Balzac celebrates second birthday with new items
Considering how fickle the dining scene is here, surviving two years in our culinary climate is a mini triumph.
Balzac Brasserie & Bar has made its presence felt in the two years since it opened.
This casual French brasserie is popular for the heavenly Dubois' lobster bisque ($18) and the hand-cut fries ($10).
But the restaurant is seeking to expand its menu.
So, just in time for anniversary number deux, chef Jean-Charles Dubois has introduced new dishes.
I find no connection to formal French dining (too technical and perfect for the plebeian in me) here. Which is why Balzac turns me on.
It is casual, quality food - rustic in the best possible way.
It is also a lovely fit with the rest of the growing number of eateries in the vicinity.
Who knows, the Bras Basah area will be the next big food haven.
The oeuf brouilles a la truffe (scrambled eggs with green asparagus and black truffle, $26) is a simple but gorgeous dish. I love asparagus, especially when lightly salted and crunchy, and it was exactly that.
CLEAN AND GREEN
There was nothing surprising about the organic spinach salad (with cherry tomato, Emmental cheese shavings and French dressing, $16) except for the hefty portion.
The poulet francais saute forestiere (French chicken with a garnish of wild mushrooms, bacon and potatoes, $42) was charmingly rustic in presentation and delicious. This may be the closest to French soul food. I loved how hearty the dish was, with the cubes of potatoes and bacon. I could eat this every day.
The one major fail was the grosses crevettes roties au citron (lemon-roasted tiger prawns and French fried rice, $42).
It was the chef's version of Chinese fried rice and it just didn't work. For one thing, the prawns were overcooked. Luckily, there are many other options on the menu.
This dish was the exact opposite of the spinach salad - it didn't look like much but it had so much impact. The oeuf poche et champignon de Paris (slow-poached egg with French white button mushroom soup, $16) may not be as stellar as the bisque, but it was certainly tasty. And I loved how the bits of croutons burst in the mouth.
Balzac Brasserie & Bar
9, Bras Basah Road
#01-01, Rendezvous Gallery
Open 11.30am to 11pm daily
Call 6336-0797 for reservations
Bak Kwa Cocktail at Mars Bar by Mixes From Mars (Duxton Road)
"Bak Kwa Cocktail extracts the savoury-sweetness of Bee Cheng Hiang's barbecue pork and infuses its components into this bourbon-based concoction, birthing a delicious cocktail with sweet, smoky and savoury notes, freshened by a hint of cloves and orange zest."