Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brasserie Gavroche

Had an amazing dining experience at Brasserie Gavroche, one of the best of this year and the last, since of ourse, this year's just started. We actually wanted to book another restaurant, but it was a blessing God gave us in disguise, as Brasserie Gavroche was great and the food was exceptional. In the hands of chef Frederic Colin, a really charming Frenchman, the food really shone. Charmingly located at 66 Tras street (where Table 66 used to be), Brasserie Gavroche exudes the quintessential charm of a Parisian bistro, replete with photographs on the walls, dim lighting, and even huge menu boards ala those you'd find in Paris. Was pretty charmed with the ambience.
The lovely ambience (right)
We were expertly ushered to our seats, and very soon, some amuse-bouche-like choux cheese and duck fat balls came out, which were really delicious eaten hot, especially the fat, but well, could feel it going to my foodie friend (a friend has affectionately termed it 'tubs' o_0). Couldn't eat too much then.

Whilst waiting for my third dining companion, we ordered a wine. I had done some research and so it was between a Beaune Premier Cru and a Cote-Rotie. The former was out of stock, so we had the Cote-ERotie. By no means a stunner i.e. it's not E Guigal's La Landonne or Mouline, but a humble Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie Cuvee Terroirs 2008. Smoky bacon on the nose, and the palate was smoky, and yet fragrant in a charming sort of way. Pity that there wasn't much depth or complexity to it though - too young by far. It kind of ended pretty quickly, the finish. (7.5/10) Would love to try other Cote-Roties.

My first course (entree) was the oysters from Brittany, and this was a joy to eat. The waiter informed me that it was from Cancale, Brittany - quite near St Malo (where I was in 2010). This was lovely - sweet, mineral finish, tasting of the sea, simply delicious. (8.5/10)

My friend's French Onion Soupe (forgot to take a photo) was exceptional - very beefy stock.

My main came soon enough, and I ordered the Sea Bream with Ratatouille to be shared with a friend- very provencal. On hindsight I think I should have ordered a meat - I was in a 'fish' mood at the time of ordering but then moved to a 'meat' mood - but hey I've already ordered.....but never mind...this was good, the ratatouille I am told was excellent (by a ratatouille-loving friend of mine) and yeah it tasted really....fresh and healthy and harmonious. The fish was alright, pan-fried to a crisp. (7.5/10)

I also partook of the Sous-Vide Salmon which was quite delicious - delicate flesh, very delicate, and so soft and tender from the sous-vide method. Paired well with a sauce of potatoes and clams - pretty delicious. (8.25/10)

My friend had the pork hotpot - apparently learnt from the chef's father, this was very delicious: pork ribs and sausages in a consomme-like gravy with hints of ginger and herbs, allowing the natural flavours to shine. (8.25/10)

Desserts came, and the two dining companions of mine decided it was a good idea to order 4 desserts for the 3 of us! And i thought i was on a 'diet' of sorts. Tried the Crepes Suzette which was exceptional. This was lovely and just delicious - enough orange and Grand Marnier for the sauce to actually taste 'oraginy', i.e. that the orange flavours really shone through. The crepes were also of lovely texture. Classic rendition. (9/10)

Next up was the Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream / chocolate sauce - classic dessert. The profiteroles, you could taste, were freshly made, and the choux pastry shells were quite delicious. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to be a bit lighter, but this was great. (8/10)

The tarte tartin was again very good: not too sweet, and a very fragrant apple/cinnamon classic combination, with a puff pastry base. (8.5/10)

Lastly, we had the mille-feuille. Could have been much lighter, I feel! Not Sadoharu Aoki by any stretch of the imagination.

We finished off with a flourish with some freshly baked Madelines. Delicious!

Service was extremely excellent. The host, a beautiful French lady in her mid 40s, was quite the charmer, speaking to us effusively about the food and always giving us good recommendations, being honest about the place, and was just a joy to see her being so happy to take good care of customers. That's what service is all about really. The other wait staff were excellent as well, especially the sommelier who came to give us the wine recommendations. We finished by talking with the chef himself telling him how amazing the food was.

Whilst the food was not cheap (the total bill was in excess of $350 including wine and taxes), certainly a keeper. Exceptional food that is so quintessentially French. Amazing dining experience, and highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the review. This seems to be a really lovely and authentic bistro. What are the wine prices like? How much was the Rostaing Cote Rotie?

ceadsearc said...

Hi - yes it is. The chef's from France, the style's very French. The Cote Rotie was the entry level, it was $140 - but it wasn't a La Landonne or something high end so don't expect too much. There are bottles ranging from $80 to $300 and above for Premier Cru burgundy and so on