“I want to be a social entrepreneur!”
“I want to run my own company and make my first million by 30.”
I am pretty sure many of us have heard these comments or even utter them ourselves. But how many of us are actually willing to plan and make sacrifices to achieve what we say we want to achieve?
Today’s bistro entry is special because “French Ladle” is one of my closest friend’s dream since secondary school. Miss L has been talking about opening a café since we were 13! And I admire her boldness in quitting her corporate job a few years ago to pursue culinary arts in Sunrice academy. Her first startup in a hawker setting did not take off, but she didn’t give up. Instead, she persevered through really tough uncertain times to finally open the French bistro café concept she has always wanted- French Ladle at 2 Pandan Valley 597626. She epitomizes one of the reasons why I started this blog – to encourage and remind all of us that if she can make her dreams real, you can too, with lots of hard work and tenacity!
Miss L’s partner, Penang-born Mr Johnny Teh, who is also the chef, has been cooking professionally since he was 17. Since moving to Singapore in 2006, he had worked in reputable kitchens of Swiss’otel, St Regis, Il Lido and Absinthe (under Chef Francois Mermilliod). Whenever I speak to Johnny, he is very proud that he cooks in the classical French way, also meaning preparing everything from scratch!!! This means taking up to 6 hours just to extract duck fat to use as a base for other dishes. Time-consuming for a restaurant only ran by 2-3 people but the food is oh-so-yummy!!! At The French Ladle, Johnny continues his philosophy in cooking for his guests – an honest good meal with home-cooked flavors that everyone can easily understand and enjoy.
I am not going to rate the food because I know all of you readers will say I am biased but most of my friends I have brought says French Ladle has the best:
1) French Onion Soup
2) Duck Confit
3) Pot-Au-Feu, in Singapore.
And the best value for French food too, since for some obscure reason, French food is always so atas (expensive) in Singapore!
If you are keen to try French Ladle after reading this entry, please:
Then flash your post at French Ladle when you visit within October, 2013, and you will get:
1) 10% off your first meal
2) French Ladle loyalty card (which will entitle you to 15% for dinners on Tues-Thurs and 10% off weekend brunch/dinners, for future visits)
I really like French Ladle for its cosy ambience. All other French food places I have been to in Singapore are more stiff-necked and formal. It’s also a small area so good to book for private events/parties!
Appetizer – Duck Rillette
This dish comprises shredded duck meat in duck fat, eaten as a spread on toasts, with gherkins. It’s very richly flavoured so I suggest you try one mouthful with the toast only to get the FULL-ON fatty flavour. Then after that, eat with the gherkins because the sourness of the gherkins really balances the flavour.
Appetizer – French Onion Soup
I dare say, objectively, the best in Singapore! Made with mixture of three types of onions, homemade chicken stock, croutons, parmesan cheese, herbs…… aiyo.. the croutons and cheese melts in your mouth. Must try! M’s super satisfied face with the first taste says it all! 🙂
Main 1 – Steak Frites
Im usually not easily bought over by beef… but this Rib-eye Steak 250g cut is beautiful. Especially with the special onion sauce concocted by Johnny! The sweet onion sauce blends well with the strong meat flavour. Served with shoestring fries, mesclun salad…. calling all beef lovers!
Main 2 – Duck Confit Pasta
I like both Duck Confit and Pasta on their own, so this is heavenly combination of shredded meat of duck leg in a cream-based spaghetti, with a dash of garlic and bacon. Strongly suggest this dish to be shared though; flavour is so overwhelming that you might feel ‘jelat’ (personal translation = over-dosed by rich flavour) if one individual were to eat the whole serving.
Main 3 – Pot-Au-Feu (Braised Beef Cheeks)
The boys’ favourite! Beef cheek slices in a clear broth, stewed for 4-5 hour, and served with potatoes, carrots and leeks. It is light on the palate given 2 other heavy dishes, and the slices meltttttttt in your mouth so it’s quite amazing texture. Served cutely in a cocotte and also good to share!
Dessert – Chocolate Banana bread pudding served with New Zealand ice-cream
This was served warm so very comforting on a lazy Sunday afternoon…chocolate and banana flavoured stuff always works for me 🙂 Ice cream even has visible fine vanilla seeds (refined ice-cream……).
And finally, N, Johnny, L and me. Sneak shot of them because they get really famous and busy with no time for us!!! 😛
PS: Driving instructions -Turn in from main road (Holland Road), so keep left after passing Jelita. You need to drive into Pandan Valley condominium through the security (guard post on your right), then drive for another 200 metres and French Ladle will be on your left!