Monday, April 30, 2012

Balzac Brasserie (Rendezvous Gallery)

Missy had been really busy with foodstuffs lately.  Going to classes to learn how to cook and getting together with like-minded friends to cook a feast.   She is still determined to write at least a posting a month.  Today is the last day of April, the last chance to write her one thousand and one post.  May is supposed to be the month of celebrations.  Why?  Because May always just bring a picture of a group of people in rainbow colored clothes, holding onto colorful ribbons and dancing around a tall wooden pole.  Unfortunately for Missy, it had became a month of mourning.  After Missy's loss of her princess JRT, the month of May had been a period of darkness.   Wishing lots of love to her princess and have a happy life over the rainbow in doggy heaven.

So back to the usual program: Food.  Recently Missy went to a few newly open restaurants and one of them happened to be Balzac Brasserie at Rendezvous Gallery.   This place was on the radar and vague plans were made to visit it one day.  The visit was hurried by a chef's Fan page, somewhat promoting this place.  As it came highly recommended, Missy went to try out this French brasserie armed with high expectations.  Disappointment came fast, the main for the set lunch "Pan seared Wagyu beef steak" was not available and changed to some stew.  Missy had wanted a steak and not a stew, as she was also interested in trying the french onion soup in the a la carte menu.  

Disappointed, Missy decided to organize her meals from the selections in the a la carte menu.  Missy decided to have the chef special " foie gras", the french onion soup, gnocchi and rice pudding.  Missy had liked the flavors of most dishes she tried that day.   

Pan-fried foie gras with caramelized apple and duck jus was the chef special on the board.  Missy loves a good piece of goose/duck liver.   At the price Balzac was asking, Missy was hoping to get twice the size of what was served.  Missy was told once, food served in fine dining restaurants usually are smaller in portions…  The foie gras was definitely pan fried and not seared.  The whole piece was cooked.  This is one of the harder foie gras she ever had, kind of reminded her of those liver slices served in pig organ soups.  Even with the sweet caramelized apple slices, the whole dish came across as rather bitter.  

The Oignon de cevennes (Traditional french onion soup with gratinated gruyere cheese) was flavored but not hearty.  There was something lacking, and it doesn't have the heartiness a good bowl of french onion soup would give.  Missy is wondering if the stock had caramelized onion slices were just thrown in before serving.  Using the bread slices with oats or wheat on the crust was not exactly inspiring.  Those oats or wheat gave the soup a different texture aka difficult to chew and add a different (not a good one) taste.  Stingy with cheese is another characteristic of this soup.  All Missy wants from a french onion soup is a full bodied soup cooked with lots of caramelized onions, a slice or maybe two nice baguette slices and lots of melted cheese.  Good french onion soup is surprisingly hard to get in Singapore.

Artisanal tarragon gnocchi, tomato confit and butternut squash emulsion was the main.  Yes, Missy ordered an Italian dish in a french place.  Can Missy just blame the lack of inspirations that were in the menu? Or at least blame the missing Wagyu steak from the set lunch?  But, Nay.  Gnocchi is one Missy's most most most favorite pasta dish.  The gnocchi was deliciously cooked and extremely good! Other than that, Missy thinks the whole dish was…. a disaster.  The tomato confit could have been a runaway from the hot oven.  The skin was so intact and the fruit tasted so raw, it definitely escapes from a salad bowl.  The deep dish of butternut squash emulsion could have been the swimming (inspired from Bella's comment)… alright, Missy is exaggerating…. but it could have been a tiny kid pool for the gnocchi and the single tomato…  Missy would really prefer sauce emulsion for this dish.  Giving the benefit of the doubt (even after discussions with friends who cook professionally and as hobbies), the chef might wanted it to be a stew.  Gnocchi stew?  Could be the first and last time for Missy.

Riz au lait (Mamie Dubois' traditional rice pudding served with caramel sauce and toasted pistachios) came warm.  Surprisingly Missy thought this was the best dish she was served in Balzac.  Spoonful of warm rice pudding mixed with super duper sweet caramel followed by the crunchy pistachios bites was almost good enough to forget everything else that is lacking in previous dishes.

Like what Missy told Mr. D.B, this place is not bad, but not completed.   Food presented and served were halfhearted attempts at even trying to please.   It seemed the people behind these food doesn't have the heart to complete the dishes and left Missy rather disappointed at the end of the day.

BTW, Missy is still eating daily and posting photos on the facebook fan page

1 comment:

adel said...

i'm a potato junkie, seeing such a delicious gnocchi pic couldn't make me happier, will attempt this and also the Riz dessert :) cheers!