Formerly located at Bukit Pasoh, Absinthe has moved into its current location at Boat Quay occupying two adjoining shophouses over three floors. Lead by award winning Chef Francois Mermilliod and General Manager Vincent Jaureguiberry, Absinthe is known for its classic French cuisine. Coined after the old fashioned green spirit Absinthe that was banned in 1914 but subsequently lifted in 2011. Like the highly alcoholic liquor that required careful preparation and attention to detail, the team strives to revive the appreciation for classic French cuisine.
Before I get into my gastronomic journey at Absinthe, kindly note most of the items were sample portion except for the desserts. Dinner started with the Hamachi ($26), a carpaccio of marinated yellow kingfish topped with aquitaine caviar served with cucumber and baby cress at the side. A clean and subtle execution that delights the palate, igniting the night for what is to be served.
Saint Jacques 4.2/5
Next up is Saint Jacques ($26), a dual seared Hokkaido scallops, braised daikon, wakame and lemon thyme emulsion. The fresh scallop was cooked perfectly, springy and buttery. The wakame gave it an extra crunchy bite while the lemon thyme emulsion lifted the flavour. Interestingly, braised daikon is not a classic French. Accordingly to my understanding, the chef loves to add a bit of his character to his dish.
Foie Gras Poele 4.2/5
The Pan Fried Foie Gras ($29) was served with warm blinis and morello cherries. The combination worked perfectly with the blinis giving it a contrasting texture while livery foie gras was nicely balanced with the sweetness of the morello cherries.
The classic French Duck Leg Confit ($42) was really beautiful with its crispy skin and fork tender duck meat. Served with saraladise potatoes, mushrooms and madiran wine sauce, this is probably one of the best duck confit I ever eaten. Definitely a must order here.
Creme Brulee 3/5
Moving on to the dessert, the Jasmine Creme Brulee ($15) fell short of my expectation. The texture of the base was more like a mousse than custard. The yuzu sorbet on the other hand stood out on the plate with praises from fellow diners.
The Madeleines ($15) served with valrhona chocolate mousse was indeed a great delight to end the night. The freshly baked to order vanilla madeleines was crispy on the outside and spongy inside. It kind of remind me of the Asian kueh bolu.
This month actually marks the 5th year for Absinthe which was officially opened in December 2008. For a restaurant that has been around for this long and consistently serving quality food, it deserves more recognition. I am definitely impressed with my visit and I am sure I will be back for more when I noticed the 3 course lunch set at $38 and a 7 course degustation menu at $98 available for both lunch and dinner. Beside the food and service, Absinthe is also popular for its list of affordable price wines with the trusted selection from the GM Vincent who is a certified Sommerlier.
71/72 Boat Quay
Tel: +65 62229068
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place (EW Line, NS Line), Clarke Quay (NE Line)
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 230pm, 4pm - 1030pm
Sat-Sun: 630pm - 1030pm
1) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT Station. Take Exit E. Cross New Bridge Road to the opposite of The Central. Walk towards Upper Circular Road. Turn onto Upper Circular Road and walk to the end. Cross the road at South Bridge Road and walk towards the river. Walk down the row of shop houses along the river. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Raffles Place MRT Station. Take Exit G. Walk to the river. Walk down the row of shop houses along the river. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]