Au Petit Salut is the posh sister restaurant of the casual bistro Chez Salut over at MBFC. I much prefer the tranquil garden locale of the former to the cityside bustle of the latter.
Service was discreet and professional, but warm enough to feel personalised. Save for the long gap between our mains and desserts, we didn't have any complains about their almost stellar service. The long wait for our sweets may have been attributed to the fact that we'd ordered a chocolate fondant cake from the ala carte menu in addition to the ones on our set dinner menu, so while the waitress did inform us in advance that the fondant attracted a 15-minute wait, she also waited for the fondant to be done before serving all of the desserts up at the same time. I think it would have been much better timing to serve us the set menu desserts first, to tide us over, and then serve up the 15-minutes lag-time fondant. We would have been finishing up the set menu desserts just in time to enjoy the arrival of the fondant.
Food was a mixed bunch of greats and okays, nothing very wrong with any of the dishes but a few of them could have been greats. We were pleasantly surprised (and loved) that the set dinner was priced so affordably at $88++ for 2 starters, a main and dessert, finished off with a coffee or tea. Especially in view of the fact that this restaurant is very much lauded and a venerable kingpin in the (local) world of fine French dining. Compared to last year's birthday treat, this was a lot less harsh on CC's wallet!
The starter of the Chilled Alaskan King Crab cake on a tomato espuma, topped with radishes, with a brush of black squid ink aioli and shotglass of king crab foam, was a refreshing start to dinner. It was clean, clear and with the barest of sweetness.
The Sauteed Duck Foie Gras was meltingly delicious. Mandarin gel, gingerbread pearls and orange segments served to lend a citrusy lightness to the heavy fat of the goose liver. This was so good that it could have converted an animal activist.
The Fillet of Black Cod was smooth and moist and fatty, contrasted with the crackling crispy rice crust. A mound of quinoa, mussels and chorizo mash, saffron dressing and crustacean froth lent a bright, sunny and seafresh burst of flavour to the complex dish.
The French Duck Leg Confit was the best dish of dinner, hands down. It was jam-packed with flavour, and fall-off-the-bone tender. Geriatrics would have loved this - no chewing involved! A unique white chocolate & cauliflower purée was a nice twist from the usual mash, and the pomegranate relish provided a fruity sweetness.
The 400 days grain-fed Wagyu Rib Eye (supplement $12) was perfectly done to a juicy medium rare. Full bodied and so flavoursome that it was good to eat on its own. A huge dollop of pomme mousseline, whipped so smooth and airy it almost floated, and a sweet corn and cabbage slaw served as accompanying sides while a robust red wine sauce provided libation.
For dessert, a trio of French Farm Cheeses which ran the gamut from mild edam to pungent blue cheese were served alongside toasted walnut bread, a spiced date chutney, walnuts, dried apricots and fresh pears.
The Chocolate and Pear Mousse Torte with vanilla ice-cream, fresh strawberries and shimmery chocolate pellets was nuanced and just the right balance of sweetness and richness.
The Fondant ($17) with 70% Valrhona chocolate and a 64% chocolate sorbet, red currant jam, fresh strawberries and pistachio nuts was, in short, awesome. The chocolate sorbet was a really light icy contrast to the chocolatey richness of the molten lava oozing out of the baked confectionery.
Au Petit Salut
40C Harding Road
Tel: 6475 1976
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner