Thursday, February 01, 2007

Le Papillon @ Red Dot Traffic Building

Le Papillon (at Maxwell Road, Red Dot Traffic Building) means The Butterfly in French.

And indeed, the dining experience here was like a beatiful butterfly unfurling its wings, with each course getting better and more exquisite, showcasing the chef's talent. Chef Anderson Ho, as I understand it, used to helm another good restaurant (Fig Leaf) together with Jimmy Chok (Salt and now, Academy Bistro).

When DS and I stepped into the restaurant, we were the only patrons. Midway through our meal, another couple arrived. But that was it. It did seem very dismal. It made me worry about the freshness of the food that we were served, quite frankly.

It's such a difficult position for new restaurants to be in, particularly for those in the middle to fine cuisine genre. Whilst one would like to use the freshest ingredients, it is a waste to throw food away if people don't turn up to eat it. So if the turnover isn't good, it will impact on the quality of the food served. A vicious cycle really. Perhaps this place suffers from a lack of publicity. It would be a pity of a restaurant of this calibre is unable to continue operations because of that. Particularly since the food was really quite exceptional.

We both had the lunch set for an affordable SGD29.90 each.

My starter of baked gratin of cheese and broccoli was good. The portion seemed a little small. I was scraping my plate every time I scooped up a bite, which means that the serving of was too thin.

DS' starter of grilled prawn salad was nice and tasty.

I had the braised beef with mashed potato, a hearty savoury and tasty dish. The potato was fluffy and smooth, and the beef was tender.

DS' grilled sea bream was delicate, and served on a bed of peas and some green mash. Pretty good.

Our dessert was panna cotta with mango and a macaroon on top. The panna cotta was a little too stodgy for me, almost pudding-like.

I quite liked this place, and I think Chef Anderson is pretty talented.

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