My Aunt read about this place in Business Times and invited me to try out the French Cuisine. I must say this kopitiam is one of a kind. Blue-checked table cloths on plastic tables differentiated this kopitiam from others. I mean, where do you find table cloths at kopitiams, unless you are thinking about red plastics that comes out during CNY for Zi Cha stalls?
Don’t expect to find Chicken rice or wonton mee here. The few stalls here served only Western dishes you expect to find in restaurants, or even high-class fine dining.
The anchor tenant here is Stew Kuche, serving German fares complete with draft beers in fancy tall glasses.
We ordered our lunch from Immanuel French Kitchen. Not familiar with French food, we relied on the dishes marked ‘popular’ on the menu. So for entree, we tried the Burgundy Escargots – half a dozen snails baked with tomato fondue and garlic herb butter served with bread. ($11.90)
While the dish was tasty, the snail was too small to really make an impact.
For mains, my companions chose French Duck leg Confit ($14.90) and Steak and fries ($18) while I decided on the ‘popular’ Pork Belly.
My Pork Belly was served with Duxelle mushroom, Onsen Egg (half boiled) and potato foam. It was sinful but such a nice combination.
The potato foam was meshed potato whipped into a light fluffy texture.
The French Duck Leg Confit was a tad salty but otherwise had that nice aroma. I found it too dry but my companion didn’t mind.
Aaron’s boring steak and fries turned out rather special. The steak was done such that when sliced, you see three distinct layers of doneness, with the most inner side rare. I thought the dish could be better presented by mashed potatoes and vegetables rather than fries.
The other two mains on the menu are the Sous Vide Chicken Breast ($12.60) and Braised Bourguignon ($17).
Immanuel is a young and good-looking chef who started his kitchen about one month ago. Chef or new aged hawker? Which is the more politically correct description?
I wanted some salad and soup and found in at another stall (named Two Chicken) selling fried chicken. The fried chicken looked irresistible so instead of salad, I ordered the chicken wings and tomato basil soup. Both did not disappoint.
To complete our meal, we wanted dessert and Jolly Bell completed our meal. Here, they sell desserts like Tiramisu, pastries and ice-cream. That day special was my favourite. Who can resist Lava cake ($8.90) which we shared.
Drinks can be bought from an ice-tea stalls selling bubbles tea, fruit tea of various concoctions (average $3.00).
When I told my friends about the place, they bulked at the price (almost $90 for three of us.) Better to pay $30 per pax for a set lunch at a nice air-conditioned restaurant with service than to sweat it out at a kopitiam in the middle of an industrial estate with poor parking.
I don’t know. I think this place is a novelty and the day we went was nice and cool, although yes, parking is a problem here.
So, the question is, can the novelty survive in this competitive environment?