Immanuel French Kitchen @ Bukit Merah Lane
When I first met Immanuel a year ago, he was the sous chef of Keystone Restaurant. I looked at him and wondered,”Sure anot, 25-year-old young (and handsome) sous chef?” Immanuel certainly has the credentials to prove his status as a sous chef. He worked his way through the kitchens of Jaan par Andre, Restaurant Andre, Guy Savoy Singapore and the two Michelin-starred Pastorale in Belgium. Still, I had my reservations then. But after spending an afternoon having lunch at the restaurant, we left the restaurant singing praises for this local culinary star.
Unfortunately, due to rental hike, Keystone closed down for good. But Immanuel didn’t give up. He used his savings to open his humble french kitchen in a coffee shop at Bukit Merah, bringing affordable French cuisine to the masses. Coffee shop? Yes, coffee shop. But a more atas version with nice table cloth and housing famous stalls like Stew Kuche, Mian and Two Wings. Even though Immanuel French Kitchen was only opened for a few months, it has started attracting more customers and business grew by word of mouth.
With a focused menu that mixes a bit of the tradition with the modern, we started our dinner with appetizer – half a dozen Burgundy Escargot baked with tomato fondue and garlic herbs butter served with bread. The snails are already removed from the shelle, so it’s really easy to eat. Sauce has a strong garlic and cheese combination, which is perfect for dipping the bread in.
We saw many patrons ordered Duck Leg Confit ($14.90) so we did the same. Nothing fanciful, it was done in the most classic manner. Sitting on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and shredded cabbage, the meat was cooked in perfect tenderness and flavoursome.
My favourite was Pork Belly braised in Kakuni style ($16.90). “Kakuni” literally translates to square simmered. The pork belly is cooked slowly at a low temperature to bring out its tender, fragrant goodness with the full flavour of the sauces and spirits it is cooked in. The accompanying sides to this dish include potato foam made with a siphon gun, onsen egg and duxelle of mushroom cooked with onion and bacon. The flavourful pork belly is well balanced with the light potato foam. Very beautiful dish, I finished the entire dish on my own.
Having a meal here does feel homely. I admire Immanuel’s eye for detail and his entrepreneurship spirit – bringing restaurant standard food to consumers at an affordable rate. Let’s support local talents!
Immanuel French Kitchen
Address: Blk 119, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-40, Singapore 151119
Tel: +65 9297 3285
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 12pm-2.30pm (lunch) & 6pm-9.30pm (dinner). Closed on Mon
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