Thursday, April 30, 2009

Singapore - Le Pont de Vie

Le Pont de Vie's new location at Kandahar Street is an elegantly decorated, intimate little restaurant, sited in a old shophouse and in the revamped Kampong Glam area, a neighbourhood rich with history and character. Unfortunately, those are the about the best things Le Pont de Vie has going for it. Its website mysteriously desribes it as a "two star restaurant" - it is unclear how that was arrived at or derived from.

We were off to an uninspiring start - the amuse bouche consisted of 1 small spoon of a strange, curry-flavoured cold chick pea mush, and another of a small dollop of a soggy eggplant and mushroom mix.
The generous basket of bread arrived next, and while the bread was ordinary and sliced thin, the unexpected luxury was the black truffle speckled butter - in retrospect, the only highlight of the meal.

For starters, I had the Chef's Pot of Soup, which was a Prawn Bisque with crab meat. A bisque is typically thick and creamy but the version served did not appear to have any cream save for the few dollops thrown on as garnish and which curdled rather than blended into the soup, owing to the over-microwaved soup. Not unpleasant to the palate although there was a little manuevering required around the curdled cream bits.

My companion had the Baked Foie Gras Black Truffle Puff. It definitely sounded like a winner but execution was flawed. The puff was excessively greasy and made even more so by the foie gras inside. The black truffle did not seem to make an appearance or if it did, was overpowered by grease. It did not help that the accompanying mesclun salad was also drowned in too much dressing, making it soggy.

On to our mains - I took the waiter's enthusiastic and strong recommendation of the Grilled Milk-fed Veal Chop. In spite of him highlighting twice that it was a "very expensive cut of meat", I found the veal tough and slightly overdone, and pretty bland. The accompanying madeira sauce on the other hand was a little too salty and did not harmonise with the veal, nor did the greasy stir-fried spinach mound.

My companion had the Crispy Duck Leg Confit. While the duck skin was indeed crispy, the meat was too dry and flaky. No succulence about it. The raspberry port wine sauce was alright, if a little one-dimensional. Again, nothing to write home about.

For dessert, we opted to share the Bailey's souffle (hoping for something a little different from the more commonly available Grand Marnier). The souffle was a little too wet on the inside for my liking and the accompanying slightly rancid-tasting scoop of vanilla ice cream did nothing for me.

While we tried to keep to the "favourites" and more traditional fare, Le Pont de Vie did not pass any test by any account. And while not the most expensive, I did not feel I should have parted with that sort of money for a meal of this quality. Unless they fix the kitchen, we don't think we will be returning soon.

Le Pont de Vie
26 Kandahar Street
Singapore 198888
Tel: +65-6238 8682


  1. I am a regular at Le Pont de Vie and I have tried most of the items you review and most of them are delicious. It seems suspicious to me that you didn't seem to like a single dish. The restaurant does have two stars from Wine and Dine and is rated by Singapre Tatler but I guess you know better.

  2. Dear Anonymous

    thank you for visiting and posting a comment.

    I think everyone has bad days. And perhaps I was unfortunate to hit LPDV on a bad day. But on a Saturday evening, a bad day might be a little disastrous for an establishment of that perceived caliber.

    I might give it 3 to 6 months, then visit again. Hopefullly, the kitchen might work the kinks out by then. Or I just accept that the type of fare on offer at LPDV just isn't my cup of tea. If you check out Hungrygowhere's site, you will see the difference of opinion is apparent from its 26 reviews to date too.

    But this is what's great about food blogging/reviews! Keeps establishments on their toes and that can only benefit us, the consumers, ultimately!

    Happy eating!