Makan

Hawker stall turns FRENCH BISTRO

We all love a rags-to-riches story, and with La Cuisson Bistro & Wine Bar, we have a coffee shop to restaurant version.

The story started in 2011 at a coffee shop stall along Queen Street named Le Cuisson. Then it moved to Holland Drive and last August , it ended up on Prinsep Street.

It is good to see progression when so many eating establishments are closing their shutters.

But can you take a hawker stall and turn it into a restaurant? La Cuisson tries and thankfully it was more "ooh la la" than "oh no".

Most of the dishes worked, although the simple presentation may displease those who need pomp.

My issue is with the inconsistent service.

Due to my carelessness, I booked my reservation for the wrong time on a busy Friday night. But the restaurant moved quickly to get us to a spare table, all with a smile.

When it came to ordering, we were faced with a waitress who looked bewildered.

I later found out it was her second day at work. Still, some sort of service is better than no service at all.

POT OF PORK

During my first encounter with the pork Pot Au Feu ($29, with pork shoulder, sausage, lentils and mixed vegetables), I thought the portion was so small it looked so sad inside the pot.

When I returned for a hosted tasting, the portion was, thankfully, bigger.

Still, it was tasty - the pork was tender and almost anything with lentils wins me over.

HEADS UP

The pork head terrine ($8) looks simple but the flavours are complex. The bonus is that it came with a very bright sauce which grew on me.

Make sure you eat this with plenty of bread. I found it tastiest that way.

TENDER SHOULDER

My order of Shoulder Tender ($28) came already cut into pieces.

I was befuddled.

When I returned for the hosted tasting, the chef explained it was to ensure the meat remains tender.

That aside, I found the whole plate convoluted.

MUSHY MUSHROOM PASTA

The mushroom pasta ($16) is the only one pasta available at La Cuisson.

And considering it's the only pasta option, I'm surprised they don't do it better.

I found the spaghetti too soggy, and with an overcooked egg added, it felt like a stew.

This standard made me remember La Cuisson's coffee shop roots.

CLASSIC DONE WELL

Coq Au Vin ($26) is a classic must-try dish, even if it looks unattractive.

The version here is lovely.

The chicken is cooked till very tender and the red wine sauce adds depth.

WHAT: La Cuisson 
Bistro & Wine Bar

WHERE: 44 Prinsep Street

OPENS: 5pm to 11pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10.30am to 2.30pm on weekends, 5pm to 10.30pm on Sunday.

Call 8332-0302 or book

via chope.com.sg