100 Turf Club Road, off Bukit Timah.
Call +65 6877 1191
The equestrian-themed gastro-pub Picotin Bistro & Bar near Turf City is perfect for a Friday night when you’re looking for a friendly atmosphere and some Frenchified grazing, but somehow Roy and I had lost the habit. News of their latest menu took us back.
This buzzing eve of the weekend, there’s a good house of expats and locals, couples and families. According to effervescent owner-partner Jacky Stevens, the mix changes all the time; she says the breakfast menu is very popular with mothers on the go.
While the big, rustic bar and casual outdoor seating is the same as ever, the menu is definitely fancier than we remember it. That must have something to do with Kiwi chef Kacey Whaitiri-Roberts, who was previously at St Pierre’s; he came to the Emmanuel Stroobant group (to which Picotin belongs) via Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London’s Claridges hotel, and a stint in Copenhagen, and is, he says, slowly working his way back home to Hawke’s Bay … very slowly.
From the starting gate, duck-leg terrine, shallots, potatoes and crispy duck skin ($17) goes down well with Picotin’s own bread, which you can buy at any time in the adjacent bakery. That’s fancy enough, but then there’s the tomato trio ($18): richly roasted tomato tart, a little tomato stuffed with ratatouille, and a slightly acidic gazpacho topped with rocket foam, no less. We’re pleased to see that our erstwhile favourite, classic beef tartare with French fries ($19), is still on the menu.
For mains, the roasted sea bass with artichoke Lyonnaise, char-grilled squid and white wine sauce ($32) is a delight, the fish just cooked, as it should be. The slow-braised lamb shoulder with feta and warm vegetable salad ($28) is another success, the tasty cut cooked gently for hour to a meaty tenderness.
For the final furlong, don’t bother trying to resist the chocolate medley ($15), a sumptuous platter of hazelnut praline tart, dark chocolate mousse, chocolate terrine and white chocolate sorbet, garnished with wicked, kirsch-soaked maraschino cherries and candied pecans. Giddy up!