Posts Tagged ‘French Restaurants’

Pierre Gagnaire Seoul, Lotte Hotel

*Invited tasting*

When it comes to fine dining, I think the French win hands down. Really, of all the grand, fine dining restaurants I’ve been to, the ones I’ve enjoyed the most happens to be the French restaurants.  So I was really happy to be invited to lunch at the exquisite Michelin-starred Pierre Gagnaire in the posh Lotte Hotel.

Pierre Gagnaire - (7)

Pierre Gagnaire Seoul is located on the top floor of Lotte Hotel just across the popular Myeong Dong shopping district. If you want to splurge during your holiday in Seoul, or just want a romantic night out, Pierre Gagnaire would certainly be a fine option. I was amazed at how spacious the restaurant was as the few tables in the restaurant were all widely spaced. It was a pity I could not get a better shot of the restaurant as it seemed a tad rude to disturb the ambience by standing up to take pictures.

View from Pierre Gagnaire

The view from Pierre Gagnaire is fantastic.You can see the uniquely shaped Jongno Tower in the distance, as well as the tallest building in the picture, the SK building. The height limit for buildings is actually lower than this. Wonder what they did to be able to construct their building to such a height.

Pierre Gagnaire - (16)

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Gourmet de l’Ile – Strasbourg

Day 3 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - (2)

Day 3 – We were generously invited to dinner during our stay at Château de l’Ile & Spa in the Strasbourg/Ostwald region. Château de l’Ile has 2 restaurants. The Restaurant "Winstub de l’Ile " has all the charm of an Alsace brasserie with its typical welcoming decor: traditional benches, solid rustic chairs, decorated ceiling, and tinted windows. You can enjoy regional dishes at this restaurant.

The other restaurant, which we eventually chose as our dining venue for the evening was Restaurant "Gourmet de l’Ile". It is decked out to look like a 19th century bourgeoisie house and serves fine dining French cuisine.

We perused the menu and concluded that the Tasting menu at 74 Euros was the most value for money, yes even though 74 Euros doesn’t sound cheap on its own. The starters were already above 20 euros while the main courses were above 30 euros, so it made very good sense to get the Tasting menu, even if we had to take 3 hours to finish the meal!

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - Lentil soup with bacon

Lentil soup with bacon

As with all fine dining, you always get more than what you’ve ordered! There will be “surprises”, more “surprises”, “mouth washers” literally, and chocolates after desserts! Don’t be planning to go home early when you dine at a fine dining restaurant! This here was the appetiser of lentil puree soup with a stick of bacon in it. It was an amazing starter as the graininess of the lentils and smokiness of the bacon really gelled together very well, kick starting the whole meal.

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - Pan-Fried Foie Gras, butter muesli, apple compote & Caramel (2)

Pan-Fried Foie Gras, butter muesli, apple compote & Caramel 27 Euros

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Cafe de Amigo

Oh dear, certainly Cafe de Amigo is no longer the Amigo of my colleagues. We paid Cafe de Amigo a visit today, and all of them concluded that they would never ever visit this restaurant ever again.

I know I seldom write such harsh reviews, and in fact, I think I was the only one who was quite okay with the meal. All 5 of us ordered the lunch set meal of $13.90++, which comprises of complimentary bread, starters, mains and coffee/tea.

Complimentary bread : – All 5 of us agreed that the slices of baguette was totally inedible. It was as tough and chewy as an old boot. The butter looking thing, I suspect wasn’t butter since it was whitish and very light in weight for some reason. Cafe de Amigo should have dispensed with serving the complimentary bread if they didn’t have something better, because this really was the catalyst to the negativity.

Starters (Soup): – Those who had the soup said it was too creamy…

Starters (Prawn Tempura): – I had the Prawn Tempura on a bed of lettuce. I thought this was quite tasty. The Prawn Tempura was freshly fried and laid on a bed of crunchy lettuce. After the fiasco of the stale bread, I was half expecting wilted lettuce, but they tasted pretty fresh.

Mains (Grilled Garoupa):- Those who had this said that the fish was okay but the bed of fennel and other vegetables beneath the fish tasted as if they had been stashed in the refrigerator for far too long.

Mains (Roasted Chicken):- I was the only one to order the 1/2 Roasted Chicken. I quite enjoyed it even amidst the comments coming from the fish eaters. The mashed potato and shredded vegetables also tasted good and I used them to mop up all the chicken gravy. The chicken was on the small side though, definitely not 1/2 a roasted chicken, it was probably 1/3 of a roasted chicken.

Well, considering that Cafe de Amigo used to be so much better, this was a step down for me and a horrible experience for my colleagues. I hear there was a management change some time ago, hence the difference in standards? Wonder where the old chef went? The news has travelled wide though. Cafe de Amigo used to be full during lunch time, but today there were about only 3 or 4 tables occupied.

I guess if I ever desire to dine at Cafe de Amigo again, I’ll be dining alone.

Cafe de Amigo

Funan DigitaLife Mall

#02-15, 109 North Bridge Road Singapore 179097

Tel: 6835 0238

Absinthe Restaurant Français

Football can be useful after all. During the World Cup, 2 colleagues decided to make a bet on who would win the Holland vs Brazil match. The loser would have to pay for dinner at an expensive restaurant. I didn’t bet at all, but I quickly stuck my head in to be counted as one of the recipients of the eventual dinner. After all, what fun would it be if just the 2 dined together? So, Brazil lost and we all got to go to Absinthe, the French restaurant located at Bukit Pasoh Road near Outram.
You know how it is with atas (fine-dining) restaurants. They lay out all the empty wine glasses, and then when you tell them you’re not having any alcohol, they give you the look before taking the wine glasses away?
I’ve always found those empty glasses pretty much an obstruction on the table. I mean like why on earth do I need so many, and why can’t they be put there only AFTER I order wine? Anyway, the answer is that first you have a glass of champagne to calm your nerves from the day’s stresses, then you progress on to a white wine and a red wine for the appetisers, and then another red wine specially chosen for the meat dish, and then finally a dessert wine.
Everyone’s spirits was high. We managed to secure a nice table behind the full length wine cabinet, so we were nicely hidden from  most of the restaurant. The couple, seated nearest to our table could still see us. Their hopes of a romantic dinner were utterly squashed by the noise generated from our table and they kept giving us the evil eye. So, if you ever go to Absinthe, make sure never to get a seat near to the wine cellar.
Everyone chose the $98 degustation set, which comprised of the following:-
Absinthe Raw Starter

Ceviche of Marinated King Fish with Lime and Coconut, Mesclun Salad

This was so good. King Fish isn’t that easily available in Singapore, and I just love the firm texture and sweet taste of the fish.

Absinthe Soup

Cheese Ravioli with pesto and sundried tomato soup

Absinthe Foie Gras

Pan-Fried Foie Gras with Warm Blinis and Morello Cherries

I hate to say this but this was superb too!

Absinthe Beef Tenderloin

Grilled Beef Tenderloin on mashed potato bed

(you have to say “medium” in French restaurants to get what is “medium-rare” in other restaurants)

Absinthe Coconut Creme Brulee

Coconut Creme Brulee with Coconut Sorbet

Absinthe Restaurant Français

Location: 46 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore, 089858
Phone: 6222-9068
Mon – Fri: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Sat: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm

http://www.absinthe.sg

Absinthe’s Facebook

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