987FM DJ Darren Wee is out with a new casual French-Japanese restaurant concept along Tyrwhitt Road at the recently established Parc Sovereign Hotel. Expanding on his previous location at Chillax Cafe, Babette Restaurant & Bar will serve up selections that harmonize French and Japanese culinary signatures into a single dish and at family friendly prices. The restaurant draws inspiration for its name from the 1987 Danish film Babette’s Feast where the protagonist shows her appreciation to a group of convent sisters who took her in as a refugee by cooking up a traditional French meal that speaks of richness in the human spirit. With that motivation in mind, Babette at the Parc Sovereign Hotel aims to recreate that beautiful marriage of flavours in dishes that are both flavourful and homely.
Start off with the signature Babette cocktail ($16++). Be entertained with passionfruit, lemon and gin with just that top of mint to give a refreshing flavour throughout. Mildly sweet and flavourful, this is great to start dinner with.
Octopus is prepared sous vide and thereafter grilled in the Grilled Octopus Salad ($17++) for a texture that is both tender and a little crisp on the outside. Pair that with an assortment of colourful veggies, a light tangy dressing akin to a wafu sauce, and what you get is a refreshing flavour that is both fulfilling and hearty.
I was blown away by the Roasted Avocado ($12). Creamy and fulfilling, tuck into a smorgasbord of flavours ranging from the creamy avocado, textured sweet savoury salmon, topping of umami tomatoes and a garnish of seaweed and zesty lemon juice. Delectable and I will try recreating this at home.
Surprise yourself with the Charred Cauliflower ($8++). Seemingly simple, the secret lies in the thick and creamy yuzu veloute that pairs exceptionally well with the sweet and largely neutral tasting cauliflower. The grainy bits from the flower and the sauce’s smoothness is a wonderful textural contrast, amplified by the nicely charred cauliflower edges every now and then.
A favourite bar snack to come will be the Bacon Tempura ($10). Babette has got its batter right in this simple, yet inviting creation. Have that salty and crispy creation in a dip of mayonnaise topped with tobiko for that extra finish.
For a filling option, go for the Pork & Bacon Hamburg Donburi ($16++). Served with a side of onsen tamago, some pickles and tobiko on a bed of short grain rice, this is Babette’s attempt at comfort food for the soul. It was an interesting selection though I did find the pork & bacon hamburg to be a touch dry.
I would come back for the Confit Salmon & Soba ($17++). Clean tasting buckwheat noodles is presented with a trail of tobiko, tamogo yaki, and tender salmon fillets for a hearty yet healthy serving. A light soba dressing envelops the noodles for a mix of wholesome, light tasting flavours complemented by that burst of saltiness from the flying fish roe.
The Duck Confit Donburi ($28++) is highlighted as one of Babette’s signature creations. Presentation is kept really simple with a tender and flavourful duck leg cooked in its own fat perched atop rice and a side of pickles. I thought it was a decent enough creation and I loved the duck, but somehow the dish does not really stand out as something exciting and playful.
The Steak & Foie Gras Donburi ($28++) was the highlight for me and perceptively one of the best mains in the restaurant. A decent enough marbling and with the steak prepared medium rare ensures a tender yet flavourful cut that is excellently flavoured with the light sweet and savoury sauce that is drizzled all over and more over the rice. The side of foie gras is buttery smooth, with its flavours well brought out by both the more textured steak, grainy rice and refreshing grains of rice. Thumbs up.
End off the meal with a choice of Matcha Lava Cake ($12++) served with a side of Vanilla Ice Cream and Azuki Bean. The green tea nicely complements the white chocolate fondant, preserving an element of sweetness that is both light and smooth.
Achilles – Bailey’s Coffee Milk ($16++)
Asahi and Kronenbourg Blanc is available fresh from the tap
Me & Darren
The cuisine choices at Babette Restaurant & Bar bears hallmark from the established Chillax Cafe albeit in a refreshed manner that is both exciting, simple yet playful. Although not all the dishes ordered for the night hit the spot, highlights for me included the Charred Cauliflower, Roasted Avocado, Tempura Bacon and the Steak & Foie Gras Donburi which itself is a must order. It is interesting to see how elements from two major culinary cultures (the French and the Japanese) is taken as inspiration, recreated and presented for the table. I look forward to future additions to the menu and see what else the team at Babette can create.
Thank you Babette for the invitation
|165 Tyrwhitt Road
Parc Sovereign Hotel
Reservations: 6341 7727
Daily 11am to 11pm