Review: Le Bistro Parisien

My family was quite excited about visiting Singapore’s first halal french bistro. They observe halal, and finding a nice fine dining venue is difficult in Singapore… most halal establishments seem to be in hawker centres and food courts. Most of our family celebrations inevitably end up in…..Apollo Banana Leaf Restaurant (not that I’m complaining, I love that place!). But we were looking for something different to celebrate my sister’s birthday at this year.

Le Bistro Parisien was opened by Chef Jean Francois Nordin Al Mashor (yes he’s a local dude, I’m not 100% sure why he has a French prefix to his name but possibly 15 years of living in Paris is difficult enough if the frogs can’t pronounce your Muslim name) recently on super hip Haji Lane. (That street is constantly changing, I swear on this visit I counted at least 4 new stores). I love going to Arab Street, mainly because I like vibe, the ambiance of the area….people chilling out, smoking sheesha. Nobody puking up in the corner, unlike Clarke Quay… I was up in arms when the Health Promotion Board began whispers of banning sheesha = very stupid decision indeed. Not a sheesha smoker myself, but I own a sheesha, and several tobacco flavours, some very dodgy coal and I’ve thrown many a sheesha party at home. This makes me a certified guru on the subject. I digress. However, the food on Arab Street I generally find a tad uninspiring. Menus attempting to be Middle Eastern and generally doing a very bad job of it.

Anyway. Lunch birthday celebration at LBP it was. And here’s the verdict.

First up: Homemade ice lemon tea. This was spectacular. Honestly. I don’t really even like ice lemon tea. But this was a perfect combo of sweet, lemon and bitter. I even ordered a second round.

We were then brought fresh bread and butter. I was a little disappointed to be served butter in little President packets. Butter ought always to be served out of the packaging, in huge cold blocks. I do not like having to scoop it out. But this small disappointment was swiftly forgotten when the soups arrived.

Cream of Wild Mushroom soup, Cream of Potatoes and Leek, Cream of Green peas, sprinkled with beef bacon

We ordered 3 lunch set menu meals and got the above soups. All absolutely hearty and delicious. The mushroom was my favourite. I know this picture looks terrible, but we dug in very excitedly and I only remembered halfway through that I hadn’t taken a photo. (I risked a limb photographing for this blog post btw — try stopping a hungry ravenous Bengali family of 6 from eating their food because you need to take photos – they were not impressed)

US Black Angus Ribeye

Verdict: My brother-in-law ordered this and he LOVED it. I am not a huge steak person so I shall not comment.

Boneless chicken leg sauteed and stewed in basquaise sauce
Verdict: This was alright. Not the most exciting of dishes — I don’t like that it was smothered in the gravy.

French cut Rack of lamb with rosemary sauce and fine french beans
Verdict: This was my favourite dish. Perfectly pink on the inside, tender, the sauce was awesome, couldn’t get enough of it. Definitely one to order!

Boeuf Bourguignon: Beef Casserole from Burgundy Region
Boneless leg of lamb stewed with garden herbs & baby carrots?

I couldn’t tell. We ordered both, but even looking at my pictures now, I can’t tell which is which. My least favourite of the dishes we ordered… not that it tasted bad, it just didn’t resound with me as much as the lamb chops and salted cod. To be fair, we’d ordered ALOT of food….. The potatoes au gratin though were lovely.

Baked Bacalao Salted Cod with Gruyere Cheese
Verdict: My second favourite dish. Subtle yet flavourful. Delish.

And then came dessert.

Pistachio Creme Brulee

Verdict: Pretty good. I love my creme brule, and generally find myself disatisfied with most creme brulees I order. This one had a thick-as-a-coin burnt sugar layer and was uber satisfying to break. The layer of pistachio at the bottom of the bowl was interesting, though it didn’t add much value to the dish. It could probably have been just as nice without. All of us definitely approved of this dish.Selection of cakes. I’m not a cake person so my favourite was this at the end, the Chocolate Amer. Rich, thick, moist with a crunch bottow. Absolutely divine.

Overall, my family really really enjoyed our meal. For a table of six, we paid $157 (not including desserts). It definitely satisfied the Pakistani meat-lover in my brother-in-law, and it was a refreshing change from eating at mostly Indian and Malay establishments for my family. The lunch deals here are great btw. For $18.90 you get a soup and one of 4 mains. Pretty awesome deal if you ask me. Outside of the lunch deals, some of the mains are quite expensive ($35-$38) — but for pretty delicious food, and it being halal, I think it’s worth it. Their website has a downloadable menu, if anybody is curious.

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