“I went to Les Bouchons for brunch” was greeted with multiple “how was the steak?” and “I’ve been meaning to try it”. Tellingly, the reputation of Les Bouchons is enviable. We were at the French restaurant, its flagship in Singapore first established in 2002, for a Sunday brunch at their Robertson Quay outlet. It is the Group’s maiden attempt at brunch, which is only available on Sundays from 11.30am – 3.30pm. We went with no expectation, and left with a yearning to revisit. Of course, we could not miss out on their signature steak whilst we were there – we shall get to that eventually.
A quintessential French starter, the Escargots de Bourgogne ($16++), was priced surprisingly reasonable, with 6 pieces swimming in house-made garlic butter (that comes with a hint of alcohol). The accompanying bread basket (which deserves an honorary mention – crusty crust with pillowy crumbs) came in handy when it was time to wipe the skillet clean. The escargots were, however, not as plump as we’d like. Because of how promising it looked, we were left slightly discontented. It lacked bite and chew, both of which are characteristic of escargots. For its affordability, though, we can foresee ourselves nonetheless ordering this in our future visits.
A similar story repeated in our heads with the Riviera Wellness Bowl ($18++). Make no mistake, the ingredients that lined the bowl (granola, honey yoghurt, goji berries, banana, strawberries and chia seeds) were in line with the theme, healthy and light. Strawberries were given a special treatment, soaked in vanilla, sugar, and a little bit of balsamic vinegar. These lent the berries a sweet, and slightly savoury and sour profile, a welcomed balance to the bowl. What was missing for us, though, was the temperature it was served at. We thought it would have been perfect to serve chilled, as opposed to the one we had that was closer to room temperature (acknowledging that it was 5 – 10 minutes after service that we started eating).
Big plates followed the handful of starters. Consciously not having regard to its prior reputation, our tasting of the Grilled Black Angus Rib Eye Beef Steak ($39.80++) corroborated the widespread sentiments. For 300g, for the cut, and that price, we concluded that it would be a worthwhile order. Your typically well-executed, well-seasoned, tender, and juicy rib eye steak – the kind that requires no condiments to complement. Oh yes, the shoestring fries, which are addictive, by the way, come in unlimited servings.
With such a high bar to match, its vegetarian counterpart, the Bouchons Hangover Cure ($24++), paled in comparison. Sitting atop the sourdough bread were scrambled eggs with truffle oil, sautéed porcini mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and Impossible meatballs (ie plant-based “meat”). We thought it was too complex a dish. There were one too many ingredients with robust flavours that they clashed. Having previously tried Impossible, we found the taste here a little further from meat, albeit juicier.
The Bouchons Sunday Roast ($32++) changes weekly, depending on the produce in the kitchen. This week, we had perfectly marinated fork-tender roast chicken. The mushroom sauce was commendable. Essentially, intense mushroom soup in the consistency of a condiment. We fully enjoyed the dish, but find it difficult to justify the rather hefty price tag for chicken.
We are unable to decide if the Chocolate Brownie ($10++) or the Crème Brûlée ($12++) is our favourite dessert. The former was legitimately gooey on the inside, a rare sight, we must say. It was such a star by itself, being made with 66% valrhona chocolate and less sugar, that the vanilla ice cream was otiose. The latter was, preliminarily, generous in portion. What makes it stand out from its competitors is the addition of an orange liqueur. That, we thought, added a whole new dimension: a very slight hint of zest and bitterness. So refreshing. No one said we can’t have two favourites, right?
Skip the Crepe ($8++). It’s much less memorable with common pairings like Nutella, banana, and honey.
All in all, it can safely be said that hearty brunch can be found at Les Bouchons. The dishes come in gigantic portions, and promise to induce food coma at the end of the afternoon. For
alcoholics champagne enthusiasts, you may be pleased to know that the Group holds, exclusively in Singapore, Champagne Jean Vesselle.
What’s worth ordering:
Escargots de Bourgogne
Grilled Black Angus Ribeye Steak
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 60 Robertson Quay, #01-02, Singapore 238252
Contact: +65 6733 4414 (accepts reservations)
Opening Hours: 11.30 am – 3.30pm (Sunday) – for Sunday brunch
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