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.


Such as it was when we entered Brasserie Gavroche on Tras Street. There was a table of ladies having a boisterous girls’s night out on a Friday evening. Gavroche has two seatings a night and we chose the second seating so as not to be like the hurried lover who comes and goes.

The menu offers a wide range to suit all tastes and diets from the natural omnivore to the self-imposed pescetarian. I spied a few favorites like Moules-frites, the Foie Gras on toast and the Oeuf Meurette, a poached eggs with bacon in red wine reduction.


We ordered the Duck Liver Terrine, the poached eggs with bacon, the must-try (for me) French Onion soup, the Steak Frites and the fish mousse in crayfish sauce (Quenelle de poisson sauce Nantua, recette de grand-père Henri).

Frankly speaking, it was all very good. The terrine was creamy and rich while the poached eggs hit the right spot with the oozing yolk. The Angus Sirloin was done perfectly and was as tasty as it looks.

The Fish Quenelle was delicate and yet filling and generously dotted with shrimp. Our waiter was a little apprehensive in explaining that the Fish Quenelle was actually a mousse and not a whole fish; this was because, apparently, it caused some confusion with people who didn’t know what “Quenelle” was. Being an upscale restaurant, I guess you can’t expect people to accept “fish mousse” at these prices.


Sadly, dessert proved to be a dismal affair. We ordered the classics: Baba au Rhum and the Ile Flottante. One story about the origins of the Baba au Rhum was that a Polish King soaked a dried Kugelhopf in rum to soften it. Sadly, our Baba Rhum remained so hard as to be inedible.

The île flottante arrived with much excitement as this was a classic dessert that’s rarely seen these days. It was a disappointment in that the meringue was hard and plasticky.

Alas, but I’m happy to report that they seemed to have changed their dessert menu to something less exciting but hopefully more manageable.


Service at Brasserie Gavroche was solicitous and swift. Our wine which turned out to be corked was quickly whisked away to be replaced. However, reservations seems a little wonky: I have friends whose reservations were lost, so do check on them frequently prior to your event.

Speaking of wine, the wine list is not overly long but they do feature rather sycophantic prices. There’s no corkage but to BYO, you’ll have to purchase a bottle from them.

Birthday celebrants, do note that there seems to be a “cakage” charge if you wish to bring your own cake to the restaurant. However, you may request that they bake a cake for your celebrations. Or, looking at our dessert experience, may be not.

Having said all that, we enjoyed our dinner there; despite minor hiccups like spilled wine, dinner was delicious and the company doubly so.

There seems to be a misunderstanding over the terms “Bistro” and “Brasserie” by some people: a Brasserie is a French restaurant that is typically more upscale than a Bistro. The food at a Brasserie is more refined than the casual Bistro and Brasserie Gavroche certainly lived up to that expectation.

Brasserie Gavroche is at 66 Tras Street, Tel: +65 6225 8266, Opening Hours: Mon–Fri: 11.30am–3pm, 6pm–11pm Sat: 6pm–11pm (Closed on Sun). Reservations are recommended and checking up on your reservations are highly recommended.








Posted on 3rd May 2012 in French, Old School


There Are 3 Comments


bookjunkie commented on May 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

This is more than just a food blog….I love the way you write 🙂

Thanks for clarifying the meaning of those two terms. The distinction was a bit hazy for me before I read this. Or I just never really thought about it 😉

My gosh your photos – it all looks so enticing.

I like the old mosaic tiles as well.


Vine commented on May 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

check out my experience when I was there!


Ju (The Little Teochew) commented on May 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Happy to hear that the food’s good cos I have been wanting to try the fish quenelle. Sadly, couldn’t get a table the last time I called. Great review (noted prices of wine with thanks)!

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