Okay firstly, Happy New Year everyone! Today, I would like to share with you all my experience at a little French food bistro that most of you might have already heard of – Saveur, at Purvis Street.
One day, I walked past a quaint little establishment with an extremely long queue outside it. I decided to find out what all the fuss was about, and discovered that a new eatery that aimed to bring ‘quality yet affordable French cuisine to the masses’ had opened in the Raffles City/Bugis area. And so I made it a point to try this place out, and thus visited it with some friends a couple of months back.
The wait was indeed quite long as expected (they don’t take reservations) – I reached at 7pm and took a queue number, and our party of five was seated around 7.45pm. But I think we were already quite lucky, as I heard the wait for a seat was usually about an hour long. The good thing was, you could just leave your name and number and go for a walk or do something else while waiting for a table.
We started with a few appetizers, the Angel Hair Pasta with Tiger Prawns and Lumpfish Caviar ($6.90), Angel Hair Pasta With Sherry Minced Pork And Sakura Ebi ($3.90) and the Pan Seared Foie Gras with Lentils and Pickled Onions ($7.90).
I especially liked the angel hair pasta with the tiger prawns and lumpfish caviar, as it was intensely flavoured with the sweet and savoury taste of prawn, and well tossed in some sort of olive oil which made it really smooth and delicious. The pasta with sherry minced pork and sakura ebi was similarly tossed in olive oil (with chilli it seemed), and also rather enjoyable. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have the former on the menu any longer, though they still have a variation of the latter (with minced pork sauce and Japanese konbu instead, and at $4.90).
At that price, the foie gras really was a steal. And it tasted pretty good too – oily and juicy, and dripping with sin. It seemed slightly undercooked though (as the centre was just a tad bit raw in taste and texture). The portion was actually rather tiny, but well you get what you pay for.
For mains, we had the Crispy Pork Belly with Poached Egg and Lentils, Duck Leg Confit with Mashed Potatoes Sauteed Mushrooms and Orange, and the Beef Bourguignon with Mixed Salad and Potato Au Gratin. The prices seem to have changed in the last few months, so I’ll state the current ones – $10.90, $10.90 and $14.90 (previously $10.90, $8.90 and $13.90 I believe).
The pork belly was actually rather good – not too salty or oily, and had just the right amount of juice and crunch. The lentils and egg balanced the meat taste well by providing a more earthy flavour and texture to the dish. I did think that the egg was a bit undercooked though as it was quite watery and still had visibly transparent bits in it.
The duck leg confit was quite delicious as well, with a good crispy exterior and fairly tender meat. Could be a bit juicier but overall not too bad. The mash was also rather delicious, flavoured with something interesting (I forgot what it was but it was good) and was smooth and creamy. The orange pieces also added a nice, fragrant citrus taste to the dish.
This was very different from what I had expected it to be, but was pretty good anyway – the beef was tender and infused with a tasty red wine flavour, and the potatoes were creamy and slightly cheesy.
Overall, I found the food to be rather on the mark as to what it was meant to be, quality and affordable French food for the masses. The dishes were quite tasty, comforting and enjoyable while hardly burning a hole in the pocket. Portions were not particularly big, but I’d say they were appropriate for the price.
Ambience is okay if you are fine with casual and bustling (kind of noisy too) as it’s not a very big place and usually pretty packed. I personally didn’t really mind, as it gave the place quite a happening vibe.
5 Purvis Street
Talib Court #01-04
Tel: +65 6333 3121