Who said that French cuisine is only meant to be enjoyed in Fine Dining restaurants? Well, perhaps that saying may be true quite a few years ago, but with local tastebuds changing, gastronomics islandwide will be pleased to know that there is now one more place to enjoy French fare made easy on the pocket!
Saveur, the latest establishment to make headlines at Purvis Street, posits itself as one who brings French cuisine to everyone. It is a selection of their own interpretation of French food, with a flexibility to use the freshest ingredients available for the day. The restaurant intrigued me so, that I knew I had to make a visit. And boy, did I find an excellent and divine Angel Hair Pasta!
PS. I was pleasantly surprised when Ah Yoke of the Sunday Times wrote about Saveur in today’s paper. Talk about coincidental timing.
As a starter for the dinner, I wanted to order some soup but apparently the kitchen ran out of both the Mushroom Cappuccinos and Butternut Squash Soup. So I was left with my secondary option which I had been eyeing earlier, the Duck Rillette with Butter Bread ($4.90).
The concoction of Duck Rillette here at Saveur is probably one of the lighter tasting variants I’ve had. I distinctly remember the one at Brasserie Wolf with a robust and oily texture which really brought out the flavours of duck. Here, it was more flaky with a mild savoury scent that is calm and no overtly fowl scent (a little pun there). It goes well with the slices of toasted baguette, but personally I would choose something with a little more punch.
The Pan Fried Foie Gras with Lentils and Pickled Onion ($7.90 35g/ $14.90 70g) is possibly one of the cheapest available. Delicately seared, with a rustic charred finish on the surface, the foie gras is decently thick and fatty with a slight intense earthly aftertaste. Its good for its price, and the lentils were a nice accompaniment. Perhaps, a sweet citrus sauce might be in order to accompany this dish.
But woah, the Angel Hair Pasta With Tiger Prawn And Lumpfish Caviar ($6.90) that I had took me aback. Now, $6.90 for an Aglio Olio topped with chunky pieces of tiger prawn and servings of lumpfish caviar make this a real deal. The presentation is beyond its grade, and the flavour is a mix of olive oil goodness with the burst of sea saltiness from the caviar accentuating the meaty textures of the prawn. It is very good, and if I am certain to be back to try out the other Angel Hair Pasta With Sherry Minced Pork And Sakura Ebi ($3.90) to indulge in. Divine.
The premium main which I had for the night was the Pan Fried Wagyu Beef Rump with Shallot Puree and Mushroom Ragout ($21.90). Served slightly over medium rare, the wagyu beef ramp is tender and juicy with a good chew to really bring out the flavours. Served au nature with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt to cut through the flavours, it was a very good serving albeit a little on the non-fatty side. The mushroom ragout sauce is decently tasty with a hint of funghi. What surprised me as well was the bacon bits at the bottom of the meat that added a new layer of flavour to the beef.
Accompanying side of Mashed Potato – Clean tasting and creamy, could do with a good dose of more butter for that unique French flavour.
I had to order the Crispy Pork Belly with Poached Egg ($10.90), as it would be interesting to see how crispy the skin would be and how tender the meat turned out. Ok, by this time when I saw the lentils, I was almost – lentils again? However, the pork belly really stood out for its crisp crunchy skin that leaves a savoury bite. Cutting into the meat, it was soft and jelly tender (I suspect a sous vide method here). Excellently done, naturally flavoured, the poached egg was a sweet addition by the side. This made me crave for The Tastings Room’s “Sous Vide” Pork Belly with Crackling Skin where it had a really nice accompaniment of Rose Wine Apple Puree but of course, for more than double the price. I reckon the one at Saveur would go very well with a side of Rose Wine as well!
The Chicken Roulade with Foie Gras Stuffing and Basmati Rice ($9.90) was wholesome and hearty, yet no distinct flavour of the foie gras. I would say that the dish on its own is good and filling. The basmati rice with a touch of creamy foam all over made the side even lighter and fluffier. A nice dish, but higher marks go to the Pork Belly!
To end off the meal, I had to try Saveur’s selection of desserts. First I had the Textures of Citrus ($6.90). Orange Ice shavings and Grapefruit jelly is topped with the grand finale of crushed cornflakes and meringue bits. Sweet, sour and a touch of citrus bitterness, this was a clean tasting dessert which would have acted as an excellent palate cleanser if served miniature sized before the actual dessert.
For something a little stronger, there is also the Pistachio Panna Cotta with Roasted Pistachio Nut ($4.90). Creamy, but it wasn’t to my liking as the almond flavour within was too strong. Toppings of crushed pistachios was a pleasant sight as the varied hues really stood out.
The dinner at Saveur is by far one of the best and most affordable French selections for the night. It presentation style for the food is kept simple and clean, with a decent enough plating and flavours paired with expectations. The most memorable dishes for the night have to be the Angel Hair Pasta and the Pork Belly! For a cool locality along Purvis Street, this will be the next place I bring my family and friends to dine at! I do hope that the menu remains fresh over time, it would be great to see what else the kitchen can produce.
5 Purvis Street
Lunch : 12 noon to 3pm
Dinner : 6pm – 9.30pm
Walk in customers only