Near Clarke Quay or Raffles Place MRT
Yeah! It’s restaurant week – that means most expensive restaurants would have a discounted menu. The aim really is to let you have a taste of what the restaurant can offer and hope that you will go back for more of the supposedly more ‘sophisticated’ stuff that they have on the menu. But of course, this usually does not extend to big names like Andre, Jaan, Shinji as they will remain as popular even without the help of restaurant week. So this, week I managed to get two restaurants with the help of S and I visited Absinthe today.
It was a restaurant that I’ve always been wanting to go but was not sure if they serve good French but have heard good reviews from friends about it. I would have gone for lunch (as they are usually cheaper) if not for the fact that they only serve it on weekdays. So, managed to secure a table and lets see how did the surprise menu for restaurant week fare.
Bread was served first and I thought it was pretty delicious. Crust wasn’t tooth-dropping hard. It’s slightly crisp while the inside is really soft and fluffy. If served warm, I believe it would be even more delicious.
Then came the first course which is grilled king prawn with eggplant caviar and coriander. Eggplant caviar just basically means eggplant mash or spread. It was soft and soothing while prawn is crunchy for the wrong reason. It wasn’t the fresh type of succulent but more like soda induced crunchiness which is really apparent to me. So, king prawn wasn’t that good. On the whole, this dish just tasted like prawn and mashed eggplant and was really bland I felt.
Onion soup with churizo. Moving on to the next appetiser, I thought the soup would taste at least better but it wasn’t. I feel that it has the correct overall flavour but soup is just too diluted. There isn’t any umami in this soup, really unlike the lobster bisque I had at Fleur de sel whereby you will relish at every spoonful. The only better tasting thing was the churizo I thought as I could taste it at least.
Then I got the French style fish and chips with some egg mayo sauce. Looks like some fried popiah doesn’t it. Chips have been changed to potato balls with a layered texture on the outside. The commendable thing would be the fish in it. At least the mains make the cut for a $40 lunch menu. Fish was really moist and delicious and the sauce was flavourful enough to give the already creamy textured fish an even creamier taste. I like the ‘popiah’ looking wrap as it’s super thin and really crispy. S felt that it doesn’t complement the fish and felt more like two different things on its own but I thought it worked for me.
Their mango and passion fruit soup really tasted a little like the chinese mango sago dessert. It was slightly too sweet and this would have tasted better if ice cream was used instead of a ball of cream. I forgot what the cream tasted like already (as it was really a forgettable dessert). I didn’t finish the dessert as I find it quite a waste of calories.
So, all in all, Absinthe I felt did not perform well at all for the restaurant week’s lunch menu. Maybe they do serve really delicious mains and desserts on the menu but really they did not perform up to mark for restaurant week. It may have been a $40 menu and of course its food has to be on a simpler side which I totally agree. But simpler food doesn’t equate to bland, diluted food which is what I have experienced over here. Simpler food can still be made really delicious and a good example would be Fleur de Sel which has its lunch menu starting from $38, cheaper than Absinthe’s. S agreed with me that today’s lunch menu is really mediocre and I was really puzzled at how the french waiter was showered with continuous praises from the family beside our table. It really isn’t
that great. Then again, service was good and smiley and most of the waiters are French I think. I was asked how was the food and gave them my honest feedback and they said that they would feedback to the chef. Well, so this wouldn’t be a restaurant to go to if they continue the standard they showed today and nope, it wouldn’t be a restaurant that I will return to.