While I do get curious about new meat options that pop up from time to time, I have always been a person who loves routine and hardly strays from the tested and proven. Bistro du Vin is one of the restaurants that I’ve been consistently delighted with – and this includes the opinions from my family and friends – as it’s one of the places where I know I can find delicious food that comforts the soul while satisfying the palate. It’s a wonder that I haven’t talked about this place earlier.
Anyway, I once mentioned that when I seek out value, it doesn’t always mean low prices. What I’m looking for are dining experiences that give a lot of ‘returns’ for the time and money we diners ‘invest’. Bistro du Vin is a fine example of such value. While the prices are not sky-high, the experience one enjoys here goes way above average. From friendly waiters to well-cooked food, I can’t really see how foodies won’t enjoy this cosy and assuring establishment.
The French bistro has indicated that they work on demystifying French food and prepare traditional dishes found from all over France. The food they serve are made with fresh ingredients and deliver traditional flavours, without any of the pomp normally associated with French fine dining. Personally, I couldn’t agree more.
When browsing the menu, I was naturally looking out for the steak and burger choices available. After what seemed like 5 seconds, I realised that my eyes wouldn’t go past the Steak Frites ($48), which consisted of Australian 200-day grain-fed Angus ribeye, homemade fries, salad and choice sauce.
Just like my previous visits, the steak that was laid before me was a handsome sight to enjoy. While the distinct grill marks and evenly browned exterior would make most carnivores drool at once, I have to admit that I noticed the lack of the ribeye cap. Many, many beef enthusiasts will share that this portion is pretty much as good as it can possibly get when it comes to beef. Having an alias like ‘butcher’s butter’ shows just how tasty this cut of beef can really be. Preparation-wise however, the steak was delicious. It was firm to the knife but tender to the bite, with dominant flavours oozing from the moderately-seasoned beef.
The homemade fries made for a wonderful partner-in-crime, delivering what I have been missing in any serving of fries. They were seriously crispy on the outside without being rigidly tough, while almost hollow-like in the middle. There was still some of the pillow-esque, mashed potato texture within, but the fries were remarkable crunchy and tasty on the outside. Roli (our dining companion) didn’t like the fries too much and I would agree that it’s not the usual kind that’s found at…well, anywhere else! But I loved how it came out. Now that I’m thinking about it, it may well be one of the best fries I’ve ever had so far.
For the sauce, I went with traditional Bearnaise (butter emulsified in egg yolks and white wine vinegar and flavored with herbs) which was hardly needed for the steak. But the buttery dollop of flavour was a delightful dip for the fries, vegetables and everything else (which Roli full-heartedly agreed). 9/10.
Roli decided to go with one of the specials that evening and ordered the Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Crust & Baby Veggies ($44). Unsurprisingly, the bistro prepared the steak just right (medium-rare) and despite the peppercorn crust’s bold flavours, the beefy flavours shone through undisturbed. He mentioned that the baby vegetables were very tasty but I’m just going to take his word for it. Judging from the way he kept popping them into his mouth though, I think ‘tasty’ may have been an understatement. 9.2/10.
Diners are provided with a basket of freshly toasted bread to hold them until the starters. Unlike before where I only received full-bodied rolls of warm bread, what we got was rather ‘old’ bread with lots of air pockets within. The salted butter they served however was sinfully good and was a redeeming factor.
I recommended that we try the Traditional French Onion Soup because that starter is another flavour-filled dish that has always captivated me. It’s one of the ‘vegetable’ dishes that I have completely no qualms about finishing, because of it’s great beefy flavours. The onions are well caramelised and soft enough that they almost melt in your mouth. Then there’s the large crouton that covered in cheese just to turn a soup into a small, tasty meal.
If I remember right, this soup used to contain a larger crouton with more melted cheese touching the rims of the bowl. It would look a lot messier but at the same time, tantalising because of the fragrance emitted by the same burnt cheese. Nevertheless, it was a great start to the meal and we thoroughly enjoyed it. 7.7/10.
The ambience is just what you’d expect when we mention cosy, rustic and traditional bistro decor. I’m not sure if it’s authentic in appearance but I personally liked it. They didn’t have that pompous feel where anyone with casual wear would be judged, and instead had a homely feel that was enhanced with warm banter among the diners themselves.
Service was friendly and I liked the effort that went into things like the table settings and cutlery. The steak knives had a wicked, premium feel about it though a little sharpening might have been needed. A great experience in my opinion.
Should You Try It?
Yes. It’s a great place for carnivores and omnivores. Also a nice cosy place for small family dinners and casual gathering. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with the meat.
Bistro du Vin @ Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Rd, #01-14 Shaw Centre,
Mon – Sun: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm (Lunch)
Mon – Sun: 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm (Dinner)
Tel: +65 6733 7763
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