I met Mao Mao and her husband for dinner at Saveur. Although the restaurant opened after 6pm, we met at 5:30pm in front of the restaurant. It was a good thing we were early because by the time the restaurant opened, there were enough people in the queue to fill up the whole restaurant. It felt a little scary; I have not encountered a restaurant that opened to a full house before. The serving staff were young and dressed casually in t-shirt and jeans. But the service was pretty good as they were polite and attentive.
For appetizers, we shared the pan-fried foie gras with lentils and pickled onions. There were two portions to choose from: 35g or 70g. At first greedy Mao Mao declared that she is going to order a whole plate of foie gras for herself and no, she’s not going to share it with anyone. But we wanted to try as many dishes as we can so all of us shared the 70g portion ($14.90). It was really delicious. The foie gras was marvellous with a thin crispy exterior but so creamy and soft. The juices from the foie gras were mixed with lentils, giving it a lovely buttery flavor.
Our second appetizer was the mesclun salad with lemon vinaigrette and crispy duck ($3.90). It really paled in comparison to the foie gras. It just felt like I was eating a plate of greens. Mao Mao agreed that it tasted ordinary and said that she probably would not order it again.
At Mao Mao’s urging, we ordered the crispy pork belly with 62.5 degree egg with diced vegetable ($10.90). The diced vegetables turned out to be mostly lentils with some diced carrots, etc. Her husband and I each took half of the crispy pork. Then we broke the runny egg and mixed it together the lentils and vegetables. Mixing the lentils with the egg resulted in a different taste from the lentils in the first dish. It was still tasty but if I could only have one, I would choose the lentils in foie gras juices. The pork belly was nice and tasty with a crispy skin and a juicy layer of fat sandwiched between the meat. It was cooked correctly but like the rest of the dish, it just somehow failed to generate excitement in us.
The beef bourguignon with with root vegetable and mixed green ($13.90) had a strong beefy taste that somehow reminded me of beef brisket noodles. (I know, bizarre.) The beef was tender and not bad. The greens were drizzled with honey mustard dressing and we felt that it was more flavorful than the mesclun salad. I liked the saute mushrooms, carrots and onions.
In addition to greens on the plate, the beef bourguignon also came with a side of potato gratin. The potato gratin was was cheesy and creamy, really nice.
We thought that the confit of duck with orange segment and saute shittake mushrooms ($8.90) was the best of the three main courses that we ordered. The meat was moist and flavorful. The skin was crispy in some parts but not so crispy in others, although I felt that crispy or not made little difference to me. The skin tasted great either way. The duck rested on a pile of mashed potato which was smooth and buttery. Mao Mao commented that the mushrooms tasted slightly different from the mushrooms with the beef bourguignon even though it was the same type of mushrooms. “It shows their attention to detail,” Mao Mao said.
We had a side order of basmati rice ($2) as Mao Mao heard that it was good. Mao Mao and her husband loved the basmati rice which was (for me) surprisingly creamy. For some reason, I was expecting something like nasi briyani. I liked the rice not not as much as the potatoes.
Saveur only had three kinds of dessert and we tried two of them. One of the desserts we tried was the pistachio panna cotta with roasted pistachio nuts ($6.90). It was covered with grounded pistachio nuts. The panna cotta was smooth and creamy, rich with a lightness to it. I’m not sure if I could finish the whole cup by myself.
We also tried a dessert called textures of citrus ($6.90) which contained a sour jello made from citrus juices, shaved iced made from juice and crispy flake with dried fruit. It looked impressive but taste-wise, I preferred the panna cotta. I find the jello too sour for me but Mao Mao loved it. Her husband thought the cornflakes-like stuff was the nicest thing on the dish.
5 Purvis Street #01-04 Singapore 1088584