19.1.16

Cocotte

Cocotte, a charming little French bistro, has been on my to-eat list for the longest time. Installed in the Wanderlust Hotel on the fringes of Little India, it's kitschy, fun, convivial, and rustic. We popped in last weekend for brunch, and were informed that the ala carte menu wasn't available; they were serving up their Weekend Brunch Trolley ($59++ without alcohol).

If you were wondering what a brunch trolley was, think dim sum pushcarts in those old-school Cantonese restaurants in Hongkong, just French.

The affordability of the brunch was the primary factor in the decision to stay for brunch; I'm not particularly keen on buffets of any sort, even the pseudo-ones. I'm glad I stayed though. The decidedly limited array kept the quality of the brunch high, and because everything was in petite portions, we really could partake of everything. Also, the long gaps between the trolleys helped encourage the slow food movement thing that the French are so famous for; we actually took the time to graze over a languid brunch.

My favourite was the Croque Monsieur, a fantastic crusty baguette slathered with an excellent fruit jam, gruyere, mustard, and meaty ham. I got seconds of this.

The Salmon Quiche was exceptional, with a meltingly buttery crust, beautiful caramelization, and a lusciously cheesy filling.

The Seafood Croquette and Salmon Mousse wasn't my thing, but Addie, who loves her salmon mousse, found this appetizingly refreshing.

The Squid was a moreish contrast, chewy rings topped off a crusty buttered bread.

Another favourite of ours was the Homemade Baked Beans choc-a-bloc with smokey French bacon, topped with a sous vide egg, and a drizzle of citrus oil. Exquisite stuff.

I also loved the Poulet Roti, a whole organic chicken seasoned with herbed butter and roasted to juicy perfection, then sprinkled with golden almond flakes, and herbed cous cous.

The Blue Mussels & Clams, was simply steamed with white wine, Swiss chard, and fennel cream, to highlight its fresh and sweet flavours. We drank this like a soup.

The succulent Roast Pork Collar, blanketed in a glorious mustard cream, was sided by buttered local vegetables.

The Flatiron Steak, torched with a gorgeous char, was sliced to reveal a perfect, consistent shade of pink. Too bad they laced this with Chimichurri.

Just when we thought we were going to pop, the dessert trolley arrived.

Must trys are the Creme Brulee and Crepe Suzette, flambeed at the table, and drizzled with a caramelized orange sauce.


Cocotte
Wanderlust Hotel
2 Dickson Road
Tel: 6298 1188
Open Mondays to Thursdays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Fridays to Sundays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 11pm for dinner;
Closed on Tuesdays
Website: restaurantcocotte.com

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