Fresh from the weekend –
We headed to Le Chasseur to celebrate Father’s Day. My dad prefers simple Chinese food over fanciful Western food any day, and after reading Ladyironchef’s recommendation last week, I decided to give it a shot.
Did my research, read up on the restaurant prior to our visit, and made reservations for Sunday’s lunch just in case. I’m glad I did – it was fairly packed on a Sunday afternoon.
I went in with pretty high expectations, seeing how this restaurant is often talked about on local food blogs, even from years back.
My verdict: I was disappointed – but decided to blog about it anyway as there are also a few points worth mentioning.
I reckon this restaurant is often overlooked, but for those who have no idea where “31 New Bridge Road” is – it’s just across the road from Central mall. You should be on the side with Starbucks, and not the side facing Clarke Quay. It’s a few shops from the eternally packed bak kut teh stall, that you should know.
It’s a simple eatery – walls are plastered with pictures of its menu. This really helps, considering that their menu is only a slip of paper, like the ones you get at dim sum restaurants. It’s nice to dine at such places at times – sure, it’s great to be dining at a place with impressive decor, but then you tend to be paying for inflated prices too.
As a tip, order dishes with a star next to it in the menu. Been there, done that. Trust me, it works.
So, we ordered the Butter Oatmeal Beancurd as an appetiser. It was ok, if anything, just blah.
According to my research, they said the BBQ Live Prawns ($9.60) are a must-try. Really had my hopes up for this one, and I came tumbling down. The prawns were undeniably fresh, and it’s good for those who like things simple. From what I read online, the prawns are poached and grilled. I don’t usually suck the heads of prawns, but I would think that it must have been sweet.
We also ordered the Claypot Rice ($11 for small, $20 for big) and the Yam Rice (approximately $7 if I remember correctly) – both recommended by the restaurant. The Yam Rice was forgettable, and the Claypot Rice didn’t fare too badly – just too salty.
Other dishes we tried were : Salted Fish Eggplant and Prawn Paste Chicken. The former was pretty delectable – I don’t usually consume eggplant, but they fried this really well. As for the latter, don’t bother trying. Unlike typical Prawn Paste Chicken where it is presented on the bone, the meat is served in small bites, almost like KFC’s popcorn chicken. The chicken was dry, and I could barely taste a hint of the prawn paste. The accompanying chilli cincalok sauce was really yummy though.
Then, the highlight of our meal.
The restaurant’s chef and owner served us the Pork Knuckle which is definitely a must-try. You tend to find such pork knuckles at German restaurants, so the one at this Chinese outlet is definitely a refreshing find. The chef (oops, did not get his name!) was really friendly – he gave a quick introduction to consuming the dish. And for those who are body-conscious, he advises removing the fat in between the meat and skin. According to him, take some lean meat and skin, and dip it in the sauce (as pictured below and made of cucumber, onions, and starfruits).
I really like the pork knuckles here – the skin was crisp, oh yes, I forgot to mention, it’s fried FOUR TIMES. It’s not as cloying as I expected it to be, perhaps since I was having it with rice, but don’t forget the copious amount of Chinese tea. It goes really well with the dip as well.
Not forgetting the dessert, the Tau Suan was too sweet for all of us, and the White Fungus was pretty ok.
Overall, I am not as crazy about this place as compared to my fellow bloggers. In fact, I would only return for its pork knuckles. But if you’re looking for decent Chinese food in the Clarke Quay area, try Le Chasseur. Service was average, but if you get a chance to meet the chef, he is sure to make you feel at home. He’s a nice guy, sharing with us the history of the restaurant, and his past research (psst: he’s an approved scientist in Mauritius)
31 North Bridge Road
Tel: 6337 7677