La Cantine: a French brasserie in Singapore

Let’s go back to Singapore, shall we?
Bruno Menard is the Golden Boy of French cuisine. He’s famous for a few award-winning restaurants including the 3 Michelin starred l’Osier in Tokyo (re-opening in October this year). You may remember him for an Iron Chef episode challenging Hiroyuki Sakai to a battle of escargot. He’s now based in Singapore and owns a burger joint and a French brasserie in the city.
I met my friend L for lunch at Chef Menard’s La Cantine down Asia Square, in the heart of Singapore’s financial district. The ambience is a definitive smart casual: the decor oppulent but quirky, the service attentive but not overeager. I was a bit early so I had a bit of time looking at the menu. I’ve noticed how French the logo is with illustrations of two French symbols, the Eiffell and the rooster.

 

The lights are so pretty…

 

And so is the whole place, actually. My view, pre-date… notice the upside-down roosters!

 

A few minutes later my gorgeous lunch date L arrived. Gotta love this girl. She’s very driven and business/career oriented, such a go-getter. She’s also a really, really, really nice genuine person, which makes her charm work on anything and anyone. So glad we got to have a proper lunch to catch up on college life and infinite possibilities.
This tea reminded me so much of uni in the Philippines. My friends and I would frequent this restaurant on campus called Chocolate Kiss. They served bottomless iced lemon tea with a mini shot glass of sugar syrup so you can temper the sweetness depending on your preference. La Cantine’s home brew is just as refreshing but I much prefer it because the syrup isn’t as sweet and as overpowering.

L & I went for the three-course set lunch du jour for ease. At SG$39 (20) this was quite a treat!

We had a slice of galantine de porc for starters. Pork is not my favourite meat (unless we’re talking bacon) but I liked this very much. The seasoning was light enough so the flavour really sang pork.

The entrée was cod bouilliabaisse which I also enjoyed. Firm, buttery chunks of fish in a light bisque punched with the smoky marriage of paprika and saffron. They also threw in some potatoes and some fresh basil leaves. It’s light but substantial and a fish stew gone elegant.

The trio of desserts are French favourites: lemon posset, a salted caramel macaron and creme brulee. The macaron was a bit spongey so let’s forget that. The creme brulée was steady and perfectly cooked but the star of the plate was the lemon posset. I rarely go for lemony nor heavily creamed desserts, but this was very light and refreshing. The lemon sorbet was delicious and I would happily eat it again.

La Cantine is quite a good spot for catching up with mates but I think it’s also really good for work lunches. It’s impressive enough to take clients and casual enough to have professional development chats with colleagues. Oh, and since the chef de cuisine is an innovative chef who strives to serve pleasant French plates of food, you can actually enjoy your meal too.

La Cantine
8 Marina View Singapore 018960 | +65 6690 7567
Three-course set lunch from SG$39
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