It's a fallacy that French cuisine is haute and stuffy. The culinary character of most French food is actually grounded in simple, honest, peasant fare. Seasonal ingredients, with basic straightforward methods of cooking, make for the hearty rustic French dishes that are now so familiar and beloved around the world. Like the ubiquitous beef bourguinon, duck confit, or onion soup.
A charmingly cosy joint under the illustrious Les Amis Group, Bistro du Vin is my favourite go-to for casual French cuisine in Singapore. In addition to serving up excellent French food that's hearty and rustic, their set lunches, priced at $32++, are unbelievably affordable and offer maximum bang for your buck.
There are a total of 7 entrees to choose from, and the Smoked Duck Breast Salad, dotted with orange segments, walnut, and dressed in a sweet-ish sherry sauce, was refreshing and balanced.
The Mushroom Veloute, swirled with creme fraiche and truffle scented oil, was one of the most awesome renditions ever, all velvety and aromatic and wonderfully earthy.
The French Onion Soup (supplement $5) topped with croutons and cheese, was sweetly rich, with a toasty caramelly accent, but nuanced.
For something a little different, the Foie Gras Ravioli was glorious, even if it looked like an ugly melty puddle of goo. The luscious dumpling was draped in a sumptuous toasted hazelnut and port wine sauce. So so good.
And from a choice of 7 mains, the Duck Leg Confit, beautifully textured with paper-crisp skin and moist meat, proved a big hit. This was served alongside pommery mashed potato, and a sticky fruity glaze for contrast.
The Braised Beef Bourguignon, fork-tender and flavoursome, was loaded with bacon lardons, pearl onions, and carrot sticks, and sided by fluffy mashed potatoes.
Meat-lovers would love the Char-Grilled Australian Grain-fed Ribeye (supplement $15), a perfect medium of pure meaty goodness. The heft of the beef was complemented by plush bearnaise sauce, cut with piquant mesclun, and grilled white asparagus.
A must-try, the Braised Pork Cheek & Pork Sausage, stewed with savoy cabbage and potatoes, was comforting and rustic. Loved the delicate broth that was at once mellow and rich in depth.
Out of 6 different options for desserts, the Blanc Manger, a trifle of light cream, berry compote, and biscuit crumble was most popular.
The Baked Apple Tart set on a flaky puff pastry and crowned with vanilla ice-cream and sprinkles of shaved almonds, was another highlight.
I'm a big turophile, so I'll always order it as a finisher if the option is available, and the Cheese-of-the-Day, was, fortuitously, my favourite cheese, mimolette! This was served with walnuts, crackers, and dried apricots.
Exquisite crusty bread served with amazing French butter. So simple but so good.
Bistro du Vin
56 Zion Road
Tel: 6836 6313
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner