargots and foie gras, nor fault the pasta and steak. Duck confit lived up to its description on the menu  salty. With a crispy outside and tender-enough insides, it was served on a bed of (read: too much) bitter spinach. Without any impressive dishes that stood out, The French Stall has priced itself out of the casual French dining scene. More expensive than Immanuel French Kitchen, a stall in a coffeeshop that offers other food options. And Saveur, which is air-conditioned and more conveniently located in Purvis Street, Far East Plaza and The Cathay.

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