So off we went to the quaint stretch of eateries at Holland Village, where Au Petit Salut is located. After our orders were placed, the bread basket was served. Nothing extraordinary, typical French white baguette slices, lightly toasted. I thought the butter could have been a bit more room-temperature as I watched J struggle to cut off a piece, and after much diffculty, managed to spread it rather unevenly onto his bread.
Now, moving onto the appetizers, there was a vast selection of 6 choices. After much pondering, I decided to go with the soup of day, which was the Prawn Consomm'e and J, Half Dozen Baked Burgundy Snails with Tomato & Garlic Butter.
The soup was rich in prawn flavour and there were a few bits of chopped-up prawns at the bottom of the bowl. In my opinion, no soup is soup when they are less than hot (aka lukewarm) so lucky for the restaurant, the consomm'e passed the "soup" definition, a good temperature just right below tongue-burning hot. But this dish resembled our Singaporean Hokkien Prawn Noodle Soup too closely, so much so I cannot associate it with French cuisin so I would not really care to order this in future again.
I had a chance to try J's main course (sorry for the bad picture), which was the catch of the day, Japanese Yellowtail, with Fennel and Orange Creme Sauce. Unfortunately, this dish was the let-down of the entire meal. The yellowtail is a firm white-fleshed fish, and it was lightly pan-fried in this dish, such that it remained moist. Alas, sans the freshness of each of the ingredients, combination of all failed to blend together. The sauce was rather sweet and failed to compliment the fennel or the fish. As a result, the overall taste was slightly off-putting. J and I decided that e that lunch specials are usually a time for the chef to test new creations and we concurred that this dish was an experiment gone wrong. While we were disappointed, we also hope it does make it to the permanent menu.
Finally, I chose to go with Choux Buns filled with Vanilla Ice Cream in Warm Chocolate Sauce, as I did not wish to be disappointed again because I figured it would be rather difficult to mess up good ice cream, chocolate sauce and choux pastry. I was right :). The dessert came out looking good. Each bun was a good portion and remained slightly crispy. It went well with the rich and smooth vanilla ice cream and the addition of sliced toasted almonds and chocolate sauce only added on to the decadent feeling when combined together with a bit of pastry and ice cream. Despite looking rich, the dessert was surprisingly light and wonderful!
J decided to go with the Apricot and Chocolate Mousse on a Chocolate Cake Base, with Rich Chocolate Ice Cream, which looked just ordinary on the platter. I thought the separation of the 3 parts, ice cream, mousse cake and blueberries, would be better off being physically closer. Maybe it is because the mousse was not as cold as I would have preferred. To have to scoop up first the blueberries, then a bit of the cake and a bit of chocolate ice cream, seemed rather troublesome and not the best idea when the ice cream was already starting to melt fast and furious. Personally, I also did not like the combination of chocolate ice cream with the blueberries. But J thought it was all right.
Overall, Au Petit Salut still offers a good ambience, good service and a good lunch special. Would I pay dinner prices? Probably not anytime soon. I seriously hope the chef would read this: make use of your staff as taste-testers first, before offering your new creations on the menu.
But I love Holland Village so I'll be around..