When asked in an interview, “In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?”
Daniel Boulud, he answered, “I bitch at (everyone including) myself about making everything perfect.”
Such is the perfectionism of this chef.
And you know, Daniel Boulud and dining at his restaurants, really is special. This French chef has the gift of being able to blend familiar flavors with the unusual. He routinely triumphs in “why-didn’t-anyone-else-think-of-it” feats such as turning a mundane burger, into a gourmet feast, and I always look forward to anything new they might have to offer on the menu.
So, at db Bistro Moderne, home of the famed “db Burger“, is a place you can find, Daniel Boulud’s contemporary interpretation of many Parisian classic as well as good old fashioned American favourites. It is a restaurant where traditional French cuisine meets the flavors of the American and Asian market. Dining here is casual, and it is more about the quality of fine ingredients served in a casual setting than it is about hoity toity dining. This is one of Singapore’s top-rated bistros and having dined here several times in the past, we can see why.
From hearty breakfasts to delicious lunch and dinners, db Bistro Moderne is packed around the clock, with families, couples and folks walking around Marina Bay Sands shopping mall hoping to catch a bite. And did we forget to mention that this was a great pre- and post-theater destination? The bistro is, after all, situated directly opposite the Marina Bay Sands Theater and it was for this precise convenience, that we picked db Bistro Moderne for a quick dinner, before catching Le Noir, later that night.
To go with our meal, we had the Tour des Gendres, Bergerac 2011 as well as the Château Mas Neuf, Costières de Nîmes, Compostelle 2005
Wild Mushroom Soup – Sunchoke Confit, Chive Chantilly
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for gnarly, knobby vegetables. I am of course referring to the bulbous tubers called sunchokes. I love their nutty, earthy taste, which I think is somewhat of a cross between potato and mushroom with a slight hint of artichoke. This wild mushroom soup of sunchoke confit was warm, earthy and nutty without being really heavy. Finished it with a little cream and fresh chive chantilly, though fresh thyme would be equally delicious – perfect to wrap your mouth around a spoonful of this, on a cold, rainy night.
Seared Tuna Confit, Tomatoes, Boiled Egg, Potatoes, Olives, Fine Beans, Tonnato Dressing
db Bistro Moderne’s version of the Salad Nicoise is a gorgeous mixed salad of tomatoes, fine beans and potatoes topped with tuna and anchovies and dressed with a creamy tonnato, and served on a bed of lettuce. The tuna was lightly seared with a nice rosy center and the most addictive hard-boiled eggs and Nicoise olives were the perfect accompaniments that completed the salad.
Tarte Flambée – Alsatian Flat Bread, Fromage Blanc, Bacon, Onion
Midway through our dinner, a waiter came around offering slices of smoky bacon tarte flambée, the Alsatian flat-bread pizza topped with fromage blanc, caramelized onions, and crisped lardon. Think a thinner, crispier version of the pizza, and you wouldn’t be far off the mark. The tarte Flambée also known as flammekueche and flammkuchen, was said to have been created by Alsatian bread bakers who would use it to test the heat of their ovens. At peak temperature, the tart would cook in just one or two minutes, the edges of the thin pie nearly burned by the heat of the flames, hence the name. What a clever creation!
Orecchiette Pasta – Spicy Pork & Tomato Ragoût, Basil, Parmesan
The great thing about dining in Singapore, is that pork is readily available on every menu. Italian for “little ears,” orecchiette are those nickel-sized round noodles that look like tiny hats or flying saucers. They catch sauces beautifully and this spicy pork pasta was nothing short of fantastic. What is it about the sweetness imparted by pork that cannot be replicated with any other meat..? A great pasta dish to order if you are dining at db Bistro Moderne.
Moules Marinieres – Celery, Fennel, Tomato, White Wine, Garlic Fries
Finally we had the Normandy classic making an appearance. Surely moules marinieres is the quintessential French holiday dish. The combination of spanking fresh seafood, wine and shallots accompanied by large hunks of crusty baguette is an intoxicating one. These fresh mussels that are either cooked in dry cider or white wine, add sweet and sour flavours, that work well with the sweetness of the shellfish. The wine and shallot and herb reduction at the bottom of the bowl, will have you drinking every last drop, or if you want to be more civilized, asks the waiter for more bread to tear up for dipping!
Jackfruit Verrine – Coconut Tapioca, Lime, Jackfruit & Palm Sugar Ice Cream
An interesting, refreshing dessert of Jackfruit Verrine – Coconut Tapioca, Lime, Jackfruit & Palm Sugar Ice Cream completes dinner. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to try the famed king of fruits (or should I say, king of pong) the Durian Souffle, brainchild of db Bistro Moderne’s Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Siwek, but we vowed to return next time for this.
mini madeleines sprinkled with icing sugar .. a pleasure to eat!
Then it was time to catch Le Noir. Le Noir (booked via the #YourSingapore Live website) turned out to be a terrific circus spectacular, held at the Sand’s Theater Marina Bay Sand (across from db moderne) and this act came direct from a sold-out world-premiere season in Tokyo. Think cirque du soleil and you won’t be far off the mark. We had a great time – this show comes highly recommended. Definitely a must watch!
db Bistro Moderne,
B1-48, Galleria Level,
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands,
Tel: +65 6688 8525