I first read about Saveur while flipping through a magazine in our hotel room in Singapore. The article caught my attention since apparently here is where you can find "affordable French cuisine" and "foie gras for under S$15". French cuisine and affordable are two words that very rarely appear together.
I then read elsewhere that there is always a queue from the time the doors are opened for business, so unless you're early, you have to be prepared to wait. Wow, is it really that good? I was really curious.
Just before The Stone Roses concert, we decided to come here for dinner. We arrived at 5.58pm and the queue was crazy long! We couldn't get in the first seating so went to Menya Musashi for dinner instead. We returned the next day and the queue was much shorter this time (Monday) and it didn't really get busy until after we finished our meal around 7pm.
Saveur is the brainchild of two young and enterprising friends who decided to pursue their dreams of offering quality yet affordable French cuisine to the masses. They have previously worked at various fine dining restaurants such as Guy Savoy, Fifty Three and Tetsuya’s in Sydney.
Inside, the restaurant was quite basic but clean and comfortable. It is however, not a place to go for a romantic date as the noise levels can get quite high when it's busy. Furthermore, tables are placed very close to each other, to maximise the tables they can squeeze in. (Btw, think they opened up another space next door so perhaps the wait isn't so bad now)
Menu is a simple two-pager. Hubby and I ordered a few items to share. We started off the pan fried foie gras with lentils and pickled onion. There was the option of 35g or 70g of foie, obviously we went for the larger portion at S$14.90. Btw the food here is served in no particular order, hence you might get 3-4 dishes served to your table at the same time.
What we observed about the food here was: they were nicely presented, they certainly looked the part of "French cuisine" but what we ate that night were mostly under seasoned. Luckily, we managed to get hold of a salt shaker and added salt to all the dishes that we ordered. I think if the food was seasoned properly, it would definitely have been a memorable meal.
The foie gras was nicely seared, however it was quite stringy (the veins were too prominent).
There are 2 pasta dishes to choose from - we went for the angel hair pasta with tiger prawn and lumpfish caviar (S$6.90). The presentation was good, portion was very generous but it was just lacking the seasoning to make this a good dish. Again, we had to save it with the salt shaker.
We also ordered the crispy pork belly with poached egg and diced vegetables (S$10.90). I should mention that I am not a big fan of lentils, so I wasn't very pleased to see lentils again in this dish! Luckily Hubby ate my portion too :P The egg was perfectly cooked and the pork belly was decent too, but again, why is it underseasoned?
The confit of duck with orange segments and saute shitake (S$8.90) was definitely my favorite dish of the evening, as this was well-seasoned. The duck confit was nicely prepared with a crisp skin and juicy meat.
Walking past Raffles Hotel after our meal - majestic as always
Artwork at Swissotel lobby
The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley
Verdict: Saveur is an okay place if you want to try French cuisine without burning a hole in your wallet. The food had potential to be good but the restaurant should get their food seasoning right. I rather pay slightly more and eat at Gunther's (right opposite Saveur).
Opening times: 12:00 pm - 2:15 pm, 6:00 pm - 9:15 pm
Location: Saveur, 5 Purvis Street, Singapore 188584
Tel: +65 6333 3121
Nearest MRT: City hall