>$60

Bistro Gaston, Keong Saik: More a Burgundian Wine Bar Than a Bistro

Bistro Gaston at Keong Saik serves Burgundian (French) fare but the mainstay is really the wines of 350 labels from France and elsewhere. Unfortunately for us, we, who drink very little, did not know that they focus more on the wine than the food, and the food turned out mediocre and tasteless.

Accompanying the carafe of Chardonnay (250ml, $18 happy hour before 7pm) shared between the two of us), the Planche de Charcuterie (100/200gm, $19/$34) consists of wild boar terrine, rosette (the French version of salami), duck rillettes and parma ham. The terrines I have eaten tend to be salty but this wild boar terrine isn’t; this lovely and not-at-all gamy terrine depends wholly on the taste of the natural ingredients. The rillette is also nice: mild and pleasant.

However, the Planche de Fromages (100/200gm, $22/$36) of comté, époisses, brillat savarin, and vézelay is not good. A good cheese plate should consist of different textures and flavours; and should also come with fruits, or nuts, or jam to undercut the richness. But here, the four standalone cheeses–3 of which are from Burgundy– have repeating textures and flavours that make the cheese plate boring and heavy. For instance, the époisses and brillat savarin share the turpentine aftertaste; and vézelay and époisses have a similar buttery texture. More care could go into the selection of cheeses.

As a starter, the tarte a la tomate et chevre frais ($12) restored our confidence in the bistro. The fresh (and crumbly) goat cheese and tomato tart comes with arugula, pistou (French pesto), and aged balsamic vinaigrette. A simple dish but the combination is miraculous. All the umami and complexity of sourness, bitterness, sweetness, saltiness interacting with one another. Must order this.

For the mains, the truite a l’Aligote ($28) is a steamed rainbow trout, a species of salmonid, which in its fillet form looks and tastes like a mild form of its cousin, salmon. Even with the white wine sauce, the fish is still bland although the pommes fondantes, which are cylinder-shaped potatos browned on the ends in in stock and butter, are fantastic – but really is anything soaked in butter ever not delicious? (hyperbole here.)

The Boeuf Bourguignon ($32), or the classic beef stew in a red wine sauce with mashed potato, is disappointing. The stew itself is not rich or sweet enough and the beef is so overcooked that it becomes dry and gritty like sand.

We sent the boeuf bourguignon back and the French manager (owner?) said that the dish would come back with the same results, advising us to order another dish. He recommended the Le Cochon ($26), or pan-seared pork loin with tomato sauce & confit tian (which is like a ratatouille). The center of the pork is still pink, indicating that it is not overcooked, but I am not sure why it is tough as nails. Is it because the slice is too thick so that even though the center is still pink, the surrounding area is overcooked and becomes hard? Compounding to the problem of texture, the pork itself is tasteless.

It was a tough call which the worse dish was: the beef or the pork. We decided to cut our losses and leave. Paid $147 for two persons. Is Burgundian food supposed to be saltless?


Menu


Bistro Gaston
25 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089132
tel: +65 8661 2788
M 5pm – 12.00am; T – Th 11am – 12am; F – Sat 11am – 12am; closed Sun
facebook

Food: 5/10
Decor: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10
Service: 6/10


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FrapasBar by Saveur, The Cathay: FRAnce + tAPAS = Frapas
Merci Marcel, Club Street: The Same Same But Different Second Outlet of the Casual, Simple French Bistro Dining
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Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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8 replies »

  1. and who published this rubbish? Destroying young talented hard worker on soft opening is so unfair… I have been there and they don’t deserve this rubbish paper

    Like

    • The aim of this post isn’t about “destroying young talented hard worker.” We don’t know any one working there so the review is done objectively; there is nothing personal about the review. The aim of this post is to provide honest and accurate information to the public so that people can make informed decisions about where to spend their hard earned money. I understand that f&b staff work hard and I respect it. But please understand that other people also work hard for their stressful jobs and they have a right to spend their hard-earned money wisely.

      A secondary aim is also to provide constructive feedback to restaurants. If the review is taken in the right spirit, some restaurateurs and chefs actually emailed us to tell us that they improved their recipes and/or service.

      Furthermore, there are no such thing as bad publicity. Maybe some readers after reading this review want to go and try it for themselves.

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  2. Perhaps you are not used to french food. Disclaimer: i did not go there yet (hence reading reviews) and i don’t know anywhere there. Your description of the platter is very wrong (rosette is a french salami?? Please.. and serve cheese with nuts and fruits… first you should not have cheese before main… after taste of terpentine for epoisse?? How insulting for the best cheese in the world). Bourgignon shpuld not be dry for sure… and pork loin doesn’t have much taste… your review is so wrong in many ways that it makes me want to try the restaurant. 250ml of chardonay for 2? How sad…..

    Like

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