Charolais Beef at Bar-Roque, Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagar


I eat fairly little beef these days because I am bored with it. It’s either Wagyu this or Wagyu that or Angus this or Angus that. These days if you talk to me about marbling, grade, tenderness or “beefiness”, I get bored.

The problem I have with beef these days is an overabundance of labels and an absence of taste. While PR Drones will recite chapter and verse from carefully copied PR briefing notes filled with important-sounding technical terms, I find there is very little understanding and, worse, very little flavor.

This is why when Bar-Roque announced that their Charolais Beef has been cleared by Singapore’s AVA, I immediately made plans to have some.

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Posted on 5th Sep 2013 in Food and Drink, French, Meat, Singapore  |  8 comments

A quick note about Bar-roque Grill at Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagar

I was just there for dinner this Saturday, I think it’s very good and I will be going back again. And here’s why…

  1. It’s a grill that’s not Australian or American. This means it’s repetoire is wider.
  2. Service is impeccable. Well, like all new restaurants, it’s a little clumsy but they are so friendly that you feel like a regular customer and our needs were anticipated which is awesome.

Things we loved:

  1. The Tarte Flambe. Having tasted the real thing in Alsace and something similar in Singapore, the Tarte Flambe by Chef Stephane is a delicious as it gets. Our favorite was the bacon and mushroom. The best accompaniment would be a bottle of Alsace Gerwurtztramminer and/or a Reisling.
  2. The mussels and clams. Served on a cast-iron pan, it was simply delicious. It’s a nice starter for two to share. Needs more bread to soak up the lovely white wine sauce.
  3. The Salt-baked Fish. Probably the best salt-baked fish I’ve had in many years. Perfectly cooked, flaking and sweet. I am definitely ordering it again.
  4. The Roast Chicken. If you hate roast chicken because of the dry grainy and flavorless meat, Chef Stephane’s roast chicken will convert you with it’s crispy skin and juicy meat.
  5. The Apple Tart. Chef Stephane’s mother’s recipe; served with a rum and raisin ice cream, it’s perfect.

Things not so much:

  1. Pork Leg. Large enough to serve 8 of us with leftovers, it came out slightly too porky (unpleasantly so) and dry. Skin was crackling though.
  2. Mash Potato. First time we had it, it was grainy and lumpy but the flavor was good, so we ordered it a second time which turned out much better.

What made us uncomfortable:

  • Air-conditioning. It was uneven. And with the doors open to the warm outdoors, it made things worse. The air-conditioning was alternating between completely shut off to full-blast which distracted the dining experience because you’re either too cold or sweating from the heat.

Bar-Roque Grill is at 165, Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-00 (inside the Amara Hotel), open: Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 12am. Tel. 64449672. Reservations recommended.

Posted on 8th Jul 2013 in French  |  Comments off

Mondays with db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands


Fine dining on Mondays can be difficult in Singapore because a large majority of the restaurants I like are closed after a busy weekend. It’s also ironic because most times, the best tonic for a big bad busy Monday is a nice dinner.

This is where db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands comes in with a series of nicely designed menus to take you on a tour of the culinary regions of France.

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Posted on 23rd Oct 2012 in Food and Drink, French  |  Comments off

Brasserie Gavroche on Tras Street


There seems to be a misunderstanding over the terms “Bistro” and “Brasserie” by some people here. A Brasserie is a French restaurant that is typically more upscale than a Bistro. The food and service at a Brasserie is more refined than a Bistro which serves delicious but more rustic fare in a more casual setting. Of course, the confusion may arise from the fact that some bistros in Singapore serve food at brasserie prices.

While I love bistro food, occasionally, once in a while, it’s nice to go a little upmarket to celebrate a little.

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Posted on 3rd May 2012 in French, Old School  |  3 comments

How to make a simple Chicken Liver Pâté


I am a home-cook whose lifelong ambition is to be able to cook whatever I like to eat. And one day I craved a nice Chicken Liver Pâté something terrible, so there was no help for it but to make my own.

Most people tend to grill or pan-fry the chicken livers but I was lazy, so I boiled them instead. I also cheated a little by smoking the cooked livers in a wok for that smoky flavor.

I once served this at a dinner with friends, it was like putting a drop of blood in a pool of sharks. Pâté on!

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Posted on 15th Dec 2011 in Food and Drink, French, Old School, Recipes  |  1 comment

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