We had a nice, quiet family dinner on Friday at Les Bouchons, at my sister's recommendation. Les Bouchons is one of the many French eateries in the Ann Siang area, along with L'Aigle D'Or, Creperie Ar-men and Chez La Mamy. Les Bouchons is mainly a meat place, though there is some seafood.
The restaurant isn't that easy find, but the big lighted signboard outside makes it look like something out of Crazy Horse Paris.
Like any good Parisian bistro, they conveniently place their menu outside the restaurant, so you can view their food and prices before deciding whether or not you want to walk in.
The place is decked out with French posters of assorted alcoholic drinks and cigarettes...typical French, basically. Les Bouchons is not very big, accomodating at most thirty or so people within the air-conditioned premises, but with space for more diners in the al fresco area outside.
All steaks are served with a generous helping of salad, which is actually very yummy for a steak joint. Leaves very adequately chilled, dressing nicely tart. I quite like the idea of having salad served separately; that way it doesn't get warmed up by the heat of the steak.
I decided to start with the escargots, which were $12 for 9, making them decently priced. When they arrived, I was a little disturbed to find that they were being served in a veritable swimming pool of olive oil. Admittedly, they weren't bad (3.5/5), but they could have done with more garlic butter and much, much less oil.
One of the weekend specials was the Côte de Boeuf ($37), a 1 kg slab of prime rib that had to be shared by two people. My mother was feeling slightly carnivorous, so we ordered it to share. It arrived perfectly medium and very conveniently sliced into manageable morsels. However, the meat was just a little dry and not as richly flavoured as say, a rib-eye or tenderloin. While still a raw pleasure to eat, it lacked the finesse of some of the more popular cuts (3.5/5), which cost about $26.
I think Ile Flottante is fast becoming my favourite dessert. I love how elegantly simplistic it is, and yet how sublimely the ethereal meringue and rich creme anglaise meld together to create such an ebullient dessert. It really is such light comfort food. It must be said that Les Bouchons makes an excellent Ile Flottante (4/5), if only a little too sweet from the caramel.
In terms of location, Ann Siang Hill is not exactly the easiest place in the world to get to, and parking is always a problem. Ambience is nothing special, I suppose the right word to describe it would be "cosy". Service was personable, as the place is owner-run, but oddly enough I didn't quite feel the natural warmth and exuberance of other owner-run eateries.
Les Bouchons (French)
7 Ann Siang Road
Tel: 6423 0737
Overall: Decent food at decent prices. Not Morton's or Lawry's, but I'm not complaining.