French Bistros have that simple charm that I love – thick white table cloth that always make me cringe when I put down my wine glass, the French posters, and the bar that came straight out from Allo, Allo. Les Bouchons is all that and more.
Located in Chinatown, this hotspot is a charming area by day and buzzing enclave by night. The interconnected roads of Ann Siang Hill and Club Street have all you need for a quick recharge – from intimate restaurants to rooftop bars with sweeping views. Ann Siang Hill was originally known as Scott’s Hill, after its original owner Charles Scott, who cultivated nutmegs and cloves in the area. It was later sold to John Gemmill, a merchant and former auctioneer, and was renamed as Gemmill’s Hill. It was then sold to Chia Ann Siang in 1894 and renamed to Ann Siang Hill.
A bouchon is a type of restaurant found in Lyon, France, that serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, such as sausages, “salade lyonnaise”, duck pâté or roast pork. Compared to other forms of French cooking such as nouvelle cuisine, the dishes are quite fatty and heavily oriented around meat. Ann Siang’s vibes and atmosphere makes it the perfect enclave in Singapore to house the many bouchons in one square km block.
Established since 2002, Les Bouchons is amongst the first restaurants in Singapore to serve the traditional French staple called Steak Frites, which literally translates to “Steak and Fries”. Helmed by Chef Mickaël Cornac and his capable team, Les Bouchons is known among guests for offering consistency and quality food and wines at a great value throughout the years.
Soupe à L’oignon or French Onion Soup is a classic French soup made with caramelised yellow onions, beef stock and grilled Emmental cheese. It was good, the sweet caramelised onions came through beautifully, but the beef stock was too a bit runny. The Emmental cheese on baguette bread soaked through the soup and was a really good eat.
Historically, the rump steak was commonly used for this dish. More typically at the present time, the steak is an entrecôte also called rib eye, or scotch fillet (in Australia), pan-fried rare (“saignant“—literally “bloody”), in a pan reduction sauce, sometimes with hollandaise or béarnaise sauce, served with deep-fried potatoes (French fries).
The steak came with four different types of condiments, ranging from yellow mustard, hollandaise, béarnaise and wholegrain mustard.
Les Bouchons serves just this one dish (steak frites), yet make it so delicious and satisfying that nothing else would come close. While they have some other dishes for the bovine-challenged, it is steak frites that everyone would come for. The black pepper sauce was made in the traditional style and was brown instead of the shiny black that many other served.
Unfortunately their French fries were not good. Soggy and limp, they were fried to death. Even though they offered free flow of fries, we could not bear to finish this portion.
The straight up salad was simply tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wholegrain mustard. Cold and crisp, the salad helped to cut through the greasy steak.
So how does their steak frites compare with the others like Brasserie Gavroche and Bistro du Vin? The steak here was really good, but the fries was a let down. Brasserie Gavorche has a more balanced offering (good fries and steak), but it was Bistro du Vin that won the steak frites contest hands down.
Les Bouchons however compensated the fries with excellent service. The service staff made the place homely and exudes the bistro feel of Paris. And on this little street of Singapore, you can almost imagine that you are in Paris.
Les Bouchons Ann Siang – French Bistro & Steakhouse
7 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069689
Tel : +65 6423 0737
Visited on May 2022