European Food on a Shoestring Budget

Jasmine: Ok, so the next two restaurants we’re going to feature are not cheap per se, but they’ve got pretty reasonable set lunches (both of which were sourced by my very capable Andrew!).

As you can see, we made full use of our December holidays to try out set lunches, which are notably more affordable than dinner menus, but still offer an adequate (if mildly narrow) range of the restaurant’s star dishes.

Au Petit Salut

 

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Half dozen baked Burgundy snails with tomato and garlic butter

Andrew: These were as good as escargoes get! The escargoes were chewy and tasty and they were so generous with the garlic butter!

Jasmine: I rather fancied the garlic butter marinade and used it to flavour my mesclun salad after Andrew was done with his snails!

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Mushroom quiche with mesclun salad and balsamic dressing

Jasmine: The crust was crisp and the ingredients inside were finely-blended. My only gripe was that this might have been too much for a starter, as I became fairly full halfway through the quiche.

 

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Red wine braised beef cheeks, carrots mushrooms and parsley potatoes

Andrew: This was the best beef main course I’ve ever tasted! The beef literally melted with every bite and was so well marinated with the red-wine sauce that every piece was bursting with flavour. The accompanying dishes (carrots, mushrooms) were subtle in flavour, which helped in bringing out the taste of the beef cheek.

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Mixed mushroom risotto with Parmesan cheese

Jasmine: It’s hard to find good risottos in Singapore and Au Petit Salut’s was one of the better ones that I’d tried. The mix of ingredients was refreshing rather than cloying (as some risottos tend to be), and greatly enhanced by the addition of the edible leaves. The rice grains were also fluffy without being too starchy.

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Choux buns with vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce and sliced almonds

Andrew: Jasmine and I like very different types of desserts. I prefer the rich, heavy and creamy types of desserts like the one above and Jasmine prefers light desserts with unusual flavours. That being said, the choux buns were good, but nothing to rave about. I should have chosen something more French.

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Orange sorbet with vanilla ice cream

Jasmine: Unlike Andrew, I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth, hence the orange puree was a welcome addition to the dish. I really liked how the sweet and sour flavours were combined.  

Andrew: Au Petit Salut’s set lunches are a real steal at $30++ per set. Unlike most restaurants where the set lunches offer a very limited selection of the restaurant’s dishes, Au Petit Salut’s set lunches offer an extensive range of their best dishes and these set lunches are offered all year round. We really enjoyed the food very much from appetizer to main course and dessert. I have not found a set lunch in Singapore that offers such value for money and such quality too! Dearie thinks otherwise though, and she must preferred the next restaurant on our entry…

Capricci

 

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Our appetizers: mushroom soup and sun-dried focaccia bread

Andrew: Mushroom soup was decent enough but I did enjoy the bread. It was served warm, which was really a plus point.

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Tomato stuffed with eggplant puree and pecorino cheese served with green salad and light anchovies sauce

Jasmine: This beauty alone made our visit to Capricci worthwhile. It must have been a popular choice because we saw at least five other tomatoes being served to hungry diners. The tomato was grilled to tender perfection, and the anchovies sauce, with its tanginess, offset the flavours of the eggplant puree and salad well. Quite appropriate in an autumn menu.

And here’s how my tomato looked inside:

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Yum.

Andrew: I usually don’t like tomatoes, but I have to say that this tomato appetizer really won me over.

Soup of the day

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Andrew: The tomato soup was too salty and too little!

Main courses

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Italian crespella stuffed with bechamel sauce and beef ragout

Andrew: The crespella was fluffy yet crispy, but the beef ragout tasted like it could have been easily prepared at home with some bolognaise sauce and minced meat. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this dish was…

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its size!

Yes, this was my main course. One slice of this crespella. It could barely even feed Jasmine! [Jasmine: It’s not my fault somebody eats like a horse.]

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Salmon fillet baked in puff pastry

Jasmine: A really decent puff pastry, and the salmon fillet was smooth although not spectacular. Unfortunately, I got rather full a few bites into my main course, although that’s a problem of my appetite rather than the food itself. [Andrew: Refer to point above.]

Dessert

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Strawberry panna cotta

Jasmine: The panna cotta went down smoothly and the texture was extremely silky.

Andrew: This was the only dish that I really enjoyed. It was the best panna cotta I’ve ever tasted! Unfortunately, this dish alone wasn’t enough to redeem the meal for me.

And a special item not listed on the menu…

Jazzy’s Christmas present from Andrew! A shopping spree at Paper Market (for scrapbook supplies)

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Jasmine: We later spent close to two hours shopping at Paper Market… Oh boy. I think Andrew almost regretted his choice of gift.

Andrew: I was rather disappointed by this meal as I had read many good reviews of Capricci from hungrygowhere.com. It was much cheaper than Au Petit Salut, but I wouldn’t say it was value for money. The service and ambience were really good though. I might consider coming back again next time to try their a la carte menu.

Jasmine: Although I enjoy French nouvelle cuisine, I’d have to declare the winner of this round to be Capricci. What really tipped the balance in favour of Capricci was its exceptional service. Furthermore, I much preferred the quality of the cuisine at Capricci- the chef provided a lighter, finer alternative to traditional Italian dining. The price is hard-to-beat too, for restaurants of this calibre: one-for-one at the cost of $28++ is a steal.

Update: Capricci is still offering its 1 for 1 lunch promo, though Jasmine’s salmon fillet pastry is off the menu now.

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3 responses to “European Food on a Shoestring Budget

  1. So this is your valentines day thing ok…………………

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