The brainchild of four friends from Europe, Absinthe is a popular French restaurant which has been in Singapore for already around five years or so.
Before moving to its new home along the bright, lively streets of Boat Quay, it first blossomed in the restaurant enclave of Bukit Pasoh, along with the now long standing Oso Ristorante.
Before visiting it for dinner a few months ago to celebrate an anniversary with the boyfriend, I had heard and read lots of good things about the place. So we were hoping that Absinthe would live up to its hype!
And while the restaurant didn’t quite blow me away, I was rather impressed and felt that all the courses in our meal were skilfully executed – dishes of both beauty and taste.
We opted for one set of Menu Absinthe (S$98++/pax – I think it is S$108 now though though) as well as another starter, main and dessert, and shared everything.
For starters, we had a Carpaccio of Hamachi with a Crisp and Caviar, Lobster Bisque, Foie Gras Poêlé (all from the set) and a Hokkaido Seared Scallops (~S$27).
These were all delicious and enjoyable. The yellowtail carpaccio was a fairly thick slice and didn’t taste so raw (I think due to the seasoning), which the raw-food hating bf actually liked.
The foie gras, one of my favourite foods but which I’ve limited myself to twice a year, was tender yet firm and bursting with tasty juices, as good goose liver should be. It went well with the accompanying slightly tart Morello cherries sauce, and Blinis (Russian pancakes), which helped to soak up and compact some of the sauce and flavour.
For the price, quality of ingredients, taste and portions, we both felt that the tasting menu was a really good deal.
As our main courses, I opted for the Roasted Black Cod with Prawn Risotto and Kaffir Lime Emulsion from the menu (instead of beef cheeks) and Z had the French Duck Confit (S$42).
The cod was pretty good – plump and soft, though not done the way I usually like it to be – silky and oily. Rather enjoyed the lime emulsion on the savoury prawn risotto though, which provided a refreshing foil to the dish and gave it a touch of lightness.
Overall the dishes didn’t have the strong, rich flavours that I tend to favour, but I think they were all exquisite and well executed – the ingredients tasted fresh, with the natural tastes (of the meat etc) coming through from the dish and not overpowered by the various seasonings or condiments.
Desserts too, were excellent and hit the spot.
The flavours in the Jasmine Crème Brulee with Yuzu Sorbet dessert from the Menu Absinthe went really well together, the earthy jasmine tasting creamy custard with the sweetness of the torched sugar layer above and topped with some refreshing, slightly sour yuzu sorbet. Yum!
In my opinion, this is a great place for a special date, romantic celebration or even a business meal, with quality food at not too over-the-top prices and lovely, quiet ambience. Service was polite and attentive.
I would go back again, if given the chance!
Absinthe Restaurant Français
72 Boat Quay
Tel: +65 6222 9068
Open on Mondays to Saturdays for lunch from 12pm – 2.30pm (last order) and dinner from 5.30pm – 10.30pm (last order).