Experience French Countryside cooking at Cocotte, Singapore
It’s not often that you find a great value restaurant with sensational food that you want to keep going back with your family and friends. Cocotte to me, is one such place!
Cocotte is located at the ground floor of Singapore’s latest boutique hotel, Wanderlust. The quirky surroundings adds to the character of the hotel and the restaurant. Cocotte’s sous chef Alysia (Aly) Chan, and Anthony Yeoh (Head Chef) went to France to fully immerse themselves in the food culture before designing their menu. Cocotte’s communal, rustic dishes that are full of flavour and executed perfectly in technique are an excellent testament to the inspiration that Aly and Anthony gained from their French countryside experience. I love communal eating as it allows everyone to share and try different things. It probably has a lot to do with my Asian background too, but food is the foundation of many of my gatherings with friends.
Aly, C, Y and I are go way back as we were high school mates and C, Y and I were keen to go to Cocotte to show our support and have our mates ‘gathering’. Aly was the one with whom I spent many an afternoon in our teens honing our boeuf bourguignon skills. Both of us were the cooks in the group and C and Y were our ardent food fans. Going to Cocotte, I felt really happy and honoured to be able to experience Aly’s passion for cooking and to see her come such a long way from our adolescent kitchen dabbling.
I tried to get a picture of Aly in this kitchen shot, but she was hiding. I love how each chef is deep in kitchen concentration. It’s very rare that I’m fully happy with a restaurant. There’s usually something… service not up to scratch, the dish is under seasoned, something… Going to Cocotte was far from that! The service staff were very knowledgeable about the dishes. The atmosphere is comforting and it’s the sort of place that you’ll be happy to go back week after week. As we sat in the restaurant, we took a long time deciding what to order, mainly because we were chatting and also from wanting to order everything but being mindful of our limited stomach space. In the end we made up our minds and had:
Entree at Cocotte Communal Restaurant Bar:
Breaded pig’s trotter ($19)
Boneless medallions of crispy pig’s trotters. Served with arugula & pistachio dressing
Yum! This dish has a great contrast in texture, with the crispy outside and the creaminess of the pig’s trotters. I normally do not like arugula, but I found that I loved it as it was not too peppery and balanced well with the pistachio dressing.
Fried tripe ($10)
Slow cooked in court bouillon till tender. Breaded and deep fried.
Being a chef allows you to wield your ‘sword’ of power, and Aly did by ‘making’ us order the fried tripe. C, Y and I are not fans of tripe and while we were tempted to order this as it is one of Cocotte’s signature dishes, we left it out in our order. Imagine our surprise when it was served to us, compliments of Aly. What I must say from someone who never orders tripe is… you MUST order this! Slow cooking the tripe in court bouillon creates this slightly crunchy (like eating jelly fish) yet tender texture. Breading it then deep frying the tripe adds another texture and taste. Squeeze some lemon on it and add some of their kitchen-made tomato coulis and I can only describe as one of the most heavenly tasting items that I have eaten in a restaurant in a long time!
Pissaladiere ($9 )
Niçoise style onion & anchovy tart.
A simple tart that is packed with subtleties of flavour. The tart is topped with slow-cooked, caramelised onions, anchovies (I’m told they are the best in the market and cost $100 a jar!!!) and olives. Honey would have loved the pastry as it was buttery, crumbly and held its shape very well.
Wine at Cocotte Communal Restaurant Bar:
Tempranillo – Ibericos Crianza Roija Doca 2006 ( $75)
C and I are not white wine fans and I go out of my way to choose red even though we’re having white meat.
The Rioja region of Spain produces one of the world’s finest and most long lived wines. We were very happy with our tempranillo selection as it had the full bodied berry taste, but did not have too much tannin and acidic taste. It did not overpower the robust taste of the roast chicken and balanced the flavours very well.
Main at Cocotte Communal Restaurant Bar:
Poulet rôti ($43)
Whole organic, hormone free chicken,
marinated for 2 days & roasted
w / fresh herb butter. Served w/ gravy,
roast baby potatoes & haricot vert .
Cocotte allowed us to have larger than normal entrees as three of us were sharing. So when it came to our mains, we were stuffed! I’ve never ordered roast chicken in a restaurant….. as I’ve always made my own. However, I will order roast chicken at Cocotte! I choose chicken breast over any of the other parts and it’s one thing that can been over cooked and dry. Cocotte’s chicken breast was very tender and melted in the mouth. The whole chicken is marinated for 2 days to let all the flavours infuse into the chicken meat. Additional flavour is added with the herb butter then roasted to perfection. My photo does not do this dish justice…… This was a dish that on a full stomach, 3 good friends were happy savouring, mopping up the natural juices, adding gravy and munching on the side of green beans. It was an added bonus for us that this dish was lovingly created and cooked by one of our best friends…
I truly enjoyed my meal at Cocotte, and not just because the food was cooked by a dear friend. I was glad to be able to tell Aly very truthfully when she joined us at the end of our meal that I would happily return to Cocotte and recommend it to everyone.
What’s one dish/meal that a good friend has prepared for you that you remember most?
Cocotte Communal Restaurant Bar
No. 2 Dickson Road
Tel: +65 6298 1188