This summer, db Bistro Moderne is out to impress guests with a stellar menu featuring flavours from the south of France. The newly launched Provence menu is available every Monday till October. With a spread ranging from savoury Canapes to a fantastic intense Bouillabaisse, the dishes add a sparkle to the already delightful selection that is well known of Chef Daniel’s restaurant at the Marina Bay Sands.
I arrived early at Marina Bay Sands for the dinner and decided to spend some time walking about. It was my first time with my friend’s Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens so I decided to give a shot at some landscape photography. The lens, pleasantly sharp with a good dose of saturation, clearly reflects each object with magnificent detail.
As the sun started to depart for the bottom of the horizon, the light from it was a warm glow slowly cascading down the sprawling glass window structures of the shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. It provided a nice comforting effect that really made the layout at db Bistro Moderne stand out. A beautiful sight in all.
For the dinner at db Bistro Moderne, we were all seated at the private dining area of the restaurant. It was a pleasant, cozy room, enough for a group of ten. The lights were quite dim to reflect the romantic warm atmosphere of the restaurant. It was beautiful all around.
Looking out the glass doors encasing the private room, the rest of the restaurant seemed more like a scene out of a al fresco dining setting. With globe shaped lights hanging from the ceilings, each resembled a faint representation of a street lamp.
Cheese Sticks and Pastries with Gruyere Cheese. Warm, satisfying way to tickle tastebuds before the meal.
The dinner was paired along with wine specially selected to complement the dishes. From left to right : 2011 Chateau d’Ollieres, Coteaux de Varois, Rose; 2011 Chateau d’Ollieres, Coteaux de Varois, Blanc; 2010 Chateau d’Ollieres, Coteaux de Varois, Rogue
For the night, Executive Sous Chef Nicholas Tang took time out of the kitchen to meticulous explain each dish to the group.
Dinner was started proper with a spread of warm bread. What really perked my palate were the rotund pretzels buns with sea salt at the front. Heartening and comforting with each bite.
The Provencal Canapes comes with portions of Caramelized Onion Rosemary Tart, Eggplant and Goats Cheese Crostini and Tart Provencal Crostini. What really took me away was the Caramelized Onion Rosemary Tart. Intensely sweet with that seductive bite contrasting between the crumbly shell and slightly firm onion, it was a beautiful combination. The next best thing would be the Tart Provencal Crostini. Tomato compote, intense and rich in umami flavours in its own right was a real flavour pleaser. Smoked mozzarella on the top added to the fatty touch that sealed in the juices nicely.
For the three course dinner set menu, priced attractively at $68 without wine, guests can opt for either the Soupe Au Pistou or the Petits Farcis Provencaux or the Salad Nicoise.
The Soupe Au Pistou, a vegetable broth made with a delectable spread of coco beans, yellow and green zucchini, carrots, cabbage, onions and potato, was really more of a clear natural soup meant to indicate the end of spring. With mellow, meaty vegetable signifying the start of summer, this is one broth that would set the appetite engine running although for my personal tastebuds I would have gone for a more intense starter.
Alternatively, there is the Petits Farcis Provencaux to go for. A spread of baby zucchini, eggplant, red onion and artichoke is stuffed with a filling of beef and lamb topped with bread crumbs roughly to seal in the flavours. The lamb married well with the vegetables with little hint of strong game flavours. A nice meaty starter, well complemented with sweet vegetables and roots.
The Salad Nicoise comes as Confit and Seared Tuna served over Butter head lettuce and organics. Sprightly colours, with a nicely done seared tuna contrasting well with the yolk of the quail eggs.
Moving on to the mains, guests can opt for the Ratatouille de Legumes & Panisse or the Bouillabaisse or the Raviolis A La Daube D’Agneau. My personal choice would go to the Bouillabaisse for its remarkable intense flavours made out of fish, saffron, pernod and stock. A rich sea earthy flavour that closely reminded me of a flavourful lobster bisque, the bouillabaisse was a delight from start to finish. The side serving of Saffron Rouille and toast added a new dimension to both flavour and texture. With the dip slightly tangy, intense in yellow hues, and creamy through, it was a excellent complement to the toast dipped in the bouillabaisse as well. The combinatory multitude of flavours were explosive and memorable.
The other main of Ratatouille de Legumes & Panisse was decent with a good mix of eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, red onions stewed together with tomatoes and basil. Rich, with the tomatoes providing good colour and savouriness to the vegetables, the ratatouille was not too dry with a good base to seep into the crispy polenta cubes.
I found the other main of Ravioli to be firstly a tad salty for my personal liking. The braised red wine lamb shoulder stuffing was excellent within. Deep golden tones with that red warmness from each bite, it was a marvel going through the meat with the pasta skin. It was only the jus glazed all over that accentuated the flavours a little over the top for my preference, but it carried well with the rest of the table.
For desserts, there is a choice of Tarte Tropezienne or the Mousse Au Chocolat Au Lait. During the dinner, the Apricot Clafoutis was served instead to the Tarte Tropezienne. If desserts in your opinion is supposed to end on a sweet note followed by crisp clarity, the Apricot Clafoutis would be the option to go for if available. The honey marinated apricots were crisp to the bite, and the bourbon foam really strikes you delicately strongly. It was paired with some of the most mildly heavy almond ice cream, leaving a bitter sweet contrast that leaves you refreshed and not too decadent at the end of the meal.
The choice of Mousse Au Chocolat Au Lait is strictly for those looking for a heavy, sweet heavenly ending to the meal. Clearly, the 5 layered mousse striped with praline and hazelnut biscuit aims to provide a paly on nutty textures and smoothy goodness.
The side of lemon hazelnut ice cream was tart and refreshing to any chocolate overtness, and just as well provides a decadent end to the meal.
We were all pleasantly surprised with a basket of warm signature Madeleines.
Me with Executive Sous Chef Nicholas Tang
The menu from Mondays in Provence really gives a glimpse of one being out of the country to a land rich in seafood and fresh summer produce. Its choice of ingredients are strong and mostly rich in flavour and colour, presenting well with each other. A nice touch considering the seasons present in temperate countries, bringing an experience well into Singapore. For me the three course to go for would be the Petits Farcis Provencaux, Boullibaisse and Apricot Clafoutis (if available). Each dish reflect more of the savoury nature I would personally choose, and clearly ending the meal with a light sweet note instead of any heavy overtones. For an additional $32, the wine pairing option is provided and would provide an excellent complement to the dishes present. Mondays in Provence is a nice way to end the 1st day of the week, effectively chasing away any blues still present. And before you know it, the weekend comes along. Hurray!
Thank you db Bistro Moderne and Marina Bay Sands for the invitation
|db Bistro Moderne
B1-48 Galleria Level
Marina Bay Sands
Reservations : 6688 8525
Mondays in Provence