Readers of this blog might have realised that I have a penchant for French food. Especially the tasty, wholesome and comforting sort. I simply can’t resist the strong, rich taste of well seared foie gras and flavourful juicy medium rare steaks. So it’s no surprise that I’ve visited this quaint French restaurant, Le Bon Marche, twice. The first time for a birthday celebration, where I had these very dishes, and the second time for Singapore Restaurant Week, to enjoy lighter but still delicious dishes.
The first time we went, the place was still relatively new, and service was pretty slow. This was in early 2010. It took more than 2 plus hours for the whole dinner, even though the restaurant was quite empty and we had asked them to hurry for the dessert and coffee. So we ended up gulping down these last 2 courses really quickly, as we had to rush for a movie. The wait for the main course itself was more than half an hour. But guess it’s a small, self-owned outfit so patience was necessary. The food was good though, so I suppose it was somewhat worth the wait.
The French onion soup was alright – tasty and rich in flavour, but the bread was a tad bit burned, so that was a slight turn off. Though, the duck foie gras with apple-red pepper chutney and warm brioche was super delicious! The slightly sweet and tangy chutney really complemented the rich, savoury juices of the pan-fried liver. Mmmm.
The pan-seared steak was good too, nice and juicy and soaked in delicious shallot jus. Fries were just normal, and the mushroom custard that accompanied it tasted fine, albeit a bit unusual. I didn’t really try much of the fillet of seabass with ratatouille and cous cous, but if I remember correctly it was done quite well too.
Yummy profiteroles! They used Movenpick ice cream for the filling. Enough said.
The second time was for lunch in 2011 and service was much faster – but I think it was partly due to the pre-released Restaurant Week menu and also possibly due to their brushed up operational skills. So we started with a fresh crab salad with diced mangoes and tomatoes in a cucumber gazpacho sauce, which was light and refreshing on the palate – rather delightful.
For the main courses, we had the fillet of red snapper with olive tapenade, roasted cherry tomatoes and lobster bisque sauce, and oven roasted spring chicken with baby potatoes, zucchini and tarragon chicken jus. The snapper fillet was nice and firm and the lobster bisque sauce was delicious – but unfortunately there wasn’t enough of it and the dish ended being slightly dry. The chicken was moist and tender, and soaked in a generous sauce flavoured with the distinct taste of tarragon, which was thankfully not too overpowering. Quite yummy actually!
I’d say that the food is overall of an above average standard, with usual French restaurant pricing (approximately $40 to $50 for a set dinner, or about $15 to $50 for standard mains and appetizers). The restaurant also has a ‘market’ section selling bottled French produce like jams, sauces etc, per their name Le Bon Marche, which I think means something like ‘the good market’. Not sure about wine cost though as I didn’t order any but it seems from reviews on HGW that it might be a bit on the expensive side. Believe the food is worth a try though.
Le Bon Marche
383 Bukit Timah Road
#01-01, Alocassia Service Apartments
Tel: +65 6226 3269