It was at The French Kitchen (Wow.. it’s been 2 years since) that I first tasted the food of Chef Jean-Charles Dubois. The stoves of TFK have since ceased operating and Chef now oversees the kitchen at Balzac Brasserie at the Rendezvous Hotel.
The Rendezvous Hotel is synonymous with Chinese-style Nasi Padang. The Nasi Padang restaurant has, however, since moved to Central, Clarke Quay. I digress.
The key question remains – Was my experience at Balzac as good at TFK — let’s see….
I like the casual, more laid back decor of Balzac compared with the ‘fine dining-esque’ decor at TFK that felt somewhat stuffy in the narrow restaurant. Gone are the white tablecloth and the wine glass already set on the table, and in with the disposable paper place mats and glasses for water. So too is the “sparkling or still”, reverting to a simple, “water for you” greeting.
The complimentary bread was really good and served warm at that. Alongside came a serving of pipped butter and a salmon tartare. (Similar to what was served at TFK)
Dubois’ Lobster Bisque
Lobster Bisque with sauteed organic baby Mozambique prawns “Black Qweli” – S$16++
The lobster bisque remains at Balzac, albeit in a different form. I like the bisque – smooth, creamy and filled with the sweetness of the seafood. Mozambique prawns replace the Tempura prawn that was served at TFK – a rather wise decision I might add. The small prawns lend a savoury finish to the dish.
Australian Pork Ribs
Roasted Australian black pork ribs with sauteed potato and mushrooms – S$26++
The pork ribs, however, were an utter disappointment. The pork ribs were over-cooked, resulting in them being very tough. One other minor complaint was that the pork was not trimmed properly, resulting in large chunks of inedible fat.
Duck leg confit served with an orange sauce and mashed potato “grand mere” – S$26++
The duck confit was, for lack of a better descriptive word, average. I did not think too highly of the dish. The duck lacked the crispy exterior that would have made the dish stellar. That said, the meat is tender and the mashed potato was void of any chunks.
We adjourned to another place for desserts but Balzac does have a rather enticing list of desserts to choose from.
All things considered, Balzac is a rather safe choice to have a meal, just don’t expect something that would blow your minds away.
Balzac Bar and Brasserie
9 Bras Basah Road,
#01-01 Rendezvous Gallery (Rendezvous Hotel)
Tel: +65 6336 0797
Mondays to Fridays:
Set Lunch and A La Carte Lunch from 11am to 2.30pm;
Bar Snacks & Balzac’s Writers Block Happy Hours from 3pm to 6pm;
A La Carte Dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm
Saturdays and Sundays:
Weekend Brunch and A La Carte Lunch from 11am to 2.30pm; Bar Snacks & Balzac’s Writers Block Happy Hours from 3pm to 6pm; A La Carte Dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm