CLOSED: Cocotte, Little India

EDIT: Cocotte is now replaced by Audace.

This is the most spontaneous 14K gets. We were driving to his workplace to do work. In the car, we were discussing where to eat. I wanted to eat Indian, since we were at Little India, but he very atas one, disdains coffeeshops, kopitiams, hawkers, etc. So no choice lor. We came to eat French at Little India = Findia. (ps: Hookerlily, we said you have a doppelganger who is also a SPG and married an angmoh. That is the bald, sexy, lean-fit angmoh she married. Bald=virile. I’ve a clearer pic of him.)
Cocotte (pronounced as koh-COT) comes from the root word “coq.” Pronounce “coq” in French… yes, it’s “cock.” So cocotte is a hen or prostitute… or a casserole. The concept of Cocotte is rustic French, healthy, communal eating. Rustic French: you can see the decor for yourself in the photos: the flowers are in the can with cutlery. Tables, raw wood without veneer; checkered napkins; food served in tin pots. Healthy: most, if not all, the food is organic. Communal: a burgeoning number of Western restaurants seem to adopt this concept of sharing food. Which makes sense because it lowers the cost price (cooking in mass) and increases profits (more people eating same food, less hassle to prepare) and the concept fits perfectly into an Asian society. So I’d say this is a place for cool friends to hang out.

One thing we find strange is the menu for one person ($29) is cheaper than the menu for two ($35/pax). Since I’m so cheap, we went for the menu for two.

There were a choice of 2 out of 5 appetizers for the set meal and we picked rosette (French cured pork sausage) and Escargot Gougeres (+$3):
So now we know… rosette is salami. French mustard was provide to go with it. Not particularly exciting. Don’t order.
Escargot gougeres are, according to the menu, “parsley cream, tomato coulis in gruyere pastry.” “Coulis” means sauce; “gruyere” a type of cheese. The menu could have just said, escargot puffs. 14K didn’t like it. I thought it was strange to eat escargot in puffs. Puffs should come in cream or chocolate. Nevertheless, I manned it up and finished it. I suppose you could say it’s “original” but it didn’t seem very creative or exciting to me.
Main: For the 2-person set menu, you could only choose one main. Boeuf bourguignon… or stewed beef. As you can see from the photo, the beef was slightly charred and was very tough. It didn’t soak up the essence of the broth as expected. Portions were meagre. But the saving grace came from the gratis bread, freshly baked from the oven every 10 minutes (so you have to wait). The steaming milky crispy-on-the-outside, soft-inside baguette, dipped in the beef stew, was sooo good for the body…the Chicken Soup for the Soul series should be renamed Beef Stew for the Soul.

Desserts: chocolate pie, chocolate cake; creme brulee and chocolate puffs. Two awesome, two fail. The chocolate pie was flat and tasteless; the chocolate cream-puffs were frozen hard. The creme-brulee had a hint of ginger (which I love) and was very light; the chocolate cake came in three levels of powder, mousse and hazelnut crust, none of which could go wrong. None of them was very adventurous or extraordinary.

The service was a little… brusque. They just seemed busy although there were quite a number of servers, so they were a little impatient or they tended not to notice us?
In conclusion, I was prepared to like this restaurant because so many people have said good things about it and because the concept is refreshing. But the food was bland–I admit I’m heavy on spice and salt–or charred or not particularly titillating. It lacks the WOW factor. And the service wasn’t amiable. It’s just another restaurant.
2 Dickson Road, Wanderlust Hotel
T: 6298 1188
Rating: 2.905/5 stars

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