La Cantine

Bruno Menard's new restaurant at Asia Square is solely for the office crowd: it doesn't open on weekends. Pity us non-Shenton people. That can be a turn off. The set lunch was a three course meal priced at $39++ which seemed alright. The amuse bouche was prawns based which I'm allergic to; server 1 says can change to salad but server 2 says cannot then went to check with chef which apparently says it is pre-prepared so also cannot change. First disappointment. First acid test failed two ways: 1) it's basic enough to change starters in a set course due to allergy, even a simple salad is good enough (but I can respect a chef's decision, but that doesn't that mean I approve of it); 2) servers shouldn't have conflicting opinions/instructions. After that incident, I was too miffed to search for a main course so settled on the set lunch's main. And watcha know!, they removed my butter knife even before I was done with the bread or the main course was served (!). The main was a polenta dish served with ham, cheese and sweet meat (like those you find in bacang). It was quite tasty, very filling but veered towards being too filling (because of the polenta) and jelat. Quite a modern/local twist to a French dish. The main was coupled with a crisp house Chablis which I ordered after 3 servers/managers asked me separately whether I wanted wine with my lunch. They did not ask me whether I want dessert my meal!!! Sacrilegious! They just served my partner's who ordered the set lunch! And when dessert came (3 pieces: lemon creme brûlée, chocolate macaron and cream with ?raspberry coulis jelly), 2 servers asked to clear the plate before we were done!! Poor service!! The lemon creme brûlée was good, tart but creamy, but another point of contention: no one really told us what we are eating I'm just guessing the dishes here. Bistro rather than proper dining I guess. The decor was warm and woody and inviting. Cappuccino was from Nespresso and the foam fell flat in bout 2 minutes.

Verdict: Will come back again to try their dinner or a la carte menu purely out of residual goodwill towards Bruno Menard (and his awesome L'Osier).


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