The French Kitchen

The French; they truly know their romance, for I have fallen deeply in love with Jean-Charles Dubois‘ cusine.

This French affair cost me S$36++ but it was worth every dollar, down to the last cent. It is in the humble opinion of your author that The French Kitchen (TFK) is now his favourite French restaurant in Singapore.

The French Kitchen had been on my to-go list for the longest time, but I had not been able to be a participating party to this love affair as the set lunch is only offered on weekdays. So, when the opportunity presented itself one fine day, I thought of TFK immediately!

Sidenote: When I e-mailed TFK for my reservation and permission with regards to photography, Amanda Ee-Dubois, Director of TFK had this to say, “Photography is not allowed at The French Kitchen except by members of the press.”

Served warm, the complimentary bread by itself was not outstanding per-se. Rather it was the spread that accompanied it that was outstanding. Instead of a the traditional butter spread or olive oil dip,  TFK offers a salmon rillette as  a spread. While it was a tad fishy, (and thus left mostly untouched) for both my dining partner and myself, it was this creative to offer diners that something extra.

The complimentary Amuse Bouche was a great way to start the meal! While I had the impression that amuse bouche (at least in Singapore’s context) was only served at French dinners, it was a pleasant surprise when I saw this being served. To be fair, the other 2 tables next to mine, were pleasantly surprised as well (One complaining that their table did not order this dish!). I particularly liked the Parmesan crisp.

The Millefeuille de Saint Jacques (tartlet of seared Hokkaido sea scallop, bayonne ham leaf, carrot mousseline with scampi oil and balsamico vinaigrette) was my dining partner’s choice of appetizer. Thinly sliced, the scallops were a joy to eat.

The Bisque de Homard (traditional lobster bisque with leek custard and tiger prawn tempura) is (as of this writing), by far the best lobster bisque I’ve ever had. I am not one to have favourites, but this was clearly a deal-clincher for me. The soup tasted oh-so-flavourful. Rustic and homely, exactly just like how I want my lobster bisques!

Served with 2 ebi (prawn) tempuras and leek custard was interesting! As far as I could tell, the prawns were very fresh, being stingy is clearly not on his gameplan here.

My partner’s Fillet de Boeuf (Pan Fried Beef Tenderloin with Cauliflower Gratin, Glazed Baby Onion with Bordelaise sauce) was as good as it could get. Braised to exactly the right done-ness, it was tender to the knife and to the bite.

Served alongside, was a small portion of creamy cauliflower gratin. My dining partner loved it, although, in your author’s opinion, it was too creamy. To each his own, I suppose?

I love asparagus (if you haven’t already known that from my mezza9 post), so I stole my partner’s serving of the asparagus. They were excellent! I love asparagus especially when butter is used to panfry them, giving them that buttery edge to it.

Do you know what I think is the quintessential dish to have on a French menu? Personally it has to be the Confit De Canard (slow cooked duck leg confit with truffled mashed potato and onion marmalade, light duck jus). A simple sounding dish, yet so difficult to get it right!

TFK’s rendition was OUTSTANDING! Moist in the inside, yet crisp on the outside. It did not have the “jelak” feeling of other duck confits at lesser restaurants or cafes. The mashed potato was AWESOME! Infused with small bits of truffles, it just matched the duck so well!

Sabayon de poire au champagne (Gratinated champagne sabayon with pear marmalade and forest berry ice cream)

A Sabayon is a

sauce that is a foamy mixture called a sabayon (a cousin of the light, egg-based Italian dessert zabaglione). A sabayon is made by beating egg yolks with a liquid over simmering water until thickened and increased in volume. ( the liquid can be water, but champagne or wine is often used for a savoury sabayon.)

Last Accessed 07 March 2010. http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/restaurant/chef/sabayon.html

There were 2 dessert choices in the Set Lunch menu, one of them being the Sabayon de poire au champagne. My dining partner loved this light, and refreshing dessert. It was, unfortunately, my first time having this dessert, so with no other rendition to compare with, I felt this was quite good.

The slightly Forest Berry ice cream was efficient in cutting through the sweetness of the dessert, and when combined, it was as if it was a match made in heaven.

The other dessert on the menu was a Creme Brulee (Chocolate Creme Brulee with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream). However, the waitress informed me that the chef had changed my dessert from the boring Creme Brulee to a MOËLLEUX (Traditional dubois warm chocolate fondant with caramelized banana ice-cream). It wasn’t mind blowing, in case you were wondering, but it had a molten center that oozed out upon slicing through the fondant.


The French Kitchen – I’m already starting to miss you.


The French Kitchen
7 Magazine Rd (off Merchant Road)
#01-03, Central Mall
Singapore 059572

Tel: +65 6438 1823
Fax: +65 6438 3043

Email: info@thefrenchkitchen.com.sg
Website: www.thefrenchkitchen.com.sg

Opening Hours: Lunch: 12pm-2pm Tue-Fri; 12pm-3pm Sun
Dinner: 7pm-10pm Tue-Sat 6.30pm-9.30pm Sun; Closed on Mondays

Photography is not allowed at The French Kitchen except by members of the press.
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9 Comments

  1. ice

    “Photography is not allowed at The French Kitchen except by members of the press.”

    And so?

  2. I thought no photography? That’s bullshit!
    Anyway, the duck confit looks good.
    Heard that the creme brulee is highly recommended as well.

  3. Yeah, it’s weird! But the food’s good though.

    @ice: I saw your post on Chef Maria’s cuisine and thought it looked wonderful that I went on Saturday to try 🙂 Post on that soon!!

  4. never understood the no photography policy. if their concern was the risk of competitors “copying” their presentation, all it takes is one trip by the competitors to the restaurant. -_-“‘

    and don’t they know food blogs (yours included) have more readers than most major magazines/papers? =)

    • Cp.

      Oh come on… Restaurants do not allow people to take pictures because sometimes they post their awful looking pictures which does not do justice to the chefs and cooks who made that dish. It may look slightly under perfect when you see it. But when a picture is taken with wrong lighting, camera angles and settings. Its going to make it look horrible. Btw plating is very much like clothes, one season it might be pokka dots and the other it might be lines. Also isn’t TFK a more old school place? Thus plating is definately more centralised.

  5. Julia

    Unfortunately I didn’t have a good experience with The French Kitchen. The prawns were soggy from being soaked too long in the lobster bisque which clearly had been left on the table for too long before serving them to us.
    Plus prawns weren’t fresh at all.
    And the lobster bisque was tasteless, the taste of seafood wasn’t infused enough.

    I had a steak which I ordered it medium but it came almost close to well-done.
    And steak didn’t have the beefy flavour which I prefer.

    My partner had the fish and the fish wasn’t fresh. He commented that the fish he has at home, tasted way fresher. This considering that his mother buys the fish from a wet market in Bedok.

    Desserts…the chocolate cake was overdone to the point, it was rock-hard on the outside and the chocolate inside which as supposed to be molten and liquidy was overcooked.

    Service was lousy considering there was only 3 tables of couples and we had to request several times to top up our water.And feedback wasn’t taken seriously, when they asked us about the food, we gave our comments and the chef returned to the kitchen and started saying something and we starting to hear laughs.

    We do not know if they were making jokes out of our feedback, maybe they were saying things like ‘we don’t know how to eat’. Yeah maybe our tastebuds were spoiled by Michelin-standard restaurants in Europe so we picked on everything in Singapore.

    But my partner and I pride ourselves as fair customers who only compare apples with apples. We defintely don’t compare local restaurants to Michelin-standard restaurants. We don’t even compare Au Petit Salut to Les Amis.
    We compare Les Amis to Iggys and Au Petit Salut to Le Bon Marche..you get the drift..

    The French Kitchen is defintely not a place I will return to again.

  6. Stella

    Hi Glenn! Just want to say THANK YOU for your wonderful review on TFK. My boyfriend and I had a lovely dinner to start the weekend on Friday. Indeed, it’s the best lobster bisque I’ve had in Singapore, with flavourful infusion, interesting prawn tempura and leek custard. Everything was perfect to a tee. The only thing we could kind of “complain” about was only that the fondant was too sweet for our liking, but it’s only a matter of personal preference. The cake was soft. It was a superb time and we will definitely be back. Thank you, Glenn!! 🙂

    • THANKS for your kind words! I appreciate it, Stella.

  7. Lane

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