Sunday, July 21, 2013

Singapore - Toots Brasserie

The Sultan by night (picture courtesy of Time Out Singapore)
Casual French in a colonial setting.  The ambience and location already is quite a stunner already.

The Sultan Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel in the midst of Kampong Glam, is converted from a row of shophouses dating back to the good ole days with black and white interiors.  Glam is named for the species of trees (a Malay word) and not the hip factor this area is increasingly being associated with.

Freshly baked baguette
Just into its 3rd month of operation, Toots is helmed in the kitchen by Jason Wong - a purported 14 year veteran who is ex-Au Petit Salut.  While he doesn't quite promise to deliver the country to you, he does at least give a very good value slice of French cuisine in a lovely setting away from the bustle of CBD Singapore.

Fig salad
A lovely fig and warm blue cheese "fondue" dressing salad kickstarts our set lunch off on the right note.  Fresh and sweet figs, contrasted by a rich and pungent dressing, and contrasted with crisp Parmesan chips and crunch salad leaves.

Pork Terrine
The alternative starter of pork and vegetable terrine was also surprisingly decent, served with black mushrooms, carrots and a ravigote vinaigrette.

A classic test of any establishment claiming to be a bistro or brasserie.  My main of steak and frites topped off with an herb butter was a pretty good cut (said to be from "Nippon" 150 day Black Angus) for the price and well executed to be the medium steak I wanted.  Enjoyable but just a tad big for lunch in the tropics.  Fries were also crisp (in fact just a little too crisp for me).

Hachis Parmentier
The alternative main of braised ox tail served under a bed of gratin-ed mash was also good.  Well braised and tender, it was easy on the palate since little chewing was needed to bring out the flavors.

Profiteroles au Chocolat
Well baked Choux pastry with ice cream is always a winner and this was pretty good with a dark chocolate sauce and roasted almonds.  Good that it was also one mouthful per profiterole so you get a bit of everything in one heavenly mouthful.

Poire Belle-Helene
Presentation here was the least exciting since they forgot the ice cream and chocolate sauce.  But since we were in a hurry we just enjoyed the well poached pears on their own.

Service was definitely patchy and staff untrained despite the apologetic smiles.  Jason himself had to come out to introduce the specials and menu, so we got to see and talk to him for a little bit but there was definitely a fluster given they had a decent crowd for lunch.  Hopefully that part of the operation doesn't derail a fine concept of value French, something that's becoming a rarity in increasingly-expensive Singapore.

101 Jalan Sultan
The Sultan Singapore
+65 6292 0740