Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gordon Grill (Singapore)

April 2011

22 Scotts Road, Goodwood Park Hotel
Tel: +65 6730 1744

Gordon Grill is quite a dining institution in Singapore, having been around for as long as I can remember. It is a cozy and unpretentious French restaurant located in the Teutonic landmark in Singapore which is the Goodwood Park Hotel. It is not one of the hyped-up fine dining establishments around, and is unlikely to make the San Pellegrino top 100 restaurants list anytime soon, but has a loyal cabal of regular customers who appreciate the consistently good classic food at reasonable prices.

We like coming here for dinner, as it is an oasis of relative calm on the frenzied Saturday nights in Orchard Road. Earlier this year, we found ourselves seated at a table next to Pele and Eric Cantona who were in Singapore to promote the New York Cosmos football team, yet despite their fame (or infamy in the case of Cantona), the fans and the media were not aware of their presence at this restaurant and hence were nowhere to be seen. You couldn't get away with this anywhere else along the Orchard Road stretch. In addition, the hotel has a dining programme for its restaurants whereby the hotel dining card entitles diners to a 20% discount on ala carte orders, including wines, which makes it a very good deal.

Speaking of wines, they have quite a simple selection with no exotic or high end wines in the list. This time, we picked the E. Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2006 which was a pleasant though uninspiring choice. It was served together with a beef carpaccio amuse bouche which was stuffed with what I thought were crunchy turnip and carrot strips.

At this restaurant, we typically prefer to order our favourites from the ala carte menu. The degustation menu always looks interesting and is good value for money, but from our experience the chef does the classics very well but it's sometimes hit-and-miss when he tries something different.

From the ala carte menu, we would usually start with the angel hair pasta with caviar and crab meat. This is always excellent, though not as good as the one at Gunther's (which uses better quality caviar for example but is double the price).

The lobster bisque is also a classic and is done very well. The soup is thick without being unduly salty.

For the main course, we always opt for the Angus ribeye which is grilled to perfection.

For dessert, unfortunately the flambe trolley was out of action that night. We have always liked the crepe suzette here but their flambe trolley broke down a few months ago and its replacement is only supposed to come in later this year. This time, they could still whip up the crepe suzette for us but it was prepared in the kitchen instead. Somehow it's not the same, as the grand marnier tasted too strong (I suspect they were not able to flambe this in the kitchen and simply poured the grand marnier over it).

Food: Good food at reasonable prices, unlikely to win any awards anytime soon though
Wines: Not its strongest suit. Bistro wine list
Ambience: Relaxed, has a sense of quiet elegance without being too fancy
Service: Very good. Long-serving wait staff who are very friendly

Camera: iPhone 4 (with Camera+ app)

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