The UnProfessional Chef

A girl's commentary on food, cooking and all things delicious!

Location: Singapore

A closet food critic and wannabe chef who loves the art of cooking and enjoying great cuisine in the company of great friends!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Another Dazzling Bistro

We’d heard about Racine from the same Times review that praised Galvin and had also heard consistently good things about the place from other reviewers and bloggers. It certainly matched up to our lofty expectations and proved that good French food can be found in many places on the 'wrong' side of the English Channel.

Significantly more old-school in look and feel than Galvin (it was located in Knightsbridge after all) and with much dimmer romantic lighting (which was a cause of exasperated bemusement for a neighbouring diner who was completely unable to read his bill due to the lack of light), the service was just as impeccably polished and friendly. We came away extremely satisfied that evening having had our palates and minds tickled by the 'more than the usual' bistro dishes.

I had a very good value prix fixe menu for £17.50 which offered a sufficiently wide variety of options and looked nothing like the usual scrimped on versions of set menus at other establishments. To start, I had Poached Skate with Pink Fir Apple Potatoes and Caper Mayonnaise. The tiny potatoes were wonderfully sweet and went well with the heavy mayonnaise and tender fish.

Poached Skate with Pink Fir Apples and Caper Mayonnaise

Mr UnProfessional Chef had a Garlic and Saffron Mousse with Mussels. Amazingly luscious and rich, the robust dish, both in size and flavour, was just what a French bistro should serve. The paper-thin reservation I had about both our starters was just this – they were just so heavy and rich that we were stuffed by the end of our first course. Perhaps our Asian palate just could not stomach all of that creaminess. Just a very tiny complaint though and largely due to our own greediness in picking these ultra-rich dishes.

Garlic and Saffron Mousse with Mussels

Two birds followed. I had Pheasant served with Red Cabbage and Tarragon Chantilly – again super heavy (just look at the huge size of the scoop of chantilly!) but delicious. The meat was lovely and tender and the red cabbage lent a nice sharpness to complement the rich tarragon chantilly.

Pheasant served with Red Cabbage and Tarragon Chantilly

A whole tiny Roast Partridge served with Savoy Cabbage and Chocolate Sauce arrived for Mr UnProfessional Chef. This proved to be an interesting combination and was scrumptious. The partridge, which we’d only previously encountered in a pear tree around Christmas, was beautifully roasted – crisp on the outside and tenderly moist inside.

Roast Partridge served with Savoy Cabbage and Chocolate Sauce

My set meal ended with a perfect Apple Crumble with Custard. Although the least exciting dish of the night, it was fresh and had a nice bite and had obviously been prepared with much pride despite being a fairly common and pedestrian dessert.

Apple Crumble with Custard

Again seeking a light touch for the end of dinner, Mr UnProfessional Chef had a ‘Colonel’ or lemon sorbet with ice cold Russian vodka. Certainly not your kid’s ice cream! Very mouthwateringly fresh and a soothing balm for our overly creamed stomachs.

Racine is 'must-eat' for all lovers of French bistro food.

239 Brompton Road
London SW3 2EP
Open everyday


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