Tue - Fri: 12:00 - 14:30
Tue - Fri: 18:30 - 22:30
Sat - Sun: 18:30 - 22:30
Located at Dempsey Road, Pamplemousse is an European bistro and bar specialising in French and Italian cuisine with a fusion twist. Owner cum chef Adrian Ling seeks to create an epicurean experience with his signature creations such as Toast & Milo and Uni Tagliolini.
While I like classic European fare, I also like it when I find unexpected touches in well-loved dishes.
When the chef is a young Singaporean, it is likely that the unexpected will include Asian ingredients such as miso, nori, lychees and laksa leaf. And if he is well-travelled as chef Adrian Ling and his wife Cleo Chiang-Ling are, chances are, there will also be some modern deconstructions of the classic recipes.
The young couple, newcomers to the Dempsey food scene, now run a small but very interesting European bistro and bar called Pamplemousse.
All these characteristics can be spotted, even on their set lunch menu, which is offered at a very competitive $38 for three courses.
The French onion soup “breakfast”, for example, was a bowl of soup and bread, but what an offering it turned out to be. Aside from the soup, there were also crisp brioche slices, melting cheese squares and a round of truffled nori butter to add even more richness to the bite!
Likewise, dessert was a deconstructed cannoli. By right, this should be a crisp Italian pastry filled with ricotta cheese, but this one came with the cannoli shells, soft ricotta filling, dessert sauce and a trail of chopped pistachios and chocolate, all separated. An unfortunately too-sweet berry soup moistens the palate.
Indeed, there are so many elements to every dish that the menu reads like an ingredient list. It is only when you put them into your mouth, do you realise what great combinations many of them are.
I mean how could anyone go wrong with this combo: crisp confit of duck leg with braised red cabbage and a wonderful whole lychee sauce? Some roasted potato slices helped fill the gaps if there were any left!
This dish totally overshadowed the Spanish ham-wrapped threadfin, which however had interesting accompaniments of oyster mushrooms and a tasty if rather skimpy laksa leaf emulsion.
While the set lunch comes with a dessert of the day, the above-mentioned cannoli, I was attracted by the ala carte offering of “toast & Milo” ($15). This was again a delicious brioche, served with all the well-loved flavours of childhood: Milo ice cream and Nutella soil. I was a happy child again!
But there are adult pleasures, too–not least a weekend brunch menu with touches that would please a grown-up palate. I refer to their sophisticated breakfast offerings of baked eggs with foie gras, omelette with oysters and caviar, poached eggs benedict with jamon Iberica (Spanish ham) and scrambled eggs with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil, all costing between $15 and $26 a plate.
Indeed, with clever touches like these, I think I wouldn’t mind it at all if the classics were overturned entirely!
-- Sylvia Tan
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they have a pretty cool fusionish menu, which I think would be a tad overpriced if going à la carte, but perfecty delightful at lunch-set-price, which is also offered on weekends (a nice gesture not often seen in restaurants). the food was generally surprisingly good and better than average, even if it wasn’t remarkably outstanding. and perhaps the best recommendation I can give is that I see myself coming back here again.
the place is done up really nicely, in one of those colonial-style buildings common in dempsey with high ceilings and impeccably neat and modern furnishings. cosy inside, it has a surprising number of tables placed rather close to each other, but the place was quiet enough that we could chat. service was also helpful and friendly – and I think the food came at a good speed.
For pictures and the full review from VeganAsh, click here!
I’m often lured into many restaurants in Dempsey by their good marketing efforts only to be disappointed by generic and uninspiring menus. But recently, Pamplemousse reignited my interest in the area with their combination of flawless service and creative European cuisine made with superior ingredients. The ambience is ideal for a business lunch or a semi-formal date.
When I surveyed Pamplemousse’s rather short menu, I was surprised to find that the only vegan friendly/vegan-izable item was a salad. As I was accustomed to doing in the more upmarket restaurants in town (where chefs are typically more flexible and enjoy more artistic license with the dishes offered), I asked the manager if it was possible to custom-make a vegan dish. You could imagine the happy glow on my face when he unexpectedly brandished a vegetarian menu from behind a counter. God knows why Pamplemousse does not insert the vegetarian menu within the main menu as most restaurants with vegetarian menus do, especially since it was clear that at least an equal amount of time and effort was invested into the vegetarian menu. It was certainly one of the best I’ve seen in town. Here’s a good idea of what to expect:
Perfectly cooked fresh artichoke, sweet toasted pine nuts, juicy seared mango cubes and cherry tomatoes mixed with a base of extremely fresh baby spinach and crisp rocket leaves, and topped off with a slightly tangy starfruit and kalamansi dressing. Dried, sweet and crispy starfruit chips made for an interesting addition. Highly recommended. ($18)
Saffron and Pandan Quinoa “Risotto” (sans cheese)
I’m always happy to see the superfood quinoa in local restaurants (it is way too rare!) and Pamplemousse did it justice – the dish featured perfectly fluffy and slightly crunchy quinoa with a hint of saffron and the subtle aroma of pandan. Another highlight of the dish was the fresh and juicy roasted cherry tomatoes, which happily popped and burst into sweet explosions in my mouth with a slight pressure. However, I wasn’t quite as impressed by the smoked shitake (lacked flavour), caramelized cauliflower (too soft), the plain French beans (boring), and the haricot beans (ditto). On the whole, I enjoyed the “risotto” but it needed something more to be sensational. ($22)
For pictures and the full review, click here!