Its not news that I was a great fan of the food at Casse Croûte by the previous owner and chef Patrick. Even since he close his shop and it was taken over by his friend, I had not been back since.
So one Thursday night I decided to drop by. When I stepped in there was any customers and it was blasting with Thai music. I did a double-take because I thought it had closed and converted to a Thai restaurant!
Fortunately, it was not sure, the music soon turned into soft American pop music once I got seated.
Being a great fan of the previous owner, I really try not to compare the food and try to taste it on its own. As I sat down to look at the menu, one of the lady in the restaurant who is apparently the wife of the chef owner told me that they also served Thai food.
As far as branding goes, I not sure how this will work in a mainly french restaurant. Perhaps the Thai food is really good and it will be an alternative for people sick of french food there, but from the experiences of the previous owner, I really doubt people would go there for Thai food. To me, it is obviously not a business decision unless your wife is a top notch Thai cook herself. Well, the things an owner have to do to please his wife even if it means diluting a relatively unknown brand name, especially when there are hardly any write ups in google.
The setup is pretty simple and its a pretty small cafe with maximum 30 persons max?
The complimentary bread and butter is always a favorite. Yummy breads with creamy butter to start off your meal with.
The escargot is what french-styled escargot should be, no surprises here. Escargot baked in herbed butter.
The lobster bisque was not as creamy or smooth as many of those that I have tried, but it has a nice seafood umami and roasty flavour, imparted by roasting the shells of either lobsters or prawns. Not a bad choice of soup.
For mains, I decided to try grass-fed sirloin with salad and ratatouille. The ratatouille was yummy, the vegetables are well sauteed and the sauce of just right balance of tartness. The grass-fed sirloin however was tough and grainy and a taste much more gamey than regular beef. All these are actually expected for grass-fed beef. However, the knife that I was given was not meant to cut it and I had a really had time slicing them. Furthermore, it was very chewy and too a lot of effort to eat. Don’t take me wrong, the beef was done well, to me it was just the wrong choice of cuts for this type of meat. I really don’t know how many people would enjoy it. Personally, I thought that given the gamey nature of the meat and the toughness, they should choose a much more tender cut or braise it instead. I suggested to them that they could serve the sirloin in slices instead, but I am not sure if this would safe the dish.
For desserts, it was the Valrhona chocolate mousse with fruit toppings. The mousse was smooth, creamy and delicious. The fruits and nuts balances the sweetness of the mousse very well. However, once you finished all the fruits at the top, you are left with all mousse to finish and this can be overwhelming and too sweet. What could be improved is that the add another layer of fruits in the middle so that you continue to have fruits to balance with the sweetness and creaminess of the mousse. Or they charge less and serve with half the amount of mousse, which I felt was probably just right for one person anyway.
My review would sound like this place is totally not worth going. On the contrary, I would like go back there for a second opinion and try what they are good for like the rillette, stewed beef, duck confit, etc. Unfortunately, the food that I had ordered was so far had not excited me. They were mostly ordinary, not bad, but not outstanding or exciting neither. But like I have said, I would like to take a second opinion and try something else next time and see how it scores.