Bar-Roque Grill – The Pleasures Of Being Together

When Tony of Johor Kaki blog invited me to Bar-Roque Grill for dinner last Thursday 11th July 2013, I did not expect to meet so many like-minded people under one roof.

No, I’m not referring to only ordinary foodies in search for good food but veteran food bloggers all out to taste and review what Bar-Rogue Grill has to offer. After all, statistics have shown that 70% of people consult reviews/ratings before dining out or purchasing.

This was an eye opener for me – seeing so many bloggers at work, all friendly and willing to share who’s who’s and what blogging obstacles they’d faced and giving constructive and caring advice. It was a night to remember for a long time to come.

Some of the very well known bloggers in Singapore.<br /> Can you name them?

Some of the very well known bloggers in Singapore.
Can you name them?

IMG_7381Baroque©BondingTool

Main entrance to Bar-Roque Grill at Amara Hotel, Singapore.
I called Tony on his cell phone to let him know I had arrived. He came out to get me and I was led to the outdoor terrace where we were served some chilled white wine from the Alsace region and Alsatian Flambée Tarts.

The outdoor terrace can hold 40 or  more revelers in sheltered comfort yet be able to enjoy the streetscape. This was where we enjoyed the tarts before dinner.

The outdoor terrace can hold 40 or more revelers in sheltered comfort yet be able to enjoy the streetscape.
This was where we enjoyed the pre-dinner Tarte Flambée together with a glass of Alsacien White.

Bar-Roque Grill's Sous Chef, Alex.

Sous Chef Alex slicing The Classic – Bacon & Onions $12/$20

The Vegetarian - Mushrooms $12/$20

The Vegetarian – Mushrooms $12/$20
Tarte Flambée is an Alsatian dish composed of bread dough rolled out very thin in the shape of a rectangle (traditionally) or circle, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons. Info: Wikipedia

Stéphane Istel, the former executive chef of db Bistro Moderne in the Marina Bay Sands (MBS), Singapore.

Stéphane Istel, the former executive chef of db Bistro Moderne in the Marina Bay Sands (MBS), Singapore.

Chef Stéphane Istel set himself a goal that he would open his own restaurant by the time he turned 35 and this 2nd July, he did it with Bar-Roque Grill.

Chef Stéphane Istel set himself a goal that he would open his own restaurant by the time he turned 35 and this 2nd July, he did it with Bar-Roque Grill.

New Zealander Kori Millar, who recently left her role as the general manager of Sky on 57 in MBS to run Bar-Roque's front of house is chef Stéphane Istel's business and life partner.

New Zealander Kori Millar, who recently left her role as the general manager of Sky on 57 in MBS to run Bar-Roque Grill’s front of house, is chef Stéphane Istel’s business and life partner.

Bar food - Braised Pork Belly, Bun, Pickled Cucumber, Leeks Espelette Pepper at S$6 a piece.

Bar food – Braised Pork Belly, Bun, Pickled Cucumber, Leeks Espelette Pepper at S$6 a piece.

Chef Istel's home-made vegetable soup with chunks of meaty cubes and shaved black truffle. The veins of the truffle pieces seemed to  glisten like gold.

Chef Istel’s home-made wholesome and nutritious vegetable soup with meaty chunks served with black Périgord truffle shavings. He seemed to be counting with each gliding movement of his hand.
The “veins” of the truffle pieces glistened like gold. They hinted of oak and hazelnut.

Click on pictures for larger view.

 Chef Stéphane showing off his roasted suckling pig just out of his kitchen's centrepiece - the Rotisol, an electric-powered rotisserie oven that can hold up to 60kg of meats.

Chef Stéphane showing off his roasted suckling pig just out of his rotisserie oven.

IMG_7410aBaroque©BondingTool

The Rotisol which sat as the centrepiece, creating maximum impact, in the open concept kitchen is an electrical rotisserie oven that can hold up to 60kg of meats. Our duck and chickens were still roasting in it.

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We can’t eat it yet. It has to settle a little before cutting.
Roasted Suckling Pig – $380, 3 days advanced booking needed.

Click on pictures for larger view and decriptions.

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Wild Mushrooms

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Sauteéd Vegetables

IMG_7539Baroque©BondingTool

Sauteéd Vegetables

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Gratin Dauphinois S$10

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Spinach Salad
Goat Cheese, Dates & Almonds – S$16

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Char-Grilled Octopus
Arugula, Tomato Confit, Almonds & Romesco Coulis – S$24

IMG_7615Baroque©BondingTool

NZ Little Neck Clam
Garlic Pork Sausage, Mushrooms, Parsley, White Wine & Grilled Sourdough – Appetizer $22 Main $32

Prawns Avocado, Iceberg Lettuce with Cocktail Sauce $18

Prawns
Avocado, Iceberg Lettuce with Cocktail Sauce $18

IMG_7729Baroque©BondingTool

Australian Pork Knuckle with Alsatian Sauerkraut – $58 (for 2 persons)

Chef Istel portioning the Pork Knuckle.
Click on pictures for larger view. No descriptions the pictures said it all.

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Roast Meats
I’m like Goofy in Fantasia – “I want to eat meat meat meat meat meat until I die.”

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Butcher at work – Chef Istel is skilled in the craft of butchering and producing charcuterie.

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Prime Ribeye Roast S$198 per kilogram (3 days advanced booking required) or you can order the Grilled Australian Wagyu Hanger Steak 7oz comes with Potato Mash & Salad S$36.
French Free Range Chicken
Natural S$38 whole bird or ½ bird for S$20
Chili S$38 or ½ S$20
Black Truffle (For 2) S$78.

Click on pictures for larger view and descriptions.

Prime Ribeye Roast and %-spiced French Duck roasted pink and to perfection.

Prime Ribeye Roast and 5-spiced French Duck roasted pink and to perfection.

Click on pictures for larger view and descriptions.

IMG_7812Baroque©BondingTool

French Chicken (wings, my fav part, seemed to be missing).
Moist and tender with caramelised skin provided the ever so slight chewy texture that I loved.

IMG_7829Baroque©BondingTool

Pork Knuckle – crispy skin and succulent well “rested” meat.

Ravioles “Royan” Wild Mushrooms, Shallot Confit & Aged Gruyère - S$32

Ravioles “Royan”
Wild Mushrooms, Shallot Confit & Aged Gruyère – S$32
This is a must try when you visit. It’s rich and creamy and the shallot topping was ooh la la for us Asians.

Traditional Crème Brûlée - S$12

Traditional Crème Brûlée – S$12
The custard was a tad “liquidy” but maybe it hasn’t rested yet. The caramelised sugar – crispy and imitating a sheet of thin ice was superb.

When you see French Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce, you know what's coming?

When you see French Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce, you know what’s coming?

That's right! Chef Istel's mom's inspired Apple Pie.

That’s right! Chef Istel’s mom’s inspired Apple Pie.

Me enjoying my slice of pie.

Apple Pie “Mom’s Recipe”
Cinnamon Crumble, Rum & Raisin Ice Cream S$12

Sous chef Alex, chef and owner Istel and myself.

Sous Chef Alex, Chef and Owner Istel and myself.

Born in France, Chef Stéphane Istel learn to cook at age 15 in his native Alsace. In his 20s, Chef Stéphane worked with Michel Royer in his restaurants from St Tropez on the Riviera to St Martin in the Caribbean. It was these early seaside sojourns and the 5 years he spent working for the man he credits as his first mentor – the “Maitre Cuisinier de France” Michel Royer – that sharpened his gustatory instincts, especially towards seafood, and put him on the gastronomic fast track.

All through his years in France, Chef Stéphane had honed his skills and mastered the craft of butchering and producing charcuterie. Now, he was ready to leave his home country and head for North America and the restaurants of Daniel Boulud. He worked with the Daniel Boulud Group for eight years and was posted to Singapore from New York three years ago when the coveted position of Executive Chef at Boulud’s newest DB Bistro Moderne, at the Marina Bay Sands Resort, needed to be filled, Chef Stéphane found himself in Singapore for the first time in his life. It is also here in Singapore where he met and found his business and life partner, New Zealander Kori Millar. Love on a plate, if it’s not too cliché 😉

Chef Stéphane’s Awards
• ‘Best Executive Chef of the Year 2011 South East Asia’ by National Critics Choice
• ‘Mentor Chef 2012’ by At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy
• ‘Chef of the Month September 2012 South East Asia’ by Cuisine and Wine Magazine

After my Indian meal which I had obviously overeaten, I was having terrible tummy problems. The next day I went to Malaysia and the gastric pain would not go away so I spoke to Lim on the phone to cancel our lunch appointment on Wednesday. Whilst chatting, Lim mentioned having a good lunch at Bar-Roque Grill, a new restaurant at Amara Hotel. I told him I’ll be dining there the next evening. He said, “good!” That’s Lim for you – man of few words. And I forgot to asked what he had so I could order on the safe side but that was proven unnecessary for I had the whole carte.

I think I had overeaten again and truly living up to my nickname of gourmandiser. I’d tasted everything on the menu. Well, ALMOST! I should be squirming on my belly but this was a chance not to be missed. Mingling with the pros in food blogging and having the opportunity of savouring the food prepared by Chef Stéphane were pure bliss! Miss Millar’s warm and infectious smile, the open kitchen concept of Bar-Roque Grill which we were allowed to step inside for photo-taking made me felt like I was invited to somebody’s home for a meal. And like any home-cooked meal, the French influenced feast we had that night was delicious! Chef Istel included the Pork Belly Buns to bridge Singaporeans over to his fare. What’s the secret? Love was the ingredient! The passionate Cook was swaying on the spot where he stood with both hands gesturing animatedly when he introduced his signature Mom’s Recipe Apple Pie. If it’s true that “people may not remember what you did for them, or even what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel”, Bar-Roque Grill had fed and made me felt like a medieval royalty for one night.

Bar-Roque Grill was so named in hope of the typical communal style of dining during the Baroque era which chef Istel hopes to revive.

Bar-Roque Grill was so named in hope of the typical communal style of dining during the Baroque era which Chef Istel hopes to revive.

Bar-Roque Grill
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
#01-00 (Amara Hotel)
Singapore 088539
Tel:+65 6444 9672.

Opening hours: Closed on Sundays
Monday – Friday: 12 pm – 2.30 pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Saturday: 6pm – 10.30pm

Happy food hunting 🙂

Info on Chef Stéphane: Bar-Roque Grill’s Press Release

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Comments
4 Responses to “Bar-Roque Grill – The Pleasures Of Being Together”
  1. renxkyoko says:

    Whoa ! You guys ate up all that ? Booohaaa ! Yum !

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    You ate all that? No wonder you need 16 coffees a day to keep up your energy!

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