Since opening its door last February, I am unsure how many times I have been to Balzac Brasserie. Located at the newly renovated Rendezvous Grand Hotel, this quaint bistro has been serving out delicious comforting French classics at a very reasonable price.
Each meal at Balzac will start with a bread basket. At every visit, a different variety of bread is offered to me and most importantly, they are always piping warm. Each basket is usually accompanied by herbed butter and salmon rillettes (the latter was changed when I was there recently). I had to show some restraint and not fill my stomach with bread.
One of the must-have for me is their Dubois’ lobster bisque (S$16). This rich broth is served with a small bowl of mini black Qwehli prawns which are salty and provide crunch when eat together with the soup. I would usually share the soup with a friend – I know that if I have this alone, I won’t have any space for my main (yes, it is that rich).
Every time I am at Balzac, I would attempt to order a different main. I have tried Entrecot (steak frites), roasted French quail, seabream en papillote – among these, my favourite remains the beef cheeks a la cuillere (S$26). The waygu beef cheek is braised for 48 hours and served with a smooth buttery mashed potato. This dish is a delight – the braised cheek is tender and melt in your mouth. A friend who had a funny expression when she heard beef cheek was turned and love this dish.
The desserts at Balzac could be their weakest link. They are not terrible – they are actually pretty decent. However when you compare to their starters and mains, they don’t blow your socks off. To leave my meal with a sweet note, I will opt for the riz au lait (rice pudding) (S$9) and Valrohna chocolate moelleux (S$12).
When I first visited Balzac, the service was rather shaky. My friends and I had a hard time getting the attention of the waiter, the food is served before our drinks. Over time, the service has definitely improved tremendously. During my recent trip, there was a miscommunications and my friend’s order was not registered. Our server, Wenna, was bent on finding out what happened and even sent over a tarte au citron to apologise.
If you are looking for a delicious rustic French fare, give Balzac a try. Oh and remember to order the lobster bisque.Balzac Brasserie
Rendezvous Grand Hotel, 9 Bras Basah Road
Opening hours: 11.30am to 10.30pm (Daily except Fri and Sat, it closes at midnight)