Smartly named after the road name, 103 Pasir Panjang, Bistro One Zero Three is located by the roadside. Be warned though, the store front looks like one that has been there through rain and storm, and hasn’t got enough to do a full scale renovation. But looks are almost always deceiving, aren’t they?
The menu’s considerably large for a relatively small / medium-sized cafe located in this area. Pasta and main dishes are what fills up the page of main courses for the dining place. And yes, allow me to touch on the feel upon entering the cafe / restaurant. Allow me, to share with you how homely I felt with their service. We were immediately greeted and led to a table upon entering the then-quarter filled cafe. When issuing the menu, the waitperson asked if we’d like some iced water – I simply, love how honest she is. I mean, people would go asking, ‘any drinks to start first?’, but no, she asked if we’d like to have some water first. It’s a very, ‘you read my mind and didn’t make us feel bad / awkward / guilty for not ordering drinks’ kind of feeling, and it’s just the start of the good service.
It might not have the nicest ambience, it might not have the nicest decor, but it sure make you feel cozy, comfy and secured. With the whole set up and the service, it gives me a very strong ‘bed & breakfast’ feeling, where food is served, and you are well taken care of, like how you are dead sure that whatever happens, someone will be there to take care of you. Like said earlier, they have quite a wide selection of food (including salad / appetizers / main courses). We decided to get our taste buds going with some Mushroom Soup, the aromatic Garlic Bread and some Escargots as appetizers.
Soup of the Day (Mushroom Soup) ($4.50++) :: Even though it might seem like it’s very worthwhile, what with it being served in a big bowl accompanied with garlic bread, it actually, isn’t really. The mushroom soup, in my opinion, didn’t really have much of the mushroom taste / smell. It’s very average-tasting.
Escargots in White Wine Sauce ($8.90++) :: I’ve always been a fan of escargots, and well, shells in general. Even though the escargots may not be as chewy as some I’ve tasted (I personally like it chewy), the cheesy sauce made it up. Cheese is good. Escargot’s good. So all is good. The garlic bread goes well with the sauce too (we thought it’s better than the mushroom soup).
We kind of had a garlic bread overload, because we didn’t know that the escargots and mushroom soup each comes with garlic bread too. Hah. Fortunately, the bread’s really ‘balmy’ and tasty.
Bacon & Ham Pasta ($16.90++) :: First try and I blurted out, ‘PastaMania can do better’. Do keep in mind though, I’m one who has always been alright with PastaMania – I know a lot of people out there who are quite anti-PastaMania, so. But really, it isn’t creamy / cheesy enough for me, and the taste is somewhere in between bland and distinctive.
Salmon & Crab Meat Pasta ($16.90++) :: When we first saw the menu, we were questioning internally if the crab meat is the real crab, crab meat or the crabstick crab meat. In the end, we decided to check it out with the approachable staff and to our relief, it’s the real crab meat. I thought the portion of the salmon is pretty generous, considering it was given as a whole piece or not shreds like what one would usually get in pastas. The red pesto sauce made the pasta doesn’t taste like the normal, organic pasta – which may or may not be a bad thing. For me, it’s alright, but I got bored with it real quick.
Crispy Duck Leg ($24.90++) :: At first glance, it might look unworthy putting the portion and the cost of the dish side by side and comparing, but after the dinner, I’d safely say that I’ll choose this over the pastas any day. We agreed in unison that the crispy duck skin is really really good, plus, the duck meat isn’t those that will get stuck between your teeth, and it’s soft. Matched with a reasonable portion of mashed potato, this dish is quite a balanced one.
Chocolate Walnut Brownie with French Vanilla Ice Cream ($6.00++) :: Even though we were already filled up to our throat, we still went ahead with the dessert. Like they always say, ‘there is always space for desserts’. Couldn’t agree more, hah. We decided on this because we’ve read quite some raving reviews on this particular dessert of theirs. The brownie didn’t look appealing when it’s presented to us – it looked rather dry and hard. This is when ‘looks are deceiving’ comes into play – it’s actually soft and tasty – just right. This is up to your liking, but the vanilla ice cream isn’t your ordinary vanilla ice cream – it’s french’s, thus some custard flavor.
Essentially, this is quite a find in my opinion. To reiterate the earlier point – this place is very homely, with excellent excellent warm service. Thus it gets 3 stars (✰✰✰).
—> Note #1: It’s very hard to get to, so if you’re not driving, maybe not.
—> Note #2: Lunch’s from 1130 – 1500 and dinner’s from 1800 – 2130, so don’t go in between and get locked out.
—> Note #3: There -is- a (clean) restroom in the restaurant itself, even though it looks like this deserted place most probably won’t.
Address: 103 Pasir Panjang Road
Telephone: 6476 6373
Photos by self.