Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saveur: French food at affordable prices

I had first read about Saveur from a friend's blog. My next acquaintance with it was when I was passing by Purvis Street and was puzzled by a line of queue waiting outside Saveur. Is the food from Saveur worthwhile queuing for?

One fine evening, one of my good friends, Mystic, kindly went along with my suggestion to have a meal at Saveur. I reached Purvis Street at 5.45 p.m., and the official opening hours of Saveur for dinner was 6.00 p.m. Yet, there was already a queue of about more than 10 people in front of me on a weekday evening. My friend was a little perturbed by the queue. Would it have been better if the establishment had been willing to take reservations?

Based on several of the online reviews, we ordered the following:

  • Soup of the day
  • Pan Fried Foie Gras with Lentil and Pickled Onion
  • Confit of Duck with Orange Segment and Saute Shittake
  • Angel Hair Pasta with Sherry Minced Pork and Sakura Ebi
  • Chocolate Hazelnut

My friend and I were in the opinion that the Confit of Duck was one of the most tastiest dishes among our order for the day. At a price of $9.80, it was delicious and affordable. The Confit of Duck is especially tasty and I pretty much enjoyed the saute shittake. The mash potato that came with the Confit of Duck was adequate. It was relatively creamy and smooth. Yet, it was not one of the better mash potatoes that I would rave about as I have tried better mashed potatoes while I was on quest for the best mashed potato in Singapore. Overall, it is an affordable and tasty dish.

The Chocolate Hazelnut dessert was actually the most delicious of our orders for the evenings. I appreciated the crunchy hazelnut bits and the fragrance of the hazelnut and chocolate was lingering in the air even before my friend and I took spoonfuls of this dessert. Yet, at $7.90, my friend was in the opinion that she will not queue to eat the Chocolate Hazelnut even though it was delicious. I will not queue outside Saveur just to eat the Chocolate Hazelnut either. Nevertheless, I was happy with my choice of dessert for that evening.

The soup of the day, potato and leek soup, was disappointing. Perhaps my friend and I had higher expectations of soup. My friend was in the opinion that the texture of the soup could be smoother. The soup's texture was too grainy that day.

We ordered the Pan Fried Foie Gras  (35g) with Lentil and Pickled Onion. I like the way the lentil and pickled onion were done. Now, the honest truth comes about the Pan Fried Foie Gras, while I would say that while it is of an affordable price, I will NOT recommend it. Taste wise, the Foie Gras that I had from Saveur that evening was far from being rich, buttery and delicate. Being very mindful of the technique of gavage (force-feeding corn) that was typically used to produce the specially fattened foie gras, I shall take a controversial stand of not recommending the foie gras in the hope that it will encourage a choice of menu that will eventually put a stop to the practice of force-feeding of animals. Furthermore, I am concerned that the affordable price of the foie gras may indirectly encourage farmers to continue to force-feed geese and ducks to produce less-than-premium-grade foie gras.

I will however give a thumb-up for Saveur's Angel Hair Pasta with Sherry Minced Pork and Sakura Ebi. At $3.90 per serving, it is certainly worth a consideration for anyone on a shoe-string budget and yet like a tasty treat.

I thank the team at Saveur for their desire to bring French cuisine to everyone using local products at affordable prices. They have been pretty effective in achieving their desire. Our total bill for the evening was less than $40 for two persons! This is possibly considered relatively affordable for French cuisine.

I may not visit Saveur very soon again since I am not a great lover of French cuisine and the idea of having to queue before the establishment was opened for business still daunted me. Yet, this is one place for the budget-conscious to consider if they would like to have their maiden experience of an affordable French meal, provided that they do not mind the queue. Just maybe, please give the foie gras a miss. The rest of the menu will be good for the price.

5 Purvis St
Singapore 188584

Tel: 6333 3121

Operation Hours:
Lunch: 12 noon to 3.00 p.m.
Dinner: 6.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Walk-in Customers only