Friday, 16 April 2010

ADVERTORIAL: Binge - L'Olivier, The Best Tart Flambe's In Town

You know a place has good food if its location is totally, daringly incongruous. Remember the wonderful seafood restaurants out at Punggol Point? Or Tetsuya’s first restaurant in Sydney’s Roselle neighbourhood, a couple doors away from the neighbourhood laundromat? That’s what I mean by incongruous. So when a friend mentioned a French bistro in the Hokkien Huay Kuan opposite the historical Chinese temple, it all sounded seriously promising and intriguing. French in the Hokkien Hway Kuan? Definitely must try…!
L’Olivier Restaurant turned out to be a smart informal restaurant with easy going service and a full Alsace-inspired menu. And the thing is, it serves the absolute bestest tart flambe’s in town! An Alsace speciality, this is also one of the restaurant’s fortes. I could eat unending crates of it for lunch with a glass of wine or two. Think thin crust pizza but perhaps twice as thin – almost like a wafer and frightfully crispy! There are three choices for toppings: a simple layer of bacon and onion ($16), or with emmental cheese added to the mix ($18) or mushroom, onion and cheese ($18). Yes, it sounds simple, but don’t knock it – it’s absolutely great. And I’m not saying this just because the headline carries the word ‘advertorial’.

For the record, I had been there about 3 times on my own (‘cos its so good on the palate and pocket) before SimplyFab linked up with the owners for this little project of ours (more later!).
Mind you, L’Olivier is not a pizza joint. Let me say again, it’s a smart and proper bistro, superbly cosy and with great value prices that don’t break the bank. Also good to know is that the chef here used to head the kitchens of Le Picotin.
Anyway, back to the food. For mains, the must-have for me is the Poitrine de Porc Braissée ($24), a meltingly tender pork belly with such a shiveringly satisfying crackling served with mash potato and savoy cabbage. I have that almost every time I go. Their steaks – another speciality – are great, quality cuts too, full of natural flavour and cooked juicy and tender and lovely. I like the USA Meyer Natural Prime Ribeye (300 g for $52 only!) or their Australian 150 days Grain Fed Tenderloin (230gm, $36). For the gourmet carnivore, the Australian 500 Days Grain Fed Wagyu Cube Roll 350 gm ($78) is a treat. (Note again the price and also the age –500 days!) The prices are really reasonable considering what other restaurants charge, and this is high grade meat you are getting!

Dessert absolutely has to be the tart flambé with apple and cinnamon sugar ($12) – little matchstick size pieces of apple lightly cooked and scattered across the thin base. Yummmms! If not, the profiterole with vanilla ice cream and choc sauce ($11) is good too, or the vanilla and raspberry crème brulee ($10).

When you do head to L’Olivier, do order wines as well, another business which the owners handle. They bring in their own tipple, and you’ll find lots of good old and new world wines at very affordable prices.

It’s quiet on Saturday nights ‘cos most of the office crowd isn’t there, so if you want a cosy place to go without having to fight the crowds - whether kids included or just with the grown ups - this is a choice spot. You'll find it as fab as we do.

137 Telok Ayer Street
#01-01 Hokkien Huay Kuan
Tel: 6227 6022

S$100 L'Olivier Voucher Giveaways!!
So this is the little project we mentioned earlier in the story…
L’Olivier and Simply Fab have five $100 dining vouchers up for grabs.

All you have to do is to answer two simple questions:
1) In which building is L’Olivier located?
2) Name any one of L’Olivier’s speciality dishes.

Email your answers to Simply Fab at by Friday, 30 April 2010 together with your name, email, telephone number and NRIC. 
Five lucky winners will get a $100 voucher each. 
Quick! Get those fingers on the keyboard!
(Winners will be notified via email by early May 2010)


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