Restaurant Absinthe @ 72 Boat Quay
Vanessa’s birthday is 3 days before mine. We shared a dinner party in Merah Putih, a gorgeous restaurant in Bali, last December. On my actual birthday, 9th December, Al celebrated with me. He couldn’t wander far from his work place with an hour’s (at most 2 hours) break so we decided to lunch at nearby.
“What do you feel like having, Japanese or French?”
I have always linked French cuisine to be romantic cuisine and more appropriate for dinner but what the heck, it’s my party and I can have French in the afternoon if I feel like it. So the venue was decided, Absinthe at 72 Boat Quay.
Absinthe is the brain child of long time friends Vincent Jauguiberry on one side and Diego Chiarini & Stephane Colleoni of the famed OSO Ristorante on the other.
From warm and cozy atmosphere, to the delicious and tasty dishes served, not forgetting of course the extensive selection of reasonably priced wines covering not only most of France wine producing regions but as well a fair representation of others countries, Absinthe was created as a comfortable, convivial and unassuming place.
Chef Nicolas Reynard’s cuisine is deeply rooted in the French heritage, influenced by his younger years in the South West Region; he shows a respect for the produces he uses; enhancing them rather than merely blending them together.
Absinthe tries to somehow demystify the idea of the French Restaurant in Singapore; it is a lively and friendly place, serving delicate yet generous portions and affordable prices, we believe in the concept of comfort food as well as professional yet personable service.
Once in Absinthe make sure you do taste one of the Absinthes we have on offer and experience the “Green Fairy”! – the website of Restaurant Absinthe Francais
Vincent is passionate about wine and graduated from the sommelier school in Bordeaux in 1995. He has worked with great names in the culinary world, some examples are Gagnaire, Reine Sammut and Jean Marie Amat. Vincent arrived in Singapore 2005 and after working for Saint Pierre Restaurant for 2 years, he joined Absinthe. Charming and witty, Vincent possesses humour that makes me feel comfortable; I have always found my French buddies to be haughty, that’s my personal opinion from the interactions I have experienced, except for Jacque and now Vincent 😉
Back on track… My lunch was a set meal. I found the standard set lunch to be value-for money at S$38++ for 3 courses.
We were seated in the restaurant and found it to be a little stuffy that afternoon and requested for our meal to be served downstairs in the open.
Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV / 90–148 U.S. proof) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (“grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy). Although it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, absinthe is not traditionally bottled with added sugar; it is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is traditionally bottled at a high level of alcohol by volume, but it is normally diluted with water prior to being consumed.
Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It rose to great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, the consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley, Erik Satie and Alfred Jarry were all known absinthe drinkers.
Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen. The chemical compound thujone, although present in the spirit in only trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. Although absinthe was vilified, it has not been demonstrated to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. Recent studies have shown that absinthe’s psychoactive properties (apart from that of the alcohol) have been exaggerated. – Wikipedia
I didn’t know how to or what was expected to drink this “Green Fairy” but not even after mixing with red and white wine did I see any. The taste was like peppermint (possibly the star anise) to me, not a favourite herb of mine but hey, try something different each birthday 😀
Boat Quay 驳船码头 – a historical quay in Singapore which is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River on its southern bank.
It was the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore, handling three quarters of all shipping business during the 1860s. Because the south of the river here resembles the belly of a carp, which according to Chinese belief is where wealth and prosperity lay, many shophouses were built, crowded into the area.
Though serving aquatic trade is no longer Boat Quay’s primary role, the shophouses on it have been carefully conserved and now house various bars, pubs and restaurants. Therefore Boat Quay’s social-economic role in the city has shifted away from that of trade and maritime commerce, and now leans towards more of a role accommodated for tourism and aesthetics for the commercial zone of which encloses the Singapore River. It is the soft front to the banking and financial sectors lying immediately behind it.
Boat Quay is also the name of the road along the quay, which has since been converted into a pedestrian mall. – Wikipedia
Restaurant Absinthe prides itself to serving the finest seasonal ingredients and daily supply of fresh seafood. They have more customized set menus available for lunch, dinner, catering and canapés upon requests for your corporate functions, gatherings and events.
Restaurant Absinthe Francais
Address: 72 Boat Quay.
Tel: 6222 9068
Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm – 10:30pm
Happy eating and bonding 😀
Another value-for-money set meal is Buona Terra @ 29 Scotts Road (Italian cuisine).