Chez Petit Salut: French fare without breaking the bank

Chip Bee Gardens has seen a revival with the installation of the Holland Village MRT station and the 'big-bang' like pop-up of Sunday Folks along the usually quiet stretch. With that comes accompanied a whole slew of new worries mostly shrouding parking issues. 

Not new to the once sleepy neighborhood is Chez Petit Salut, a sister outlet to the more showy Au Petit Salut; here, the style is casual French bistro with hearty traditional French classics ringed in by a respectable wine list. Decor is kept simple, rustic, with an air of nostalgia of the French romanticism period. It's the kind of restaurant where it is possible to go for both lunch and dinner on a single day, a restaurant where waitresses race through the dining halls with four identical bowls of duck confit.

To start off the meal, we had the Oven Baked Portobello Mushroom with melted Camembert cheese and baby spinach ($16) and the Half dozen baked Burgundy snails, tomato fondue & garlic butter ($16).  The former (pictured right above) greeted the table; and we wished that the chef had made a mistake with only a measly mushroom to share round the table. Perhaps the mushroom had been a blooming onion before it's brief stint in the oven, but that doesn't warrant such a sad serving. The latter was apparently very well received by the other end of the table. Never got to taste it but I must say that generous slathering of herbed butter definitely whet my appetite.

Some of the main courses that graced the table that night were the Braised Lamb Shank ($38) served 'a la Provencale' in tomato accompanied with root vegetables. This unfortunately never quite surpassed the works of the master, the fork tender protein lacking in personality, but it was good enough to be a contender in any serious discussion of Singapore's lamb shanks.

My Crispy Duck leg confit, sauteed potatoes, streaky bacon and mesclun ($32) was superb, a golden crusty exterior heightened by the showering of fried shallots; all this yielding with the quick prod of the knife to reveal impossibly rich and succulent flesh with the subtle hints of garlic. The sauteed potatoes however were the black sheep of the plate, marring a perfect dish with its slightly undercooked hearts.

There's also the more delicate offering of Oven baked fillet of black cod with ratatouille ($32) should you be seeking a lighter option.

Chez Petit Salut doesn't fall under the fashionable category for today's food mavern, but it for sure, serves up good honest French bistro food that has accumulated a close following over the years. Good for a romantic night out sans the razzle dazzle or an intimte gathering with friends and loved ones.

Chez Petit Salut
44 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-54 Singapore (278116)
Tel: 6474 788
Closed on Sundays

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