The Monday before Deepavali, we decided to break away from our usual Japanese-or-dim-sum lunch. However, the idea of tapas (thanks to the recent mushrooming of such eateries) didn't sound nearly as appealing as French, which in turn led us to Brasserie Gavroche for some comfort, rustic grub.
The setting is unmistakably Parisian and the menu unwieldingly heavy. The French manager's service was at best serviceable but the polite service offered by the others made up for his aloofness.
Not your average cheese puffs. Light and airy but rather forgettable.
The complimentary bread basket might look simple but the bread had a likable chewiness and sourish note to it. I could have polished off a couple more slices if I hadn't had second breakfast.
Tartine d’os à moelle
Bone marrow on toasted Poilane bread with garlic confit
In the sprit of trying something different, we shared the Tartine d’os à moelle for our starter. Dizzily creamy bone marrow, parsley purée (thanks Timeout Singapore) and sweet garlic confit lay humbly atop the "most famous bread in the world". I wouldn't say it's the most exciting or pleasing of flavours but like fermentation, with time, I could learn to love this acquired taste.
The Mister decided to live life dangerously by applying more butter onto his toast - I wouldn't recommend doing so unless you have your insurance papers in place, yeah?
Côte de porc organique sauce charcutière et pomme purée
Organic pork chop with pickles sauce and mashed potatoes
Most restaurants tend to mess up pork chops, I guess with that in mind, we decided to go for broke and test the kitchen's prowess. Brasserie Gavroche's Côte de porc was one of the better pork chop dishes I've had but still lacking that make-me-eat-my-words factor. The smooth mashed potato, though, was exemplary.
Brandade de Morue
Salted Mediterranean cod with crushed potatoes and olive oil
The Fish Quenelle might be the Brasserie's signature item but I was concerned about its lack of texture so I went for another fish dish.
I will admit I googled Brandade de Morue before ordering it to make sure there weren't any
surprises shocks. Browsing through a bunch of dishes that resembled a gratin, I thought to myself, what the heck, I'm not here for the usual escargot-duck-confit-and-profiterole repertoire. No harm in trying something i haven't unheard of.
Surprising even myself, I really enjoyed it. Topped off with crusty breadcrumbs, the salted cod was mixed in with chunky potatoes and lightened up with a good dash of parsley and other seasonings. Homely but definitely not dowdy.
Upside down apple tart with vanilla ice cream
We unequivocally agreed on the Tarte Tartin for dessert. This is what happens when you hear Manu Feildel repeat "Tarte Tartin" in his thick French accent one too many times on Masterchef Australia and My Kitchen Rules.
It was far from perfect but the missteps didn't stop me from scrapping the plate clean. I liked that it wasn't gum-cringingly sweet and a couple of snafus could easily take cover under that icicle-free creamy vanilla ice cream. Though I didn't mind the bitter undertones of the slightly burnt pastry, the softness of the apples was a little disconcerting.
Spongy Madelines infused with orange zest proved more delightful than any fancy smancy petit fours.