Comforting, familiar food with twists at Poulet + Brasserie
Although the names are similar, Poulet + Brasserie is a brand new concept - an extension of the popular Poulet chain. This Ion Orchard outlet is the only one in Singapore, and it is meant to be a showcase of emerging chefs.
This round, it is helmed by chef Joshua Khoo (most famously of the Saveur group), who has created a menu of contemporary French cuisine that combines local flavours with traditional French cooking techniques. To be honest, if you have eaten at Saveur and liked it, you will probably enjoy this too.
Chef Khoo keeps some of Poulet's signature dishes but gives it his own twist.
One of them is Poulet's popular roast chicken. Here, it has been renamed P+ Rotisserie Chicken ($20), an interpretation of the original featuring a slow roast chicken.
The subtle sweetness of the corn kernels and the saltiness of the bacon go well with the tender meat. I did not detect a big difference between both versions. It is not a stunning dish but a familiar, comforting one.
I was not expecting much from the Signature Duck Confit ($22). My fear of confit is that almost always the meat is tough, but it is not the case here. I was pleasantly surprised by how tender and juicy it is.
I liked how the duck is just on the side of fatty too, with a layer of fat under the skin that enhances the flavours. The sides of salad, pomegranate and roast nuts add to the dish.
The pattern that emerges for me is that the food here is not going to provide an inspired moment but it will keep your stomach happy.
A lot of Poulet's best dishes are very good versions of food that you would have already eaten before, just like the Truffle Mushroom Risotto ($15).
Nothing about it is new or exciting, but as the food goes down the throat, you will appreciate the flavours and texture. The truffle is not overwhelming, and the texture of the risotto is spot on.
The one dish that I thought would be an easy sell did not impress, however. The Jumbo Prawn & Garlic Pasta ($24) is a fail-proof combination. While it reaches the table looking and smelling amazing, disappointingly, both the angel hair pasta and the prawns are overcooked.
And when the two major components of a dish do not hit the mark, it is best to just move on.
Much more successful is the Banana Crumble ($9). It does not look like much but dig in. The banana jam is aromatic and with the crumbs, this dessert works on different levels. The salted caramel ice cream is a good addition too, providing another layer of creaminess.
When you leave Poulet + Brasserie, chances are you will be complimenting it. It is a pleasant dining experience with friendly staff, an inexpensive menu and good food.
But in a month, you may be struggling to remember the details.