August 22, 2014
Babette ~ A French-Japanese Restaurant & Bar At Parc Sovereign Hotel, Singapore. BEST Matcha Lava Cake Ever!
Babette at Parc Sovereign Hotel is the latest restro-bar addition to the hipster stretch of Tyrwhitt Road at Jalan Besar area where popular cafés Chye Seng Huat and Willowsill Pies resides. The 2nd brainchild (1st is Chillax Çafé at Serangoon Gardens) of radio 98.7FM DJ Darren Wee, it was not that totally surprising to have the man himself served us personally at our table. I was too shy to say hi :p
While its name brought to my mind Babette's Feast, an Academy-award winning film which celebrates the transcendent of cultures through food and seduces us vicariously into the sensuous pleasures of the gustatory, Babette restro-bar provided us with a bodily gratification through its menu made up of tapas, salads, pastas, mains of noodles and donburi (rice bowls), as well as desserts.
Though I was hoping for some of those mouth-watering dishes featured in the movie to be recreated in Babette restro-bar, the casual dining establishment's spotlight isn't on mirroring the gastronomic aspect but rather living the Babette spirit of preparing a meal sincerely from the heart with best possible ingredients.
How sincere? Well, for one, the range of sauces, from the yuzu veloute to the garlic miso cream, are freshly made in-house everyday.
My friend and I ordered more food than what two person usually would, succumbing to the list of delicious sounding creations which most of it are prepared using classic French techniques and illuminated with Japanese touches.
Starting with tapas, we tried to get used to the raw crunchiness of the Charred Cauliflower ($8), which tasted bitter and burnt rather than charred, but gave up after a repeated attempt. Deep-fried Chicken Wings ($9) was disappointingly pedestrian with hints of frozen meat being used. Though the 48-hour slow cooked roasted Pork Belly ($10) was sufficiently tender with a crackling skin, it wasn't memorable enough to warrant a recommendation from us.
But what was good, was really really really good. The signature Truffles Fries ($11) came whiffing with the enigmatic alluring scent of truffle oil and truffle salt, each shoestring fries wonderfully crisp and piping hot to bite. This rendition is certainly one of the better ones around.
We were also very much enamored by the Bacon Tempura ($10). A brilliant pairing of bacon thinly coated with tempura batter, carefully deep-fried to minimum greasiness and served with yuzu mayonnaise. It savoriness was utmost addictive, and would certainly put a lot of other run-of-the-mill bar grubs to shame. This is a must-order!
The mains were also a case of hit and miss. Each component of the Confit Salmon & Soba ($17) from over-cooked salmon, limp Japanese buckwheat noodles to slices of insipid egg roll was entirely forgettable.
On the other extreme hand, the Steak & Foie Gras Donburi ($28) has all the right boxes ticked. Well-marbled juicy grass-fed sirloin steak in perfect medium-rare doneness. Reasonably creamy duck liver. Good quality rice drizzled with their special homemade Babette sauce. Exquisitely presented for a rice bowl dish. At this price, it was unquestionably an affordable indulgence.
What had me moaning in pleasurable delight was the awesome Matcha Lava Cake ($12). The gush of flowing molten goodness at the gentle cut of the fork was a lovely sight to behold, eagerly inviting us to partake in all that the green tea infused white chocolate fondant has to give. The slight bitterness of green tea powder was nicely balanced with sweetness of white chocolate, the cake's soft moist texture waltzing with premium azuki red beans and creaminess of vanilla ice cream in the mouth, the hot and cold sensation as they glided together down the throat. It was amazing! Simply divine! I would hereby boldly declare the matcha lava cake to be my best dessert of the year (so far).
Will I return to Babette again? Just for the matcha lava cake, truffle fries and bacon tempura alone, YES I will.
Babette Restaurant & Bar
Address: 165 Tyrwhitt Road, #01-03 Parc Sovereign Hotel, Singapore 507569
Contact: +65 6341 7727
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm
Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.