Monday, June 6, 2011

Brasserie Wolf:: Paris Bistro in Singapore?

This is an invited review

Brasserie Wolf...I have passed its way several times...even once had a drink with visiting watch journalist Alexander Linz there. But though have been tempted with the menu, have never eaten here...until today. Thanks to Danielle at Ate Consulting for the invitation, and for the wonderful company and conversation during lunch.

I understand they just renovated the place...kind of a sophisticated bistro look...light, airy. With a nice display of wines as one enters.

As usual in these tastings...we ordered a lot of food. And I mean a lot.

Starters were varied as they were interesting...first starter was the crab claw salad, which featured shredded crab claws with some salad leaves with a honey dressing and croutons. the salad was decent, but not exceptional.

Then on to the French onion soup...

Served in a heart shaped bowl...interesting....with a thick crust of bread and melted gruyere cheese. On cutting open the crust, the aroma of sweet onions hits the nose. The soup was thick, sweet with caramalised onions. Brings me back to the first time I was in Paris some thirty years ago. Nice.

We also had the foie gras terrine with glazed pears

The foie gras was superb. Smooth, rich...sinfully rich, creamy. Delicious umami flavours just burst out. The glazed pears were a perfect complement. The glazing was thick, caramelised sugar coating...very sweet to balance the tart acidity of the pears, and supports the fats within the foie gras superbly. Excellent combination.

And the mains...two fishes and one beef...

We started the mains (strange combination of words...:-)) with the pan seared barramundi fillet.

The fish was cooked well. For me, it was a tad over. My preference is for fish to be cooked just a touch over rare...the ideal is the outside pan seared till crisp, and deep inside the core of the fillet, just a touch rare. This way, the meat is smooth and moist. The barramundi that afternoon was already starting to flake, so by this exacting standard, slightly beyond perfect. Don't get me wrong, it was by no means overcooked...but just a tad beyond what I would consider perfect. That said, the barramundi tasted fine, the bed of onions and jalapeno salsa was a wonderful complement, and went well with the fish.

We also had the pan seared black cod:

This was served with gnocchi parisienne and a red wine sauce. The gnocci tasted like a savoury cake of some sort, and I didn't care much for it. But the cod was perfect. Cooked like I like it. The skin was seared perfectly crispy and beautifully browned. The fish was moist, had a wonderful mouthfeel typical of oily fish like cod. I spied that the very core of the fillet was slightly pink...indicating that it was cooked just a touch. Perfect. Love the cod.

Then the piece de resistance...the beef bourguignon

Chef Claudio Sandri came and introduced himself when we entered the restaurant, and he highly recommended this dish. So, of course we had to have it...

And indeed it was special. Served with a gorgeous bowl of mashed potatoes...smooth, creamy, potatoey (such a word...well, now there is!), the mashed potatoes were drop dead gorgeous. As was the beef. The cheeks of beef have been stewed for a good measure over the last 12 hours or so...and the vegetable braising liquid has become a super thick, rich sauce which smothers the wonderful, moist, tender beef. Note the fork and spoon that the dish is served in. The meat falls apart with the prodding of the spoon...and of course it just totally melts in the mouth. Literally. And as it melts, it releases a wonderful beefy aroma into one's nostrils. The muscle fibres of the beef give way within the palate, and the flavours meld into a symphony. Absolutely delectable. Often bourguigons feature tender beef...indeed this is the requirement for this dish, but also often the dish lacks depth and flavour. But not Sandri's bourguignon. Ful flavour. Don't play play.

Then desserts, first the apple tarte tartin with vanilla ice cream:

The ice cream was wonderful...the pastry, I am a bit undecided. I would have preferred a lighter pastry. And perhaps a bit less sweet. A thick layer of sugary caramely covering completely embraces the pastry, making it super sweet...which may be a boon for the sweet tooth, but for me, it made the pastry which was not light to begin with, a bit heavier.

We also had the lemon tart with fresh cream

This one I loved. the tart was superb. Just the right touch of sour and sweet. And wonderful balance of acid in the tart with the smooth richness of the fresh cream. This is a great dessert!

And the Chocolate and Coffee Leigeois

Nothing much to look at, but I can tell you this is absolute heavenly for the choc addict. Must have. The chocolate was superb...Valhorna no less. The ice cream in the espresso was wonderful. For a moment, I stopped analysing the espresso, as I am tend to do sometimes, and just enjoyed this wonderful dessert. I am sure there are healthier desserts, but this one hits the spot for me.

Overall Brasserie Wolf is quite a nice place to have a nice bistro meal. French almost to the core...the owners are Austrian, and the chef not exactly traditionally French, but close enough for Singapore. The food is excellent. And the ambience nice. I am told it does get busy on the weekends, so reservations are recommended. But come and enjoy a nice relaxing lunch, and you will be rewarded with the nice quiet ambience, and the great food.

Brasserie Wolf
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
6835 7818
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