I recently got invited by Conclave Bistro to check out their place. Prior to their invitation, I admit that I’ve never heard of them. They are located at Tras St which is in the heart of the CDB area, a mere 5 minutes’ walk from Tanjong Pagar Station. They’ve been around for a few years but only recently was the restaurant opened to public.
The capacity of the bistro is small but sufficient in terms of spacing. It seems like a conducive place for group gatherings because the seats are really comfortable to sit in all night.
Homemade dips of sundried tomato and olives were provided to go along with the bread basket. I personally liked the sundried tomato one more because it tastes a lot like (good) pasta sauce!
Pan Fried Foie Gras – $38.00+
The foie gras was served in a thick and big portion accompanied with caramelized apple and a house-made shortbread biscuit. It was seared to a good done-ness and is sinfully good, especially when paired with wine. The refreshing salad with balsamic dressing and sweet caramelized apple served well to ease the oily rich taste on the palate.
Escargot – $18.00+
The escargots were sautéed in butter with chopped garlic and Italian parsley. Each hole on the escargot plate contained 2 pieces which made the portion very substantial. On the crispy mini baguette is the amount from 1 hole.
Atlantic Cod – $32.00+
There are 2 generous pieces of slow baked cod for this main course and it comes with a big portion of sautéed baby spinach, fennel salad in frothy white wine sauce. I loved the extra touch of tobiko on this dish. A perfectly balanced meal all in one plate.
Slow Baked Duck Confit – $28.00+
The health concious may like to know that this version of duck confit is different from the usual. It is not oily as is oven baked instead of deep fried. The duck itself has a unique fusion taste and the meat was juicy and tender.
Molten Lava Cake – $6.50+
Every good meal should end with dessert. The molten lava cake has a perfect runny core which flowed out too fast for my camera shutter. Desserts aren’t the speciality here but it was decent enough to fulfil the purpose of ending the meal with something sweet.
Tras Street had the reputation of being expensive – or at least to me. I was surprised to know that there’s a bistro here that actually as pretty affordable food! For lunch, they have 5 different set lunches and prices starts from $9.90 only with the menu changed daily – so you can actually get to have different meals every day. The menu is uploaded on their Facebook page so you may like to check that out if you work nearby. I noticed that their set lunch menu often includes an Asian option (like Assam Pedas Seabass or Chicken Curry) which happens to be their chef’s speciality so this is good if you and your colleague cannot agree on whether to go Asian or Western for lunch.
I do not work nearby so I would probably only pop by for dinner. For dinner, their menu has a much wider variety. Pastas are $12.00+ to $14.00+, and mains ranges from $14.90+ for Fish & Chips to $68.00+ for Australian Wagyu Sirloin. Of course there are many more options in between, with majority less than $25.00+, so there will be something which fits your budget. Basically this place welcomes everybody and it can be seen from their wide variety of food.
Even though what I had this time were mainly French inspired options like Escargot, Foie Gras and Duck Confit, they actually offer dishes of other cuisines like Irish Lamb Stew or even Chinese fried rice! Evident from what I had, the portions are big and substantial. It is ideal for people with bigger appetites and love a filling dinner or for big groups who likes to order a variety to share.
Often people feel skeptical that restaurants serving mainly western dishes cannot do Asian food well, but there are always exceptions. The chef at Conclave, Chef Ivy, happens to be good in both areas, and she’s the only chef helming the kitchen – so rest assured that the fried rice isn’t outsourced from some nearby zi char stall. With only one chef you can get consistency here and this is important because many restaurants I know of are lacking in that area.
Conclave bistro offers unpretentious cooking for a reasonable price, comfortable dining ambiance and an easily accessible centralized location and to me this is considered a hidden find in the heart of the CDB area.
Once again I’d like to thank Conclave for the kind invitation.
Overall: A great choice within the CBD area for gatherings with friends because of the reasonably priced unpretentious food.
40 Tras St
Mon – Fri: 11:30pm – 2:30pm
Mon – Sat: 5:30pm – 22:00pm