Full Saveur review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/saveur.html
Founded in May 2011 by enterprising young chefs Dylan Ong and Joshua Khoo, Saveur had a simple premise; provide tasty yet affordable French food for the masses.
Ambience at Saveur is simple, clean, and functional, though not that comfortable. Dark wooden tables and plastic chairs line the small space in the flagship Purvis Street outlet, lit by bright fluorescent lights. There is minimal decor here, and the cramped space is made stuffy and humid as a result of the open kitchen, and a weak air-conditioning. Definitely not a place to linger over meals. The other newer outlets tend to fare slightly better in air-conditioning, at least it's not uncomfortable.
Service at Saveur is decent, with staff offering greetings / goodbyes to diners. Guests arriving are quickly seated, and when asked, staff do display good product knowledge, able to describe in simple terms the various items on the menu, as well as offer recommendations. Orders are fulfilled quickly, usually within 10 minutes even during peak periods. Staff also turn over and set tables quickly. However, they're not proactive or observant, you'll usually have to prompt them to serve the next course, and there is minimal engagement.
Food at Saveur is rustic, straight forward, classic traditional French dishes. Dishes may not look pretty, but they pack good flavour and are tasty, with the main ingredient being the star of each plate. Portions are medium small, nicely sized for individuals. Prices are more affordable as compared to elsewhere, and Saveur is possibly among the cheapest, good quality French food in Singapore. Budget about SGD $33 per person for a 3 course meal without drinks here.
The lovely Salmon Confit (SGD $10.90) features a medium sized, half confit fillet of fresh salmon, served on a bed of crunchy chives, kombu, apple slices, and fennel, tossed in a zesty citrus lemon vinaigrette, with capers on the side. The beautifully pink, half-cooked salmon fish flesh is tender, clean, and smooth, and the crust of pepper and spring onions lend a burst of flavour. The salmon skin is fried till crisp, and crunches satisfiyingly. More than art on a plate with its beautiful presentation, it's deliciously light and extremely tasty. Highly recommended!
The Pork Belly (SGD $12.90) features thick yet tender slices of pork belly, savoury with a silver of fat between the layers of succulent meat, topped with a crisp skin. Served on a bed of Garbure French ham and vegetable stew, consisting of soft melt-in-your-mouth cannellini beans, salty pancetta ham, cabbage, peas, carrots, along with a sous vide egg. A dash of pepper, and a streak of sharp mustard, and this delicious, hearty, French comfort dish is complete. Loved it, would order again. Highly recommended!
Well, just forget about the plain ikea-style furniture and high noise level. You are here for a good reason: The true and genuine French cuisine du terroir.
Ok I confess, I am French, but it doesn't mean my judgement is paramount. Am just sharing: this is the only place in Singapore where I found the taste, the saveur of hearty though subtle French food. Everything is just right: duck confit with duck leg cooked to crispy perfection, foie gras in different cooking modes, etc etc
Don't believe me? just give it a try cos it won't hurt you fooding budget too. Excellent value for such quality products meal. Why ? no fancy French angmo chef, or sommelier. Just talent in the kitchen and foodstuff sourcing make it a true French heartland cuisine experience.
Saveur, translated from French means flavour. One of the few restaurants that appeared on the French casual dining scene. You will be amazed by the level of popularity here. 10 full minutes before the restaurant is due to be opened on a typical weekday, there is a queue snaking outside. Less than half an hour after the doors have opened, the restaurant is half-filled. Ironically, I was part of the “kiasu” queue as well.
Please visit http://whattoeatah.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/saveur-savour-the-flavour/ for the complete review and uploaded photos.
For more photos, please visit Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow.
The joy of being a food reviewer–some call me gourmet emeritus–is coming across people who share the same utopian version as me. This happens rarely but it happens at Saveur, an unassuming restaurant along Purvis Street. The culinary experience is magical.
A magazine wrote that Saveur, originally from a kopitiam, has “moved up” but I don’t think that’s what Saveur thinks of itself. “Moving up” implies a sort of ranking and superiority, ranking restaurants over hawkers; that is elitism and snobbery written all over the usage of phrase “moving up.” Restaurants and hawker centers/kopitiams are different realms that offer different experiences but they can be equally good experiences. The purpose of changing location isn’t about “moving up.” The chef told me, “I want to bring good food to people of all classes.” Changing location for Saveur means it can reach a larger crowd; there is no elitism here. Which is why the price of food hasn’t changed from hawker to this new restaurant. How can the restaurant survive with selling French/mod-sin food at hawker prices at a prime location?? That is why we respect and support Saveur’s idealism, that they don’t want much profit, they want to serve the people, to treat all people equally.
The young chef has worked in top French restaurants such as French Kitchen, Guy Savoy, and Fifty-three, but the food isn’t strictly French. It is more of a mod-sin food (modern singaporean) food.
Pan fried foie gras with lentils and pickled onion (35g-$7.90, 70g-$14.90) must be the most affordable foie gras in Singapore. The lentils lend an Indian flavor and the pickled onion really packs a vinegary punch. While the flavors are disparate and don’t really enhance each other, the foie gras is pitch-perfect, one of the best cooked foie gras I have eaten recently, better than all the top restaurants. The chefs have expertise! Buttery, melts in your mouth but firm on the fork. It does have a bit of liver stench but, for the price I am paying, it is still within an acceptable range.
There is a fine line between blandness and subtlety; too little of something and it becomes bland; too much and it becomes crude. This Angel hair pasta with sherry minced pork and sakura ebi ($3.90) belongs to the subtle sublime: it is impeccably nuanced and wonderfully balanced. Costing as much as your neighbourhood bak chor mee and tasting like bak chor mee, the angel hair is gorgeously plated. The sakura shrimps look like they are inedible decorations. The minced pork is completely pulverized into a paste (can you see the paste in the photo?), so that when you mix the paste into the pasta, each strand is coated, giving a consistent taste. The black bits are kombu seaweed, used in many Japanese dishes and Chinese soup. There are also chili oil, garlic, lime, shallot, etc.
Though just a tad oily, it tastes like a non-spicy, beautifully subtle bak chor mee. You first taste the sweetness of wheat and then finish off with a slight undertone of saltiness of non-spicy hae bee hiam. Amazingly complex spectrums of taste in this simple-looking dish.
While the mashed potato and shitake mushrooms are run-of-the-mill, the duck confit($8.90) is radically different from French restaurants’. Duck confit in French restaurants tend to be super, super salty because it is the French way. But here, done the Singapore way, the salt is reduced. If Old Chang Kee chicken wings and KFC have a baby, it would taste like this duck confit that is easily shredded.
Who else is sick of chocolate desserts? I am, so I ordered the textures of citrus ($6.90) which consist blood orange pudding; orange ice shaving, freeze-dried pineapple, two segments of grape fruit, a segment of lemon, a segment of orange, topped with feuilletine (those crispy biscuit bits) and chinese water cress.
The result: a symphony of refreshing variations of the citrus note. So original, so reinvigorating. What an extraordinary way to finish off a perfect 3-course meal (ok, in my instance, it’s 4-course, but hey! I need to sample a wide range of food to critique right?).
Service: Don’t except them to serve you course-by-course (hey, remember the price ok?). They serve everything at once but that’s perfectly fine with me. The server is very knowledgable and, together with the pregnant cashier, is very friendly. I feel like I am at a friend’s place, very welcoming. In fact, I think the entire team in Saveur are friends and their warmth pervades the ambience. That being said, I am slightly miffed that I wasn’t informed that water costs 30 cents. I might have ordered a drink instead of water. However, given how reasonably priced everything is, I didn’t mind paying that 30 cents. I’m just being a fusspot.
I ate two persons’ portions and paid $29 for four courses. It is the BEST $29 I have ever spent. Every dish is perfect. Theoretically speaking, a person can spend as little as $4 on a bowl of pasta but the food is so good you’ll order more. This is one of the best eateries in 2012. If RERG picks a restaurant to represent our food philosophy, it would be like Saveur, serving affordable good food to everyone, no discrimination or hate, just joy and love.
A waitor wrote our order but did not pass to the kitchen. We waited for 45 mins for nothing after realizing the orders for the next table who came later arrive first. The waitor looked like he was not interested to serve us. Ambience is noisy like market place. A bad experience for us.