Been hearing rave reviews about Le Bon Funk at Club Street.The natural wines are curated by head sommelier Josée Yeomans, and the kitchen is helmed by chef-owner Keirin Buck who used to be at Burnt Ends. Like Burnt Ends, this place has an open kitchen–my tee smelled so I couldn’t wear it for the 5th day in a row-and serves small plates for sharing. Yes, this is another rave review but with nuances. Sorry for being expected.
The foie gras toast (2 pieces, $18) is ethereal as a dream. Frozen foie gras is shaven on a toast with cedar jelly. It tastes like a rich butter and jam — so umami and delicious. Must order.
The chips ($35) is one of those newfangled direction where chefs reinvent cheap food into fine-dining-ish. Like you know, those ubiquitous sous vide eggs or PB & J as desserts. This one consists of skin-on chips made in-house and a french onion dip with chives and caviar. It is moreish, salty, goes well with beer. But given the price point, they could have given more chips. And given the price point, I am not sure if the dish is worth the money.
The whole grilled Iwashi sardine ($21, pictured above) is nice but nothing out of the ordinary. Order the mussels and rutabaga broth ($28, pictured below) instead. Rutabaga is a root vegetable originated from a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. What is great about this dish is that the mussels are soft, almost like the texture of raw oysters—how did they manage to cook it?! The broth is very tasty because it has a nice smokiness and a dill pungency. Again, like the chips, this mussels dish is stingy with the bread. Only 1 slice cut into 2 pieces? Come on, give more.
The beef tongue and gribiche sammy ($26, below) is probably the most Instagrammed photo and many people gushed over it so effusively you’d think it touched their G-spots. (Really, go on Instagram and read the orgasmic praise.) But unfortunately, it was the worst dish for me that night. The texture of beef tongue is traditionally slightly chewy but here the tongue is completely without resistance, almost mushy or perhaps even mash-like. It is, on the whole, overly salty. And the toast and beef enter the mouth as if they are two different entities that flavours do not interact with each other. Not really sure the gribiche (which is a mayo) goes well with the beef. To be fair, I bring my food experiences with me, expecting what a beef tongue should be like, and thinking that this sandwich would be similar to a kosher pastrami sandwich; so when this sandwich did not meet my expectations, I found it over-rated. Chiobu, one of my dining companions, however, thought this was excellent and she has a modern sensibility.
The whole heritage chicken ($68) is much better although if you don’t like sweet mains like Chiobu, you may want to skip it. The restaurant imports young heritage chicks from France, and rears them for 60 years in a farm at JB. It’s glazed with manuka honey and after you squeeze lemon over it, the chicken is sweet and sour and slightly spicy. It’s tender and succulent. Excellent!
When we were there on a Thursday night, it was not as crowded as it should, given how fantastic the food is. Perhaps one thing that can be improved is that the menu is pretty user-unfriendly. Instead of saying Barnsley Chop ($39), which is imported from New Zealand and not Barnsley, they should have written “Barnsley Lamb Chops.” Instead of saying Maitake, they could have written “maitake mushrooms.” Instead of Sammy, use “sandwich.” These are not common ingredients and patrons don’t order unfamiliar food or go to restaurants where they can’t understand the menu.
Not understanding the vague menu was part of the reason we didn’t order dessert. Banana, oat, and coffee ($10) or chestnut, maple syrup, and dark chocolate ($12)–what are they?! Are they a cake, ice cream, yogurt, tart?
That said, that they need to hire a menu-writer, the food is fantastic and is one of the best restaurants I have eaten so far in 2019. We paid $253 for four persons.
Le Bon Funk
29 Club Street Singapore 069414
F 12pm – 2pm, Tue-Sat 5.30pm-12am, closed Sun
tel: +65 6224 1490
Decor / ambience: 7/10
You may be interested in…
–Merci Marcel, Club Street: The Same Same But Different Second Outlet of the Casual, Simple French Bistro Dining
–HE Bistro & Bar, Duxton: Playful Singaporean Fusion Cuisine with Fun Cocktails
–Bistro Gaston, Keong Saik: More a Burgundian Wine Bar Than a Bistro
–RVLT, Carpenter Street: A Natural Wine Bar Housing the Best Sommelier in the World and the Former Chef of Moosehead
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.