Category Archives: French

db Bistro Moderne

It’s been awhile – more than 9 months to be exact. In this new year, I hope to capture my food adventures more diligently!

So, I finally made it to db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands by French chef Daniel Boulud of 3-Michelin-stars fame.

One plus to highlight is the professionalism of the email reservations team as they were really prompt in responding to my queries and making the reservation.

Being named a “bistro”, you would think the place would be more casual, but almost everyone was dressed to the nines! I guess in the Singapore context, the “casual” comes from the fact that the bistro did not offer a butter knife with its complimentary bread and butter?

Speaking of the bread, we were offered three types of which one was this really yummy and soft pretzel roll! Unfortunately, that was probably the nicest thing I ate.

We started with soup as we wanted to leave our appetite for the mains. The mushroom soup (SGD 15) was pretty good as it was richly packed with mushrooms and not so much the cream filler that many restaurants use as a cheap substitute. The French onion soup with gruyere croutons (SGD 18) was alright; nothing to shout about.

Our mains were, for lack of a better word, lacklustre. I’ve eaten much better at 2/3 or even half the price. We had Boulud’s signature Original db burger (SGD 42) with its indulgent patty of sirloin, braised short ribs and foie gras, as well as the New Orleans Casserole (SGD 38).

The burger did not live up to our expectation. The combination of different meats confused us, and aside from the use of the chi chi foie gras, there was no hint of the premium tastes we had hoped to get for the price paid. The parmesan bun was dry, and the accompanying fries ordinary. (C’mon db, you can do better than that on the fries. I’ve always been amazed by the homemade fries I’ve eaten in all sorts of eateries in France, ranging from the high-end to the bistros, but these just didn’t make the mark. I don’t suppose you use frozen fries, but these sure tasted like them.)

The casserole was alright (a word I seem to use alot here), packed with generous portions of mussels, clams, sausage, mushrooms and greens in white wine and served with garlic fries, but again there was no “wow” factor.

I love my desserts, but we were too disappointed with the food and decided to take our dessert stomachs elsewhere.

There’s nothing very wrong with this place, but nothing very right either, so I guess I won’t be hurrying back anytime soon.

db Bistro Moderne
B1-48, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Lunch: Mon-Fri 12 – 5pm
Brunch: Sat-Sun 11am – 5pm
Dinner: Sun & Mon 530 – 10pm, Tue – Sat 530 – 11pm


The Black Sheep Cafe

We arrived at The Black Sheep Cafe at 7pm on a quiet rainy evening and had the entire place to ourselves for the first half of our meal before the tables started filling up.

This Indian-owned/run cafe supposedly serves one of the best duck confit in Singapore, or so says Epicure Asia: Unfortunately, I found the dish did not live up to its hype.  It was far from a lousy rendition but a little overcooked, with the duck skin charred in many places and the meat a tad dry in some.

But the lamb shank, oh the lamb shank, was a different story.  It was fall-off-the-bone tender, with a red wine reduction that was flavourful yet not overpowering, and accompanied by mashed potatoes that had real potato bits in them – bearing testament to the fact that these potatoes did not come from a box.

Sadly, the passionfruit soufflé that ended our meal neither impressed nor went well with the coffee ice cream pairing.

So, I won’t be back for the duck confit or the soufflé, but I will return for the lamb shank and maybe to try the crispy pork cheeks.

As an aside, I’ve come across several comments on the internet along the lines of the cafe being so nice for not charging GST! Some tax 101 – it is only compulsory for businesses to charge GST when their annual turnover are more than a million SGD, so it is really not that uncommon for eating places not to do so. That said, I do very much appreciate the fact that service charge is not included in the bill, given that the waiters provide the basic services of taking orders, pouring water and bringing the bill.

As a final point: Take note that the menu at The Black Sheep Cafe is quite limited so don’t go expecting too much variety, but do consider a visit if you would like a taste of decent, affordable French food.

The Black Sheep Cafe
35 Mayo Street
Open Mon – Sat 12-3pm and 6-11pm