Sunday, July 17, 2011


If you ever wanted to dine along a side walk cafe and enjoy French food without burning a whole in your pocket, 
Saveur [sah vere] at East Coast Road is ready to impress you with their servings.  Okay it's not the charms of side walk cafes of Paris but an old coffee shop with walkways uniquely name Ali Baba Eating House at the corner of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road.  Saveur in french means flavour and the two chief chefs have aptly named their foodstall to bring you the flavours of French cooking that comes with finesse touch to the sous vide preparation method of each course that you order and even the crockery used says it all about fine dining.

It's heartwarming to be able to savour French cuisine without the pompous fine dining experience and yet the food taste so good despite the odd surroundings of a coffeeshop that boast the original and popular "tau kwa pau" and a Filipino stall as a neighbour as well.  You wont get clean creaseless white tablecloths and fine table settings or waiters in waiting to dine in comfort but the servings more than make up for these.   At a fraction of the price for dining at a French restaurant, you will get more than you bargain for and without compromising on the quality and taste of French gourmet experience.

                      Joshua on the right and Dylan in the centre with the new recruit on the left.

Two friends and classmates trained at Shatec Joshua Khoo, 27 and Dylan Ong, 24 both christians from the same church have visions to offer French cuisine that makes it affordable for everyone to savour.   The inspiration to set up stall came after having worked in Tetsuya's Sydney for a week, an experience that pushed Joshua to further up his ante to prove himself a mark in the culinary circle and he is now taking big strides in his path, followed by further experiences in Guy Savoy and Fifty Three and they are not stopping here.  They have dreamt of  bigger expansion plans to fulfill but for now it is hard toil at the hot cramped kitchen.  

The stall has gained popularity and business has picked up despite starting only 3 months ago.  The only contentious issue with diners is the waiting time which they are trying to improve not because they cannot speedup the servings but it's about French cooking and each course has to be handled with a keen eye on details on the finer steps, preparation and touches that warrant attention and time.  Currently they have roped in a younger chef, introduced by the coffeeshop uncle and all I could recall when told of this was Jamie Oliver's community project.

Most of the dishes are under SGD10.00 including Foie Gras and Joshua uses his method of optimised slicing to achieve this serving at such an affordable price.  The menu mostly read of fine dining starters and mains.  The Angelhair pasta being a surefire winner is at an astounding SGD3.00 only to go with your Main course.  The pasta noodle presentation accentuates the dish and the versatile chefs have added fine Japanese seaweed that makes it look like black pepper but without the peppery taste.

You can order Foie Gras 30g at only SGD7.50 that sits on a bowl of peas;  the Duck Leg Confit was delightfully tasty with meat that tenderly falls off when you bite.  It is served with a very refined mashed potato and the price is a steal at SGD8.90. 

The Pan Fried Cod SGD12.90 as simple as it sounds is a beautifully crafted dish that comes with cous cous.  The fish is seared brown on one side and it is delectably tasty.

Foodstall No. 3 Ali Baba Eating House
125 East Coast Road
Singapore 428810
Tel: 91250124

Lunch Opening Hours
Monday ~ Saturday 11.00am till 2pm
(except Sunday closed for lunch)

Dinner Opening Hours
Monday ~ Saturday 6.00pm till 9.30pm
(except Wednesday closed for dinner)

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