If you are looking for a thoroughly charming authentic French culinary experience close to Singapore’s Central Business District this brasserie has to be high on your list. For this gluten challenged-girl-about-town it effortlessly earns a five star rating.
Not only was the attitude of the restaurant manager entirely positive, he showed he knew his menu very well giving a charmingly gallic commentary as he ran down the menu – the frog’s legs in garlic butter got the thumbs up but wouldn’t be the same without bread, other items would be fine either on their own or with some aspect modified and all the meat offerings would be fine.
The salmon tartare was a fresh and attractive entree, the horseradish and cream adding a delicate flavouring to the dressing. It might be possible to attempt something approximating this at home although it could be tricky to judge the balance of the sauce, something that the better French chefs are experts at.
The lemon sole in brown butter, lemon and parsley would normally have been coated in flour but the manager suggested he didn’t think it would differ greatly without this , although he volunteered that he would check with the chef to ensure that it could be done. He was absolutely right, the sole was remarkably fresh and flavourful. It was served with simple boiled potatoes which were the perfect accompaniment for the delicate fish – it might not have shone in the same way had it needed to compete with other flavours.
I must admit I had one of those moments that will be familiar to all coeliacs – an instant when you wonder if the crucial bits of the communication you have had with your waiter have reached the kitchen and the mental jump to the potential consequences. On this occasion, that moment occurred when the neighbouring table was presented with another lemon sole fish looking eerily similar to the one I had just eaten. Was I going to lose the next day or two?
Even before the answer to that unspoken question, my momentary fear was allayed. The manager anticipated my question about desserts – he had obviously thought in advance whether any would be suitable and was apologetic, there wasn’t much choice. Honestly, if there is anything other than sorbet on a menu that is safe for me to eat I count that as a level of success. At the Brasserie Gavroche they went further offering me a meringue acting as a casing for lemon curd (simply made with lemons, sugar and egg white – no thickeners at all) and topped strawberry sorbet. The lemon cut through the sweetness of the meringue and made it a lovely clean tasting end to the meal.
A delightful experience, made so much easier by the attitude of the manager. We will be back.
Brasserie Gavroche, 66 Tras Street, Singapore 079005
Tel: 6225 8266 www.brasseriegavroche.com
Parking at the Orchid Hotel nearby