Tuesday, March 31, 2020

So France @ Duo Galleria - Experience The Taste of True Bistro Of Living


So France at Duo Galleria unveils a new look, introducing all-new menus, crafted to deliver an authentic contemporary French bistro experience. Classic, yet vibrant and modern, from the existing space that houses both a bistro and an epicurean grocer, So France now extends with a new alfresco terrasse for nights of drinks, tapas and sharing platters.

Salade Landaise 4.5/5

The new menu at So France embodies their philosophy of "innovative tradition", fusing classic French flavours into the current palate. And what caught my attention was the section on the menu that is devoted to duck. Starting with a salad that is native to the coastal Landes region of France, the Salade Landaise ($24) was hearty with cured duck gizzards (confit in duck fat and roasted to order) and cured duck breast. With crispy lardons tossed in, this salad was all about luscious mouthfill, meaty texture and crunch. The magic touch to this salad was the shaved foie gras terrine, that buttered every mouthful, but just very lightly, as they melt in my mouth. The ingredients sounded rather rich, but nothing was assertive, especially when the greens were simply dressed with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Duck Rillette 4.5/5

Also available in their Tapas menu, Duck Rillettes ($15) is a must-order if you are in a group, especially when you are in the mood for a long night. What a pleasure to see and enjoy the rillettes with an entire bottle of cornichons! The duck leg meat is marinated with orange skin, star anise and thyme for 4 hours, rinsed and sous vide for 18 hours, then rested for about 26 hours. Shredded and not pulverised, a right amount of cold duck fat binds the shredded meats together, creating a luxurious spread for the accompanying croutons. The seasoning is on the lighter side, so one could really appreciate the very clean flavours of the duck and its fats.

Duck Confit 4.2/5

Mash Potatoes 4.5/5

You may have come across many versions ever since you get acquainted with French cuisine, but do try their highly raved Duck Confit ($34). Glistening, evenly roasted with smooth-running edges, the duck skin was crisp, and the meat was tender with a good ratio of fats. I could do with a bit more sauce, which helped to bring out the flavours of the duck confit. Although roasted Grenaille potatoes are served alongside, what really completes the dish is their Puree / Mash Potatoes ($8). A full-on, creamy confection of butter, cream and potatoes, this mash potatoes of theirs will have you coming back for more.

Oeufs Meurette 4.5/5

Oeufs Meurette ($22) is your eggs and bacon dish but done in a traditional Burgundian way. What gives this unassuming dish its characters is the complex homemade red wine sauce made with beef and chicken stocks, veal jus, shallots, vinegar, red wine and butter. It flavoured the subtlety of the poached eggs while the more assertive flavours of the meaty, thick-cut bacon mellowed out its sweetness and acidity.

Sea Bass Filet 4/5

For lighter fare, on the menu, they have Filet de Bar / Sea Bass Filet ($28). I loved how crispy the skin was, juxtaposed with creamy broccoli puree and broccolini mash.

So France Beef Burger 3.5/5

Catering to our undying love for burgers, there is So France Beef Burger ($24), with a patty made with a combination of brisket and chuck, layered with sundried tomatoes, raclette cheese, rocket and caramelised onion. Served medium rare, I reckon the patty needs more fats to up its beefy flavour. But overall, it was still quite a pleasure to bite into the fat burger, especially when the custom made sourdough bun was so light and chewy. You will appreciate the fries too, which is made with potatoes from France.

Creme Brulee 3.8/5

For desserts, the Creme Brulee ($12) was simple but comforting with it's warm, vanilla aroma and mellow sweetness.

Floating Island 3.8/5

The first time I tried a Floating Island was in Hungary at a sidewalk bistro, that was served in a cup. The Floating Island ($12) here is a much more elaborated version, and I do suggest you try this classic dessert, which is rather rare in Singapore.

Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.

So France
Duo Galleria
7 Fraser Street
Singapore 189356
Tel: +65 6909 6449
Nearest MRT: Bugis (DT Line, EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am - 9pm
Sat: 9am - 9pm
Sun: 9am - 6pm

1) Alight at Bugis MRT station. Take Exit E or F. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen @ Great World - Reopens With A New Look And Refreshed Menu


Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen has finally reopened at Great World after undergoing an extensive renovation work. With the reopening, the concept under the Crystal Jade Group has also unveiled a new brand name and refreshed logo, together with a new fresh look and refreshed menu. The refreshed menu will be available from 30 March 2020 at the Great World outlet and progressively roll out at other Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen outlets across the island by mid-April.

Chilled Marinated Turnip with Plum 4.2/5

At first glance, the Chilled Marinated Turnip with Plum ($5.30) looks like watermelon, but they are actually turnip steeped overnight in a Roselle, sour plum and dried orange peel mixture. The result is refreshing, sweet and sour with a crunchy texture.

Deep-fried Marinated Egg Coated with Prawn Paste 4.2/5

Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen will be serving dim sum on their menu too. Chef Foo has introduced new moreish spin of the traditional dim sum. We managed to try a couple of them such as the Deep-fried Marinated Egg Coated with Prawn Paste ($5.80), Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Stem Chives ($6.30 for 3pcs) and Pan-fried Pumpkin and Yam Cake ($5.30 for 3pcs).

Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Stem Chives 4.2/5


Pan-fried Pumpkin and Yam Cake 4.2/5

I enjoyed all the three new dim sum creations. The deep-fried marinated egg coated with prawn paste is like an Asian style scotch egg which I thought is even better than it. I love green chives, and hence the steamed prawn dumpling with stem chives itself is already a winner for me. For a fragrant and textural enjoyment, the pan-fried pumpkin and yam cake will delight one with the alternating layers of yam strips and mashed pumpkin.

Pork Lardon Rice 4.5/5

Scallion Ginger Rice 4.5/5

Bored of just plain white rice? Now Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen offers two fragrant rice options on the menu. You can choose from either Pork Lardon Rice ($2.80 per pax) which comes with a savoury sauce and crispy lard bits or Scallion Ginger Rice ($2.80 per pax) crowned with aromatic fried chopped ginger and spring onion mixture. Both are really tasty and delicious. It has definitely elevated the appreciation of a plate of plain white rice.

Sauteed Chinese Spinach with Prawn Paste and Fish Roe 4/5

For diners looking for a complete meal, there are also new a la carte dishes from the new menu. The Sauteed Chinese Spinach with Prawn Paste and Fish Roe ($16.80) comes with popping surprises from the fish roes, giving the greens an element of fun and texture contrast. However, the prawn paste flavour was not distinctly, it may disappoint those looking forward to the strong prawny flavour.

Crispy-fried Homemade Organic Tofu with Preserved Vegetables and Prawn 4.5/5

A simple dish but elegantly presented is the Crispy-fried Homemade Organic Tofu with Preserved Vegetables and Prawn ($16.80). The soft and silky tofu is homemade using organic soy milk and eggs. It is then deep-fried and crowned with flavourful stir-fry prawns, chai poh and dried shrimp.

Two-Combination Roasted Meat Platter

We also had the Two-Combination Roasted Meat Platter ($22.80) which comprised of roasted duck and signature port belly (+$3). The roasted duck is fat and tender, with a delectable layer of crispy skin. Not to be missed is the signature pork belly that has a good ratio of lean meat and fat, with a delicate balance of sweetness and an exterior crispy char.

Poached 'Long Hu' Garoupa Fillet with 'Yunan' Ham in Thick Soup 4.5/5

Instead of double-boiled soup, let me introduce you to the Poached 'Long Hu' Garoupa Fillet 'Yunan' Ham in Thick Soup ($30.80) which is just as good. The 'Long Hu' garoupa fillet is poached in a silky and milky-white pork bone soup, fortified with Yunnan ham. One can also find other ingredients such as enoki mushrooms, black fungus, bamboo pith, ginger, garlic and wolfberries in the robust soup.

Abalone and Shredded Kampung Chicken with Conpoy Congee 4.2/5

Last but not least, we wrapped up our dinner with the Abalone and Shredded Kampung Chicken with Conpoy Congee ($28.80) served in claypot. The portion is good for 2 to 3 person. Flavourful, and velvety-smooth, this is both comforting and satisfying. No additional seasoning is needed.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen
Great World
1 Kim Seng Promenade
Singapore 237994
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line). Outram Park (EW Line, NE Line), Tiong Bahru (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11am - 10pm
Sun & PH: 10am - 10pm

1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to bus stop opposite Orchard MRT station (Stop ID B09022). Take bus number 16 or 175. Alight 4 bus stops later. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Outram Park MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop opposite Outram MRT station. (Stop ID B06011). Take bus number 75 or 970. Alight 5 stops later. Walk to Great World City. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

3) Alight at Tiong Bahru MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to bus stop at Tiong Bahru MRT station (Stop ID 10169). Take bus number 5, 16 or 195. Alight 4 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]


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