Looking for something different in Singapore? Saveur (pronounced sah-vere) is one of the most popular new restaurants in town serving fine French food – without having you shell out a bomb. With their young and enterprising owners placing great emphasis on dishing out quality food at affordable prices, the restaurant is proof that French cuisine need not be an exorbitant affair. With that, it is no wonder why Saveur is quick to gain a strong following after moving from its previous location – a small stall in the corner of an unassuming coffeeshop in East Coast – to its new home in swanky Purvis Street today.
Aside from wallet-friendly prices, another thing I like about them is the tactful and courteous service crew. Attentiveness may not always be up to par, but that’s a given considering how busy they must be when Saveur is perpetually chocked up with customers.
My only gripe is actually about the place itself: the decor of the restaurant is minimal – not so much in a chic or stylish way. Hopefully, when Saveur begins to settle into their new location, they will rid the place of its terribly boring white-washed walls and plasticky furniture which fail to harmonize with the quality and style of food they specialize in. Also, there is barely two feet of space between adjacent tables on the left dining area, so don’t go there expecting to have a romantic, private time with your special one.
Be warned that the waiting time can stretch up to more than an hour during lunch and dinner – so if that isn’t enough of a deterrent for you like it wasn’t for me, high-5!
When I visited Saveur on Saturday evening just two days ago, I realized they tweaked the menu just a little. No major changes from the last time I was there. I’m always happy to know when eateries constantly experiment with their food!
The Beef Short Ribs (S$14.90) were incredibly tender and flavorsome. The beef was thoroughly infused with the aroma of red wine which came through in every bite, and the vinaigrette dressing in the mesclun salad on the side provided a nice touch of acidity to balance out the meat’s heaviness. However, I did find that the short ribs had a subtle hint of gaminess, but that was bearable for the most part. Although the presentation is different from the classic bourguignon stew, this clean-cut rendition is definitely a winner in its own unique way.
The dish also came with a side of potato au gratin(available as a separate add-on if you’re craving some carbs, at S$2), which was a bit strange to me as I don’t see how it actually ties in with the short ribs. However, I’m not complaining because this was really delicious on its own.
My dad had the Chicken Roulade with Creamy Basmati Rice(S$9.90). Sounded fancy, but the combination of these two were just wack. The roulade stuffed with foie gras-infused chicken farce(ground chicken meat) was so forgettable I don’t even remember how it tasted. Didn’t help that the rice was mushy and hardly had any resistant to its bite. I felt the need for a contrast of textures as the entire plate was just soft and bland. Not something I would be ordering again.
Textures of Citrus(S$6.90) was a lovely way to end off the meal. It consisted of blood orange gelée, orange granita(ice shavings), citrus segments and crispy feuilletine flakes – all of which contributed to a lovely harmony of textures. Taste-wise, it didn’t knock us off our feet, but it was undeniable that its aesthetic appeal commanded a nod from us both.
In a nutshell, it is crystal clear that unlike many other profit-driven businesses, the people behind Saveur truly hope to share the joy of food with their customers by offering quality French food at inexpensive prices. So the next time you’re in the area, why not give them a try?
5 Purvis Street
Lunch : 12 noon to 3pm
Dinner : 6pm – 9.30pm
No reservations, walk-ins only
Waiting time: 40 minutes or more
Average price per pax: S$12 – S$24
Recommendations: Beef Short Ribs(bourguignon), Duck Confit and Pistachio Panna Cotta