Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Absinthe

As predicted, there was nothing bohemian, hallucinogenic nor waitresses with green dresses and wings of sorts. We've gotten instead, a charmingly green modern restaurant that displayed a classy interior with a nice touch of humour. Throughout the night, we were entertained by the very hospitable and informative restaurant manager, Phillipe Pau. It seemed to me that the girls were enjoying their little chat with Chef François Mermilliod too, while I indulged in the starters. Absinthe had definitely gotten my vote for their impeccable service.

While waiting for Ciki to make her trip here from her day of cardio-shopping workout at Orchard, we started off with some pata negra. As I'm typing this, I wondered why I didn't sandwich them between the sourdough, which I should add, was served warm and soft. Perhaps it didn't feel appropriate at that time. Well, that's not going to stop me from doing it on my next visit.

Somewhere between champagne, Iberian pork and salivation while breezing through the menu, Ciki made a grand entrance (as always) and we wasted no time in placing our order. Secretly, I've made my order weeks ago. You see, I was already planning for a visit and had eyed on the rather attractive degustation menu before suggesting it to Ciki, who wanted something swanky this time round. I guess the name of the restaurant did play a part in her decision.

The degustation menu comes with 3 starters, a main and a dessert. Of the starters, my favourite was the tartare of Hokkaido scallops, which I thought was the amuse bouche. It worked well with the citrus dressing and to have a tartare served warm was interesting. Oh, it came with apportions of caviar as well. The second starter was a very French terrine of foie gras and smoked duck. I like the rich, sort of buttery taste of the foie gras here but the condiment of caramelized fruits could have been more flavourful for a good contrast. I've heard a lot about their kurobuta pork belly (and foie gras too) and was really looking forward to some pork action. It smelled and tasted similar to the Chinese version of roasted pork belly except that here, the meat was much softer, with fats almost melting in the mouth. Is it just me or do I see nothing French in this dish? Still, it was delicious. While I had the grilled grain-fed beef tenderloin, Ciki and XLB shared a fish and seafood bouillabaisse that was full of flavours from the sea. Some thought it was too briny but to me, it was just nice. Again, being the inappropriate one, I thought some noodles in it would be great. If they sell the saffron aioli by the jars at the counter, I would have gladly bought some as dip for those couch potato nights. Back to my beef, although cooked to my preference and moist, it was definitely not as memorable as the kurobuta. A first for me was the parsnips mash and it was well complemented with the black truffle sauce. We all shared my dessert of coconut panacotta that got everyone smiling. I believe they had incorporated vanilla into the panacotta, hence creating a uniquely fusion taste. A sourish coulis of berries provided some balance to the dessert. We ended the night with some Valhorna chocolate and...absinthe! To quote Phillipe, it wouldn't be complete without it.

I did mention somewhere up there about my next visit. When I do, it'll be for their famous pan-fried foie gras. Checking their website a couple of hours ago, I realised that they had changed many items on the menu, including the foie gras where the wild hibiscus flower compote has been replaced with morello cherries. Well, still sounds good to me. The degustation menu differs as well, so do check out their website for updates.

It's only right that Shrek Hairy should take this shot.

Pata Negra

Sourdough

Tartare of Hokkaido Scallops with Citrus, Wakame and Seaweed Tuile

Terrine of Foie Gras and Smoked Duck Breast with Herb Salad and Toasts

Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly, Shimeji and Fennel Salad, Star Anise Scented Jus

Fish and Seafood Bouillabaisse Scented with Absinthe, Saffron Aioli & Croutons

Grilled Grain-Fed Beef Tenderloin Served with Parsnips Mash & Black Truffle Sauce

Coconut Panacotta with Jubilee of Fresh Berries

Absinthe
48 Bukit Pasoh Road
Singapore 089858
Tel: (+65) 6222 9068

Check out Ciki's detailed post here.

18 comments:

ice said...

"It seemed to me that the girls were enjoying their little chat with Chef François Mermilliod too"... Were you jealous? haha. (:

The pata negra's good stuff!

J said...

Mmmm. That looks like some good eatin'...
(And why are you Shrek btw??)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haha absinthe..hmmmm...did u hallucinate and saw urself as shrek at the end of the nite isit

mimid3vils said...

the foie gras seem like very "raw" to me, or it's colour is just like that?

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Everything looks tres tres delish! How come we don't have such restaurants in KL?

UnkaLeong said...

My eyes agree with your tastebuds. The tartare definitely looks a treat ; The grilled beef tenderloin looks bloody good as well (pun intended). Trying to squeeze in a trip down south before the year is up. Should that happen will let you know a week in advance bro!

Alexander said...

Looks like a great place. But the address seem an obscure location.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Life for Beginners said...

For some reason absinthe reminds me of the green fairy, esp. the version played by Kylie Minogue in Moulin Rouge. Is Ciki our very own Malaysian version of the green beauty? ;)

(Tapi, you know, not hijau. At least not where we can see anyway, haha.)

qwazymonkey said...

Ciki's your bohemian green fairy lah. Pop the bottle and you'll see her flying out with pixie dust and all that.

And as far as you go bro, I like you in your own inappropriate way. Don't stop.

tracieMoo said...

I couldn't get my eyes off the panacotta.. it looks divine..

thenomadGourmand said...

Hope to c u soon ;p (taking cue frm Unka's comment ;p)
But 1st, got to go Cedele!

Paprika said...

With a name like absinthe, the cool factor is already there innit? Food does sound promising. When are you back HB? Lots of new eateries await!

CUMI & CIKI said...

ciki was late! ciki ate fast !

what la u .. lucky i posted first..chis ..why the shots like so incredibly nice one.. like i wasn't even there :P

i see Ciki's infra-red made the 1st shot really sizzle! haha

Petite Lass said...

They all look yummylicious but the food portion seem to be rather small. Oh well, it's a French restaurant, that explains ;p

Nic (KHKL) said...

ice, jealous? haha, actually no, because i was too into my food (as always, lol!). yupe, i hafta agree that th pata negra's awesome. not too chewy like some. ;D

j, i'm shrek cos am not good-looking enough to be in the picture la..haha. jokez. ;D

joe, oooohhhh, now that's an interesting idea. shrek and absinthe, both green!

mimi, that's the colour, definitely. should have eaten that with the sourdough..haha

bangsar-babe, hmmm, i think we do have some good French restaurants in town. i heard cuisine studio is good. am planning to go there soon. ;D

unkaleong, sure sure! let me know la. btw, arent u supposed to be busy with your move and all? still got time for holiday ar? solid, bro! haha

alexander, it's actually pretty easy to find. walking distance from outram park mrt station. near keong saik road at chinatown. check it out. ;D

Nic (KHKL) said...

kenny, ya know, i was thinking of writing this with some baz lurhmann ideas at first! ciki is not green la, but colourful! haha. "..not where we can see anyway..."??? omg!!!!!!!!! haha

qwazymonkey, yeah, she's one of the few bloggers who blogged about absinthe. i wonder if fairies can grant wishes..hehehe. thanks for the vote of confidence, bro! i like the inappropriate route too. so cool hor? hehehe.

traciemoo, hey, thanks for visiting! yeah, i thought the panacotta was a nice dessert. not too sweet too. ;D

thenomadgourmand, yesssssss, hope to see ya in singapore! i intro you to a new roti that you'll like for sure. ;D let's go cedele together. ya know, i've nvr been before! hehe

paprika, agree on the cool factor. and even better when the signature has something to do with pan-fried foie gras! ;D i'll be back by second week of dec! let's go makan!!!!

ciki, woah, thanks for the compliment on the pictures la. ;D and thanks for the infra-red light! it really made the sugar cube look interesting! very alien-ish. i likez. ;D

petite lass, haha, u have a point there. but because we were there the whole night, we kinda paced ourselves with food and drinks, so that was ok.

ling239 said...

i love berries!!
and the dessert looks so good....^_^

Nic (KHKL) said...

ling239, yeah, the dessert was good because of the sweetness of the panna cotta and the sourish berries. addictive! :D