Media Invite/Food Review
If you have not heard of Poulet, it is a French-themed casual dining chain which had taken Singapore by surprise with it’s rapid expansion from it’s first outlet in Bugis+ in 2012. A total of 10 outlets (including an upcoming one in the new Kallang Wave Mall), it has totally changed the concept of French dining in Singapore.
Having travelled to Paris a few times previously, French cuisine gave me the impression that it’s expensive, small portions and can take a long time to be served! Perhaps with the aim to dispel such misconceptions, Poulet introduced quality French food at affordable prices.
In celebration of it’s 2nd birthday in Singapore, Poulet introduced a fresh look-menu and new entries too. We were kindly invited for food tasting at their Bedok Mall branch.
Coming to 5 years old soon, Xi En can read more words and enjoy ordering his own choice of food and drinks from the menu. He can go quite wrong sometimes with the orders but we allowed him to learn these independency skills and told him he had to finish up what he ordered! He’s still a small eater but anything with fries is a winner.
Good to note for parents: There are high chairs provided for young ones and plastic cutleries upon request too.
Sharing with you a few of my old favourites and some of the notable new delectables.
Mention French food and escargot comes to mind. I remembered for my first trip to Paris some 10 years back, I actually bought back a pack of frozen escargot as it was so foreign a dish to me then! Today, you need not go so far.
If you are adverse to the idea of eating snails, just think of it as clams, “hum” or “La La”. The texture is similarly chewy but key difference (which had us licking our fork and spoon) is the fragrant tangy almond garlic butter and tomato fondue. Go on, order half-dozen or more! Don’t worry, edible snails are farm-grown and not those crawling in your way after a heavy downpour. “P
Another 3 sides which are recommended:
Truffle Mashed Potato ($5.90) – If you are a fan of potatoes, you will love this. If you are not a fan, you will be won over by the after-taste of truffle oil! I am a fan of both ingredients and so I loved this! A good choice as well if you have young ones (or older folks without much teeth!) in your company.
Salad De Canard Fume ($12.90) – Chopped Garden Salad with Smoked Duck Slices, Tomato, Pine Nuts and Orange Wedges tossed with Raspberry Dressing. Right mix of everything; a refreshing starter. I specially liked the citrus salad dressing and this hit the right note with me.
Ratatouille ($5.90) – Key note: It’s not cooked by a rat (pun totally intended!). Suitable for vegetarians and you have to like root vegetables to enjoy this classic French-stewed vegetable dish.
If you are a soup person, do pick up the Country Side Mushroom Soup ($5.90) – Cream of Wild Mushrooms and Idaho Potato (a variety of potato grown in the American state of Idaho). This is always the safest bet in any menu; and I’m glad that the chefs got it quite right with a creamy, starchy texture, bits of wild mushrooms and crunchy croutons.
The other one in the soup section is the French Onion Soup ($5.90). Unfortunately, the stock used for this soup is a little too salty for my liking. However if you must have caramelised French Onion Soup and love savoury items, it might be the right soup for you.
Next up is the exciting new mainstays in the new menu: Introducing Pissaladiere ($11.90 to $13.90) – simply put “French Pizza”. Commonly appreciated in France, this is an open faced pastry topped with generous portions of ingredients and traditionally served without cheese. I have a weakness for such crumbly, tart-like crust. It is lighter and crispier vs the Italian pizza dough. You can easily wolfed down 2 of these sizes! Most in our dining party that night raved about these. A clear must-try!
Mains (Plats Principal)
Ah ha, the stars of the dinner and Poulet’s signatures:
Poulet Roti with Mushroom Chardonnay Sauce ($15.90 Half or $28.90 Whole). This is the dish which made Poulet famous and so, seriously don’t leave the restaurant if you never try this before. These tender chickens sit in a special marinate for a whole day and when served with the special chardonnay sauce, it is plate-licking-good! My only grouse could be a bigger serving! Half chicken is seriously not enough for the dead-serious chicken lovers.
Enter a new spin in the hot favourite above is Poulet Diane ($17.90 Half; $30.90 Whole). No change to the perfectly-roasted chicken except this is served with traditional brown sauce with bacon and mushrooms. If you are not a huge fan of the creamy chardonnay sauce, this will be good news. Browned chicken with brown sauce; it is an age-old pairing and really can’t go wrong with bacon and mushroom to boot! If you are eating with a crowd, order both or better – all 3 Poulet(s) on the menu to share. The other one which we didn’t sample is the Poulet De Cranberry (served in Cranberry sauce with double Pommery & Dijon Mustard). Photos on the website looks alluring too!
Though Poulet means chicken in French, that’s not all it offers as mains. We sampled another favourite in the group: Braised Pork Belly ($15.90). Ordinary it might sound but tastefully executed it is. The feel come close to our Chinese-style of braising but the mustard made it very French and a welcoming accompaniment for this dish. This is not the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly but I still enjoyed the chewy lean parts with the sinful fatty meat, messily eaten with the braising sauce and mustard.
For beef lovers, there is the Oxtail De Bourguignon ($15.90). Honestly, this is my least favourite of all the mains. Not the taste; not the texture. I wished there were no bones! To eat it like a fine lady is no mean feat. Thankfully the meat does slide off easily when you get around it, but it is a little embarrassing if I angled wrongly and accidentally flick some pieces of meat onto the face of my date! hahhaaa… I prefer my beef as a steak or stew. Not their speciality either but an alternative if you must have beef.
Seafood lovers do not need to fret. These is a new dish just for you – Halibut En Papillote ($17.90). Enveloped in parchment paper is a slab of fresh halibut fillet (no bones, yeah!) served with garden vegetables and white wine sauce. Rightly recommended by Jamie (the PR lady who hosted us for the dinner), you got to eat this dish hot to enjoy the freshness of the fillet as it interacts with the white wine sauce. This light-weight dish is easy on the waist-line and allows room for dessert!
Dessert; anyone said dessert? Yes, there is always room for something sweet to end off. I don’t exactly have a sweet tooth; I like to taste them but I normally do not finish all.
Desserts are best shared, don’t ya think? That way, you get to have a taste of everything. Which is exactly what we did. We ordered all 5 items on the menu! Creme Brulee is never my first choice of dessert but it surpassed all the rest and came back as an empty plate. The Tiramisu came second close though I wished there is more rum and soft biscuit-fingers. The rest are possibly menu-fillers and need a little more work in my opinion. Then again as mentioned, i don’t have a sweet tooth so I could be bias. Give me the Poulet any time over dessert!
Overall, we had a great French meal! Poulet is a restaurant which you won’t need to burn a big hole in your pocket and yet able to savour a piece of Paris while admiring the Eiffel Tower (menu). Besides the French traditional style, I liked the twist to make the selections suitable for the local crowd. It’s good to know there are many vegetarian options in the menu to cater to the special diets (I have a vegetarian mother). A place for all occasions; give it a try today and let me know what you think! Bon Appetit!
Poulet’s oulets: http://poulet.com.sg/restaurants/
Instagram: @Pouletsg (If you are on IG; remember to #Pouletsg to enter an on-going photo contest to win some dining vouchers)
N.B: We were invited for a complimentary food tasting session with Poulet. No other compensation was received. All opinions, photos and an enlarged waist-line remain my own.