I’m an advocate of dressing well at a fine dining restaurant, but when I went to San Bistro at Bedok, I broke my own rule. Hey, it’s Bedok! Although Chef Josh Chua used to work at the defunct Guy Savoy at Marina Bay Sands—Guy Savoy received 3 Michelin Stars in Paris—Chua’s influence is more than French.
For instance, the handmade tagliatelle nero ($35) is Italian, and even Asian (Chua is Malaysian). The handmade squid ink pasta is tossed in a sauce made from sundried tomato, paired with smokey squid perfectly sauteed to a nice chewiness. It is freaking umami, so damn delicious. With the gremolata of a healthy dose of garlic and parsley—I’d describe the taste of gremolata as “green”—the pasta is complex. It tastes almost Asian, like the chilli oil from chwee kueh. MUST ORDER. I’d be back to order this and other pasta dishes.
The meats are not as impressive as the pasta, but they are also delicious. The Australian lamb rack ($48, above) is nice, with a piquant lentil du puy, but it is too fat. The Amadai fish fillet ($40, below) is better. It comes with crispy skin, but I’ve seen that trick before at Corner House; in fact, it is the signature dish at Corner House and Corner House does it better. Corner House’s version is thicker, giving a better mouthfeel, but here, the fillet is too thin.
Lemon & basil ($15) as a dessert is very sour, showing much character, but I’m not sure if the basil sorbet pairs with lemon custard and limoncello gelee. The sweet meringue does take some edge off, but I’d like to see more spark and balance to the dish.
I didn’t mind that the fine-dining restaurant is not in city area, but I feel that they are only putting in 80% effort. Like the decor. It’s gorgeous and eclectic, but at a restaurant like this, I expect them to give cloth napkins; they use serviettes. The tables have pipes for legs—unsuitable for a restaurant of this price—and they try to cover the table legs with table cloth. Likewise, the food is delicious, but the ingredients aren’t top-notch.
But concept and ingredients aside, the food is delicious. I’d return to try the rest of the pastas. 4-course set dinner at $88++; 2-course set lunch at $18++ and 3-course at $23++. We paid $163 for two persons for a la carte dinner.
San Bistro Singapore
20 Eastwood Road, Eastwood Centre #01-03, Singapore 486442
11.30am-10pm, Closed Mon
T: +65 6448 9959
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.