Sunday, July 29, 2012

New: Au Chocolat at MBS

Au Chocolat is the first made-in-Singapore French-inspired concept store with a bistro dining area and a retail confeserie with a wide selection of chocolate and candy. (this is taken off their website). It occupies a rather large area of level 1 of The Shoppes with 2 main parts, a bistro serving a huge variety of food (Crepes, pasta, all day brekkie like french toasts, pancakes, eggs, Western mains, sides like sweet potato fries, truffle fries etc and many more!) and the other is the retail section selling cakes, pastries, bon bons, truffles (the choc ones), gelato, merchandise and such. 

The decor is certainly very whimsical and French-like and not to mention rustic, it seems like vintage is THE style right now of eateries. The staff here all wear straw hats and red aprons that blend in with the old feel of the place. Technically there's supposed to be like 'characters' and you follow them on their journey in the shop (frm what I read before they opened) but I barely saw any characters for me to follow or any story haha.

NOTE THIS: if you want to buy cakes/pastries or anything from the retail section to eat in the bistro section you've to pay $2/piece to eat there! SHOCKING OR WHAT??? Think they shld waive this $2 if ppl are alr eating at the bistro or sth. Argh.

Retail area (to the left sells gelato but today there were like only 3 flavours in the counter -.-)

Interior of the bistro area!

Train that goes round the bistro and they have another one at the bistro! This successfully attracts many kids :)

The napkin is thick but rough, not good for wiping mouth haha

Parma Ham Crepe
Quality aged prosciutto de parma, sweet rock melon & fine Swiss gruyere cheese
Served with salad topped with Au Chocolat's unique chocolate balsamic vinaigrette

The crepe was not hot at all nor was it warm when it was served, I dont know why. And its so thin that its kinda non-existent. Like additional carbs and calories that you cannot taste and feel cos its so thin!! The rock melon was really sweet and it also came w walnuts and cranberries which added to the taste and texture of this crepe making it quite wonderful to eat in one big mouthful! I like that they use diff types of cherry tomatoes and there are rocket leaves/arugula on it as well so it makes a good mix of tastes when you eat everything together! But nothing spectacular though. The sauce, is a little sweet and savory but cant really taste it unless you eat the sauce alone. Ok if you're up to indulge (money-wise). The parma ham was great and went well w everything esp the melon and the walnuts! 3.4/5

Pssst I saw a plate of sweet crepe I think was the orange & tangerine or sth but it looked super not value for money, like crepe + some fruits on top and sauce then its $16??!

Stuffed French Toast
Two slices of brioche bread filled with plump berries & indulgent mascarpone cheese coated with cornflakes for that ultimate crunch

This marries Wild Honey's french toast and Dean & Deluca's! Wild Honey's cos its stuffed w sth + mascarpone (WH's is peach I think and its berries here) then D&D's idea of coating it w cornflakes! To me, its not as fluffy and thick as I'd like it, quite a thin piece unlike WH's bread and the cheese's q watery idk why! Certainly a nice crunch from the cornflakes. Quite nice still though as a whole! The boy said it got a bit boring towards the end. 3.2/5

Tarte Au Chocolat
Decadent tart with a dark chocolate filling, praline cream & rum toffee bananas, served with vanilla gelato

We were kinda like woahhh when the tart came cos honestly its the biggest tart I've eaten in my life! I think... Ok anyway this is REALLY decadent and delicious :) I could finish this on my own but if you're not a crazed dessert fan/chocoholic like me, then I suggest sharing this cos it can get a little jia lat or too bitter or too sweet towards the end cos it IS huge! The ganache is thick smooth and slightly bitter which is good but somehow towards the end, it gets kinda sick. The tart shell is not bad, breaks off nicely (tho a little hard at first) and is crumbly, not too thick either. Very yummy in fact if you share it w ppl!! The cream doesnt really add much to it when eaten tgt w the tart, I actually like it more when eaten alone!

The bananas just taste like normal bananas but much softer. The gelato is SO impt here 'cos it breaks the monotony of the hugeass tart and the gelato is good so ya towards the end was: tart > gelato > tart > gelato combi haha. Quality gelato too with lots of vanilla specks :)

At least this place gives portions that matches the price unlike many many oth places that charge exorbitant prices for dessert but give minuscule portions!  4.2/5

Rustic French Apple Pie
Flaky chocolate puff pastry crust filled with cinnamon-scented apples, topped with buttery crumble, served with vanilla gelato & salted caramel sauce

You can barely see the pie crust here hahaha and it certainly chocolate puff pastry!!! Totally normal, no chocolate. Its like not a pie but just a layer of pastry at the bottom and some resemblance of a pie at the end towards the left but that's abt it! The rest is the FILLING! Large chunks of well-cooked apples stewed w cinnamon, butter and all things sinful and yummy haha. The crumble is quite sparse but the apples were good! Quite hard to cut up the puff pastry below. The pie got jia lat towards the end too. So sharing is very much encouraged!! 4/5


Just some things that I saw: the fries are served like how Swensens served theirs and the portion's roughly the same! And the chocolate cake in the desserts page is HUGE, even bigger than PS Cafe's black out cake and all oth choc cake slices I've seen haha. And 2 diff ppl ordered today and they both couldnt finish towards the end! Suggest sharing w more than 1 person.


Now on to what the retail section sells!

Some sweets - big macarons, bars

Marron choc tart if I'm not wrong


These sliced cakes are $8 each! They also sell whole cakes! There's matcha, choc w many diff combis and diff flavours.

Black Sesame Cheese cake $8/slice

And they have a section on cheesecakes! NY Style, white choc raspberry, matcha w oreo base, mango ginger (interesting), Dutch apple etc!



Chocolate truffles

Service was not bad at the bistro, though can be friendlier and more attentive. Portions for desserts definitely very big, recommended for sharing. Will not be in a hurry to go back due to prices!! But prices are kinda understandable cos of their obviously-high-rental! 

They're located 2 floors above the ice skating ring!

Au Chocolat
01-03 The Shoppes MBS
Website (their menu is there too, click bistro)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Provence le Restaurant

After Nicolas le Restaurant closed at Keong Saik, this Southern French restaurant took over their shop space and have been opened for about a month now but I completely didnt know that such a restaurant existed till recently! So I made the boy go down with me to try out their food. Afterall, the chef apprenticed under a female 1-star Michelin chef from the South of France and are using this 1-starred chef's recipes in this restaurant. The chef at this restaurant is also female :)

The layout of the restaurant is essentially the same though the colour scheme and decor is different. Its now more homey!

Bread served while you're perusing the menu (I'm not sure I liked it served while I'm looking at the menu...). This bread is not light and fluffy, quite dense and the crust is q hard too.

Complimentary Amuse boche

The ball is like a bread stuffed w anchovies and basil, not bad. The roasted cherry tomato was super juicy and sweet. The olive tapenade was q good, went well with the bread on top. 

 Happy to have gotten this pretty teacup and teapot when I asked for warm water! :)

Home made green zebra and pink tomatoes tart, petals of Spainish cod and lomo Iberico chips

This was the best dish during lunch. All the flavours went very well together, light and refreshing appetiser to start a meal. Somehow the cod just goes well together w the tart and the tomato! Sweet and light. The tart isnt very dense or buttery so it doesnt steal the show away from the top ingredients. 4.5/5

Reine's Pistou Soupe and basilic sorbet

This soup is made out of provencal vegetables (namely some beans, potatoes, sweet peas, long beans, zucchini etc) and mixed w pesto and atop sits a balsamic sorbet. More of the sorbet would've been much welcomed! The sorbet was tart and extremely cold, but cos it was such a small portion I was barely able to taste it fully as it melted w the soup. The soup is thick and filled w chunky ingredients such that is isnt like a soup but a stew? Didnt like that it had too many ingredients. Average tasting too. 3.5/5

Daube Provencal
Braised lemon Ox Cheek provencale style, homemade potato tortellini's with 4 spices

The boy said this was soft but not flakingly soft and terribly-oh-so-soft but still okay kind of soft and quite flavourful. 3.6/5

Atlantic Cod Fish watercress emulsion, Mediterranean oyster and scallops tartar

The cod fish was a disappointment for me. The sweet soft tasting fish was nothing like what its supposed to be. For one, the meat wasnt soft and second, the sweetness was totally covered by the sauce such that I wouldnt even know what I was eating if I closed my eyes. I wouldnt be able to tell its cod. The oyster + scallops tartar on top was so much nicer than the fish, at least I could tell what I was eating. The sauce was a tad too salty for me. 3/5

Frozen Reine's Calisson, apricot coulis and orange zest confit

This is like a frozen peanut butter dessert, the white part's kinda like frozen ice cream, cold and soft and the peanut brittle makes it taste like peanut butter. The sauce is sour and a nice contrast to the main dessert but definitely not worth $18. Quite average tasting. 3.2/5

Mille Feuille
Market's fruits mille feuille served w vanilla cream - mascarpone

The fruits for that day was apricots and the mille feuille is not like normal ones, no puff pastry involved! Instead something like what you'd see in Chinese restaurants appear, the "nest" of fried noodles thing haha. Its q good w the cold vanilla cream mascarpone and sweet apricots but I sure as hell didnt feel like it was worth $18!!!! 3.3/5

Service was friendly though lacking at times, I poured my own water q a few times. Food very average, only the tart from the appetizers left an impression, the rest, nope. Desserts are too expensive for the quality. 

Provence le Restaurant
31 Keong Saik Road
Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm, 7-10.30pm
Sat: 6-10.45pm

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


When I read that Chef Bruno Menard's opening a casual restaurant here in Singapore, I marked down the opening date and visited it on the 2nd day since it opened :) Giving it time to make improvements on the first day! The restaurant is styled with a pacman theme in mind and its quirky and very idk diner style like? There are pics of it on their fb page but I shall just kope one here!

Credits: &Made fb

Here's their menu:

I really like the quote "The inventor of the hamburger has a place in heaven" :)

Kitchen area to your left where Chef Bruno Menard REALLY cooks and you can kinda see him in action :)

The 3 Little Pigs 
Bacon, pork filet & chorizo patty, shitake mushrooms, Japanese cabbage, Shibazuke pickles, yuzu-kosho mayonnaise 
Served with fries and &Made BBQ sauce

The boy had this and he couldn't stop gushing about how nice the bun is even hours after we had our lunch!! He says its very buttery and flakey, kinda like a croissant! And idk if you can tell from the above pic but there are layers to the bun, not just like a thick uniform slab which in my boy's opinion, was great! He was surprised at how juicy the burger was 'cos even when he held it up to take a bite, all the yummy juices flowed downwards *slurp* marking the start of a good yummy satisfying burger. Its quite a thick patty made up of the 3 style of pork meat producing a patty that was a little chewy, a little crunchy and of course, GOOD.  Its like a sausage in terms of taste and texture. Don't worry abt the strong porky smell cos this doesnt have!

 The components of the burger went v well together as it made the burger super juicy! The mushrooms (black pieces you see in the first 2 pics) were very juicy and plump, now tell me, who doesnt like juicy fat mushrooms? Imagine biting into them and thinking, mmmmm bliss~ The pickles were a good addition to the burger balancing out the patty 'cos it was sour and crunchy! So you won't get sick of it :) The mayo tastes like normal mayo 'cos the yuzu scent's really light! Unless you eat the sauce alone, else you'll just think its normal mayo. Overall, the boy said this was a pleasant experience and one that he doesnt mind reliving! A good alternative if you're okay with sinful stuff and dont feel like eating beef! 4.3/5

 Toastoo Ratatouille
Mixed vegetables, tapenade & Raciette cheese
Served with a green salad

The toastoo is a "new generation sandwich made with french buckwheat crepes". At first I thought it'd be like the buckwheat crepes we have in Singapore, like the one shown below

But no! It came in a shape of an actual toast which is what made it interesting and kinda surprised me a little :) I liked that this was filled with REAL ratatouille and that the cheese wasn't overpowering the ratatouille! It was toasted till it was crispy at the sides, a plus point! I was quite happy with my light and nice lunch :) the side salad was just very normal.


The boy and I then had dessert! Chef Bruno was walking around and he came to our table and recommended us the sundaes! Esp the white choc one he said was his fav so we ordered sundaes! The sundaes are served with &Made soft ice-cream & creme chantilly

White chocolate
White chocolate sauce, passion fruit coulis & caramelised coconut shavings

This was a nicely thought out dessert 'cos the sweetness of the white choc is balanced out nicely w the tangy passionfruit! This was mainly abt the passionfruit so if you're a lover, you shld take this! The coconut bits went well with the sundae and the fact that it was so creamy and cold made it super enjoyable!!! This sundae is for someone who doesnt really like sweet stuff! 3.5/5

Red fruit coulis, vanilla crumble, fresh mix berries

One word: HEAVEN!!!! Especially if you eat this on a hot day, omg you'd be totally in heaven man!! Its served SO DAMN COLD but not too cold that you'd get a brain freeze but cold enough to make you happy!! :) I LOVED LOVED this sundae cos well I love berries and this was right up my alley!! They were super generous w the berries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, many of them in such a small cup. The crumble was right at the bottom, providing a nice good textural contrast to the sundae and gave it some sort of a sweetness as well! The creme chantilly isn't too sweet thank goodness and melds well with the soft ice cream that you can't really differentiate them! The ice cream is creamy but doesnt have a strong milky taste and its just SUPER pleasant and delicious! The cornflakes on top gave a crunch to it as well!! Yummy!! I tried to scoop every last bit left and I'd certainly be back for this! 5/5

This is the entrance from outside Pacific Plaza and the steps from this side to the restaurant is kinda cute :)  There's of course an entrance from inside the mall itself! Service was super good, very friendly smiley and funny! They're more than happy to recommend you stuff and to help w anything you need! Chef Bruno Mernard was walking around the restaurant as well, (he walks arnd q alot!) checking with the patrons to see how things are going, recommending stuff etc. A humble guy I feel :) 

I'd surely be back for their sundaes and perhaps a salad, toastoo or their breakfast!! Its a nice place to chill with rather average prices and yummy food! Oh yes, apparently the chef will be based permanently here! First 3 Michelin Star chef to do that, and I'm glad he decided to!!

Pacific Plaza
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