Ever since Saveur opened its doors at Purvis Street, it’s been infamously known for their long queues and budget friendly but supposedly good French cuisine. It has taken over the shop front that previously housed Miss Clarity’s Cafe, which was also another budget French restaurant.
Prepared with the knowledge that we have to beat the queue, I arrived at 5:40pm and there were only about 10 people in front of me. By 5:50pm the number of people behind me has increased exponentially and I knew the poor fellas at the back would not make it in for the first seating.
By 6pm, my dining partners and I were seated comfortably in the air conditioned restaurant happily. My advice is, come 20 – 30minutes before the opening time, then you’d only have to wait for 20 – 30 minutes. If you think its lame and come only at 6pm, you probably got to wait more than an hour for the first few diners to order, get served, eat and drink!
So anyway, to make our 20 minutes queue worthwhile, my dining partners and I ordered a lot of food! About 2 – 3 starters/ appetisers, 1 main course, and 1 dessert each.
There is a menu available on their website but the one given to us was slightly different.
I was worried that the food would take very long to arrive given the sudden surge of diners when they just opened for dinner, but was relieved that the food generally did not take too long to arrive and neither did they arrive stale.
Duck Rillette With Butter Bread – $4.90++
Angel Hair Pasta With Tiger Prawn And Lumpfish Caviar – $6.90++
Angel Hair Pasta With Sherry Minced Pork And Sakura Ebi – $3.90++
This one was slightly better than the version with tiger prawn and lump fish caviar so I would recommend this! However, the pasta wasn’t served chilled and it seemed slightly overcooked by al dente standards. Angel Hair should be thinner than this. But those factors aside, it was still good overall.
Fine De Claire Oyster 3no – $9.90++
Pan Fried Foie Gras With Lentil And Pickled Onion 70g – $14.90++
This has got to be the cheapest foie gras available in any restaurant, even cheaper than La Petite Cuisine which used to be the place for budget French food. I’m glad to say it was decent and met my expectations of foie gras though not the best around of course. Mine didn’t have much coarse salt on the seared surface but my dining partner commented that theirs had. However I didn’t quite appreciate the lentils. I have no idea why they had to pair this with lentils.
I do not consciously search for the best foie gras in Singapore but Bistro Du Vin, Osia and Keystone are just some places I’ve been to before that has good foie gras too.
Duck Confit with Orange Segments and Sauté Shittake – $8.90++
I’m not a fan of duck but since this is their signature dish I had to try it. I’m not exactly very experienced in having duck confit so I can’t really compare this this one’s pretty good. The skin was perfectly crispy and the meat was very cooked through and tender. The mashed potato didn’t stand out though because it was just normal. For such good execution and large portion, the price for this main course is unbeatable.
Crispy Pork Belly with Poached Eggs and Diced Vegetables – $10.90++
This is another typical French dish. The pork was indeed very crispy and the meat was tender. However, I don’t think this is the best crispy pork around no doubt it is good.
The menu says poached egg but that sure doesn’t look like a poached egg to me. It looks like a 62 degree egg.
Crispy Barramundi With Crab Potato And French Bean – $12.90++
I like the potatoes here better than the mash. The fish was cooked to crispy perfection but I found the fish itself having hints of fishy flavour.
Pistachio Panna Cotta With Roasted Pistachio Nut – $6.90++
They only had 3 types of desserts and we ordered all 3 to share among the 3 of us.
When I hear Panna Cotta I think of a simple milk pudding, but this has set the new benchmark. The pudding was super creamy and soft, putting Lao Ban bean curd to shame. The pudding was bursting with the nutty flavour pistachio and eaten with some roasted nuts in the same bite you get the textures of smooth and creamy with a bit of crunch. I highly recommend this one! My dining partner even ordered seconds of this.
Chocolate and Hazelnut – $7.90++
This one’s like a mousse but better. Amongst the crumbe there was sour berry bits, crunchy hazelnut bits, and some coconut shreds. The deceiving chocolate sheet looking this was actually some crispy wafer which was so crunchy! This dessert was full of textures like that. It also had layers of flavour was it combines sweet (chocolate), sour (berry) and a bit of saltiness from the hazelnut.
Textures of Citrus – $6.90++
As the name suggest, it is a very citrusy dessert and there are many textures. The yellow mass is crushed ice and the red portion is a slab of jelly. Mix it together with the corn flake like flake, lime zest and the citrus fruits, you’d get a bursting flavour of citrus in your mouth combined with many textures.
As I mentioned I love it when there’re many textures within a bite so this is a winner for me!
So apparently the desserts here were the best among everything! Nothing was unpleasant actually, except maybe that a few items were out of stock. It was well worth the wait and worth the price. If you don’t mind queuing I recommend this place.
This place has good standards for the price you pay. Of course do not set ridiculous benchmarks comparing it to niche French restaurants like Le Saint Julien or Gunther’s because they’re not competitors in the same league and you definitely will not find the best food ever here, but will find the best food for the price you pay here.
Overall: the best budget French restaurant around.
5 Purvis Street
Walk in Only
Daily: 12pm–2.30pm, 6pm–9.30pm