I love that my company has a culture of food (and drinks too, double yay). Other than the LA Lunches, my team has regular department lunches, and impromptu ones when Beeps and I tell The Boss about some yummy food place.
Since there were only 3 of us today, The Boss splashed out at Julien Bompard at the Ascott Raffles Place. This eponymous restaurant is the second one after Le Saint Julien Restaurant at the Fullerton Lighthouse, also serving European cuisine, but focusing on Italian, French and Spanish flavours.
Although we didn't make reservations, we managed to get a table immediately. We were first served a Bread Basket, consisting of Mini Baguettes, Cranberry Bread, Cranberry Biscotti and a Wholewheat Biscotti, which were fluffy and warm, always a plus. These arrived with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, chili flakes for a subtle heat and a cube of softened butter. The cranberry bread and biscotti were a hit, they had a nuanced sweetness which complimented the olive oil.
We decided to order from the Ala Carte menu instead of from the very attractive $52 set lunch deal because the choices from the set lunch menu was a little limited.
The Risotto with Herbs and Fricassee of Mushrooms ($26) served with delicately spicy Spanish romesco sauce was my favourite dish of the mains. It was creamy, rich and lip-smackingly good. The risotto was portioned just right as well, not the typical kid's menu sized portions you usually find at chi-chi restaurants.
The Braised Pork Belly with Apple and Cider Sauce ($42), with galette of potato and Iberico ham was meltingly tender. The sweetness of the braised pork belly was perfectly balanced by the tartness of the apple cider sauce. But it's the simple things in life that I love, which was the potato blanket, crisp on the outside, yet soft on the inside and so comfortingly familiar. The portion was a little small and would have probably made a good appetizer for big eaters like the BF and I.
Obviously the mains wouldn't be enough so we ordered some side dishes as well. We got the Medley of Vegetables ($12), grilled yellow zucchini, baby asparagus and onions lightly salted and buttered. This was so simple yet so flavourful.
We also got another vegetables side, the Sauteed Spinach ($12), baby spinach lightly tossed in oil and served with cranberry bread croutons for an unexpected sweetness and roasted pine nuts. I liked that the spinach was not completely wilted or dripping in oil.
We also got the Mashed Potato ($12), this was so creamy, fluffy and light it took on the consistency of a heavy whipped cream. For those who don't like their mashed potato textured and chunky, this is it.
We got another serving of the bread basket at the end of the meal, which, in our view, would have been more appreciated at the beginning of the meal instead. Still, we gobbled them up.
I liked that this business lunch hangout wasn't too pretentious or haughty, it had a very relaxed ambience for a fine dining restaurant.
Julien Bompard at the Ascott Raffles Place
2 Finlayson Green
Ascott Raffles Place
Tel: 6509 0908
Open Mondays to Fridays from 6.30am to 10.30am for breakfast, Saturdays and Sundays from 7am to 11am for breakfast; open daily from 12 noon to 2pm for lunch, 6.30am to 10pm for dinner.