Sunday, October 16, 2011

Absinthe, Bukit Pasoh (Restaurant Week!)

Even though it is arguably one of the better and still afffordable french restaurants in Singapore, there were mixed reviews over their french food authenticity, as well as their restaurant week offerings. But we're here to figure out for ourselves!

(apologies for the photos - while the ambience was great for dinner, our camera failed under the excruciating dim orange light)

Selected our 4 course dinner for $55++, and we ordered two glasses of wine of the week. Soon thereafter we were served the bread - besides the traditional french bread (batard-like) was the multi grain one, which we looovveeddddd. Sweet and chewy, generously grained and flavourful, and nothing goes better with this than perfect, room temperature butter. I swear the butter was not your usual table butter, sweeter and richer than usual I feel.A little worried about the dinner portions, I stuffed down three pieces with no regrets.

The first course was a salad of king crab with an avocado mousse and cheese / mint sauce. The crab was sweet, flavourful, light and paired well with the rich creamy (comparatively tasteless) avocado. Even with the mild saltiness and mintiness (?) from the sauce, none took the focus away from the crab as it still remained the dominant flavour. A well thought-out dish and I thought the portion was just right.

To be honest my first reaction to this was "what am I eating?" - but not in a bad way! I really enjoyed uncovering the different layers of flavours with each bite, and delighting in how everything comes together in creamy crabby goodness. Gotta love how pretty this looks!

{ Salad of King Crab }
With Avocado, Goat Cheese and Mint

Second course was the foie gras with a lil Russian pancake (blinis) and morello cherries. And holy crap, while taking photos I couldn't stop salivating to the fragrance of the seared foie gras. And wow. Good jesus lord. Crispy on the outside, soft and mushy to the bite, foie gras was cooked to perfection. And again the ultra super rich foie gras paired interesting well with the mildly sweet, spongy blinis and the sweet dense flavour of the cherry coulis. Two freakin' thumbs up.

This kept me constantly sighing with pleasure between bites, and I believe when I finally put my fork down, I actually muttered a thank-you to the goose for sacrificing its life for such a worthy cause. For me, this was very good stuff. Nicely seared outside, buttery and melty inside. Mmm. The tiny 'hotcakes' were good by itself too!

{ Pan Seared Foie Gras }
With Morello Cherries and Warm Blinis

The main course arrived - I opted for the lamb while got the fish. Don't let the picture deceive you - the four of five slices of lamb rump actually proved to be more than enough meat I could take for the night. Roasted to medium as recommended by the Maitre 'D, soft, juicy, sweet sweet lamb paired with a fantastic garlic mash. My only complaint was that the lamb wasn't gamey enough to my liking but that's a personal preference.

{ Roasted Lamb Rump }
With Garlic Mash and Green Beans, Roasting Jus
And then I asked the Maitre 'D for mustard. And holy moley smokes, thank goodness I did because the mustard has changed my lamb eating days for good. I was presented with four different kinds of mustards - the tomato, the grainy, the red grape, and the classique.

And just ... wow. Absolutely speechless as to how to magnificent all four go with the lamb, improving on the lamb and changing my enjoyment of the dish for the rest of the night. And I was completely, definitely, 100% blown away by the red grape mustard. Wine grape flavour infused into grains of mustard which burst into spicy winy flavoured bubbles in your mouth. This was the true party in my mouth, and even when the lamb was finished I ended up eating the mustards by themselves because they were THAT GOOD.

{ Tomato, Coarse Grain, Red Grape, and Classique Mustard }
The salmon is out of this world! Never had it cooked into such a texture before - so soft and creamy, with the perfect done-ness. It literally melted in my mouth in a way that actually amazed me. I figured it is slow-cooked under lower heat to ensure an even medium-rare (?) quality throughout. It paired very nicely with the sweet and smooth celeriac and parsley flavours. In short, I was very impressed and would not change anything about this dish (gasp).

Sweet and the texture is ... wow. It's like eating salmon infused air - so so so light and fluffy, wondrous of slow cooked fish.

{ Slow Cooked King Salmon }
Celeriac Mash and Parsley Coulis
After the main course we were pretty blown away and really really full already (partly because of the three rolls of awesome bread). They gave us a small platter of petite fours before the dessert arrived. Nothing like yummy dark chocolate to end a heavy meal of meats, foie gras and wine.

{ Petit Fours }
Then came the dessert - profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate sauce, I was pre-warned by my colleague that the profiteroles tasted stale - dry and powdery. It was indeed the case, but I gave them the benefit of doubt as I thought it still went stellar with the awesome vanilla ice cream (which was awesome). And they weren't kidding about the sauce - the chocolate was bitter and gave that fantastic contrasts with the sweet ice cream. While not as satisfying as a good souffle or creme brulee, the cold ice cream did end the dinner on a sweet note.

{ Profiteroles }
With Vanilla Ice Cream and Warm Chocolate Sauce

And I must say, service was just inpeccable and faultless. Water was always filled, bread rolls and butter was topped up without prompting, multiple "how's everything?" from the Maitre 'D, perfect between-course waiting times. Dining is indeed a complete experience, and I walked out of Absinthe feeling so happy and contented. The bill came to $171 with two wines, and after tasting what they have to offer I have no qualms of returning here again, hopefully soon.

HGW Link (81% recommended at time of writing) :
Main website :
Rating (out of 4) :


  1. Yes, i have to agree with you that their food served for Restaurant Week was awesome. I absolutely loved the King Salmon! It was so good (the sauce too) i practically wiped the entire plate clean! haha

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