If you like French food, Brasserie Gavroche located along Tras Street, will delight your palate. The chef and owner, Frederic Colin, was the former executive chef at St. Regis Singapore. Chef Colin and his wife, Charlotte, have transformed a local shophouse into a cosy and elegant restaurant in the CBD area.
The décor is reminiscent of the classical European cottage house, and features carefully-selected antique furniture from the 1930s and 1940s, imported all the way from Paris! There are chandeliers and large mirrors on the walls, which give the place a spacious feeling, while the layout allows for natural light to stream in, enabling diners to admire the interior of the restaurant.
The staff welcomes you warmly and ushers you to your table promptly. They are friendly and chatty and leave a good first impression.
Warm freshly-baked bread with French butter was served immediately after our orders were taken.
For starters, we first had the Escargots de Bourgogne au beurre d’ail (S$20/-) which is Burgundy snails baked in their shell with parsley and garlic butter. The snails came piping hot and it took a while before we could sink our teeth in them. The snails were firm and the garlic butter was fragrant without being overpowering. The melted garlic butter was good enough to eat on its own with bread.
The salade d’endive au nois et Fourme d’Ambert (S$19/-) was up next, and consisted of an endive salad with blue cheese and walnuts. The portion served was large and could easily be shared among the three of us. What was appealing about this dish was the freshness of the ingredients.
For mains, the serving staff recommended the two specials of the day. The Dover Sole (S$38/-) which was served deboned and grilled was substantial and provided much bang for buck. The flesh of this (imported) fish was firm and smooth and succulent despite grilling, which was a testament to the fire control skills of the chef.
The other house specialty was the Poulet roti frites de salsifis (S$31/-) which is the House rotisserie French spring chicken with salsify fries. The chicken was first marinated with herbs and then grilled. The meat was tender and was complemented by the side serving of gravy. The salsify fries were excellent as well – they were well-salted and crispy.
We also ordered the salted Mediterranean cod with crushed potatoes and olive oil to round up the mains. This dish was skilfully prepared by the chef. The cod was tasty and the olive oil provided a suitable pairing.
The serving staff must have noticed that we liked the bread and proactively kept replenishing the bread basket. As a result, we had little space for dessert.
We tried only one – the Tarte Tatin (S$14/-) which is actually upside-down apple tart with vanilla ice cream. The tart was big enough to be shared amongst us. We could taste and smell the fragrant butter when we ate the tart. It was not too sweet and we appreciated the crunchy slightly-sourish apple cubes which provided perfect balance to the dish.
The serving staff surprised us by serving freshly-baked Madeleines immediately after dessert. These came as compliments from the chef.
Brasserie Gavroche is now one place high on our list to go to for fine French food. It was reasonably priced considering the quality of the ingredients. The ambience is homely and just the perfect place to have a business lunch or a romantic dinner. We will definitely be back again in the future.
66 Tras Street
Tel: 6225 8266
Monday to Friday: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
6.30 pm to 10.30 pm
Saturday: 6.30 pm to 11 pm
Note: Unless otherwise stated, Biz Daily pays for all the meals reviewed in Dining.