Review – The French Ladle (French-Laden homemade goodness)

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8 April 2013, Singapore – Searching for “Beef Bourguignon” at a food recommendation website came up with this hidden gem in one of the most unlikely place for authentic French food with a very home-cooked feel. It has what it takes to beat some well known mid-ranged French counterparts. Located in the dated Pandan Valley Condominium and only recently opened for 5 months, The French Ladle exudes an old world charm yet feels homely and cosy upon entering. The server and chef  were eager to please and provided sufficient information about the menu to help with the selection of dinner choices. During the course of our meal, the chef even came to have a quick chat with us.

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The intimate and unpretentious interior decor tries its best to mimic the French feel with pictures of Paris and posters. Background music was soothing and the quiet ambience meant you could really interact with your partner/group if you’re not Singaporean-ly fiddling with your phones.

Bread was served with presumably grapeseed butter while we were waiting for our starters to keep any hunger pangs at bay. The butter had an interesting taste and the baguette was nicely warmed up so it definitely scored some brownie points for being very thoughtful.

Our starters included Truffle Fries and the signature French Onion Soup.

Truffles fries (S$12.90) were very well done. It was well seasoned, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and not too oily. The truffle scent was also not overwhelming, preventing the jelak monster from rearing its head.

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Left: Truffle Fries | Right: Confit de Canard

There is a reason for calling it signature. The French Onion Soup (S$14.90) was decadent with a soft layer of baked cheese that was chewy on the inside without being overcooked. Croutons were soft and moist with the salty beef bouillon flavoured soup. Overall, a must try for a classic soup that signifies French cuisine.

We ordered the Joues de Boeuf de Braisee, 6 hour Braised Beef Cheeks in red wine with carrots and mushrooms served with signature mashed potatoes (S$31.90). This was the highlight for me and was what brought me here. The beef was very well cooked and the meat was tough enough to not crumble when poked with a fork but sliced easily with a knife. The beef cheeks were thoroughly stewed in the red wine reduction. Mushrooms were quartered chunks that were large enough to be satisfying when bitten into. The signature mashed potatoes are as described. Signature-ly creamy, well-seasoned and scrape-all-remainder good.

 

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Left: Baguette | Middle: French Onion Soup | Right: Joues de Boeuf de Braisee

The all time favourite dish from French Ladle would be the Confit de Canard, Crispy Duck Leg with Signature mashed potato served with red wine grape sauce. The texture of the duck is divine and extremely tender unlike other French restaurants. The meat easily flakes off from the bone without much cutlery tugging and I half expected the confit to be rather salty but the French Ladle has surpassed my previous expectations of how duck confit actually tastes like. The grape wine sauce was a nice and unique accompaniment to both the meat and the salad due to its tartness. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to try an exceptional crafted dish from French Ladle.

 

Overall, we simply could not find much faults in most of the dishes at French Lade except that the the prices are slightly pricey but it’s definitely worth it for a good home-cooked French cuisine. They do have a weekend brunch in which their popular dishes are the good ol’ Eggs Benedict and smoked Salmon. On a sidenote, it would be best to make reservations as the place is rather small with a total of about 8 tables.

I have little other ways to describe delicious food at The French Ladle to you but the proof is in eating the pudding.  Or in this case, at the French Ladle.

Reviewer – Michelle Tan

Note: This is an incognito tasting. (Cost of the meal is paid by the reviewer)

Please check their  Facebook Page for Specials and updates on Menu changes.

The French Ladle
Address: 2 Pandan Valley Road, #01-206, Block 2.
Inside Pandan Valley Condomiunium
Contact: +65 64677505
Operating Hours:
Monday – Closed
Tuesday to Friday :
Lunch – 12 noon to 3pm (weekdays)
Dinner, 6pm to 10pm
Saturday to Sunday –
Weekend Brunch: 10am to 4pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm

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