This year, The Eye sadly says goodbye to two iconic reporters (and current media editors), Mi Le Jang and Chloe Venn. Since 2016, this passionate pair of filmmakers have fostered a wonderful gal-mance in the Media Lab. You can catch them sitting side-by-side in front of Final Cut Pro, working hard, or gossiping, giggling, maybe even singing ABBA in a low whisper.
When Mi Le approached Chloe with the idea to make a ‘date edition’ of a Mood for Food, it sounded like a delicious plan. They had made one before as first year reporters, so it was like coming full circle. The pair decided to try out Bistro Du Vin in Shaw Center, along Orchard Road. The restaurant claims to be the “most authentic French bistro, serving affordable cuisine and wines in a buoyant atmosphere of joie-de-vivre (enjoyment of life).” They put their formula of film + french food + friendship to the test, and this was their result:
When first stepping into Bistro Du Vin, you will notice the paintings, photos, and posters on every wall, a black chalkboard with the specials list, the tiled floor and French windows. It is an intimate establishment that seats 60 diners at most. Every element of the place breathes character, be it jovial, romantic, or nostalgic. Chloe’s personal favorite decor was a large poster of Yves Montand from the 1983 movie ‘Garçon!’.
According to Bistro Du Vin’s founders, “no effort or expense has been spared in creating an ambience typical of a similar establishment in France, from the furnishing right down to the convivial service style, music and memorabilia decorating its walls.” True, the restaurant had a foreign design and feeling which was unlike typical Singaporean restaurants. While the service staff was friendly, their weren’t very lively; the music playing was not French, but were top hits from pop artists like Bruno Mars, which Chloe regarded as a bit out-of-place and distracting.
The pair met the bistro’s director, Philippe Pau, whose bubbly personality and French accent best embodied the essence of the restaurant. Chloe ordered a vegetarian dish, ‘Risotto de Petits Légumes’ while Mi Le opted for a traditional dish, ‘Joue de boeuf’ (beef cheek). Afterwards, Philippe asked “why not more?” So, they added Ratatouille to the list. As he left the table, Mi Le turned around, pointed at the Yves Montand poster, and asked, in all seriousness, “is that him?!” Chloe laughed and informed her that it wasn’t, but the two did indeed look alike.
Every item on the menu is written in French and English, so its easy to find which mouth-watering dish appeals to you. There is a wide selection of red meat, duck, fish, and also vegetarian options. Some are very typical French dinners, like French onion soup ($18) or duck confit, served with lyonnaise potatoes and salad ($38). Others are more experimental and showcase the chefs’ twist on the cuisine, for instance the Sea-bass carpaccio, with citrus dressing, passion fruit & pomegranate ($22).
Chloe and Mi Le’s meal began with a complimentary warm baguette served with a dish French butter. For some thing so simple, it was so delicious. They tried not to fill up on bread, but both found it to have a perfectly crunchy crust and light, fluffy center. With a generous spread of butter, the bread was très magnifique. 5/5 stars.
Next, the meals arrived. Chloe’s dish was an impressive presentation of fresh, colorful vegetables atop a bed of bright green risotto. It tasted very nutritious, with a harmony of subtle flavors. Mi Le’s beef cheek arrived in a petite black pot, and it was steaming hot, permeating the salty aroma of cooked meat. The meat was expertly cooked, and Mi Le enjoyed the velvety-smooth mashed potatoes on the side. Both earned 4/5 stars, because the risotto could have been warmer, and the beef cheek was flavourful, but not spectacular. They shared the side dish of ratatouille, which was Chloe’s favorite item (she ate 90% of it), and it earned 4.5/5 stars.
To finish the meal, they ordered another classic for dessert: Crème brûlée. The burnt-sugar on top of rich, thick sweet cream was marvellous. Out of all of the French restaurants Chloe has visited before in Singapore, she remarked that this was her best by far. It earned 4.5/5 stars. For the relatively inexpensive price of $10, it is definitely a recommended treat.
Overall, Mi Le and Chloe’s ratings for the restaurant are as follows:
- Food: 4/5 stars
- Service: 5/5 stars
- Atmosphere: 4/5 stars
- Location: 4/5 stars
If you want to have a truly unique dining experience with an intimate setting and delicious food at a convenient location, Bistro du Vin might just be the place for you.
1 Scotts Rd, #01 – 14, Singapore 228208
- Monday to Sunday: 12–2pm, 6:30–10pm