I like good food of all kinds, but I tend to fall into a rut and go back to the same places all the time. So I’m glad to have added DB Bistro Moderne to my list of favourite restaurants.
After the exertion of our maiden inline skating adventure, we felt like rewarding ourselves with a nice meal. James likes trying out new places – and he is not averse to any with a celebrity chef involved – so he rang up DB Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands for a dinner reservation. I’m the suaku one; I hadn’t heard of Daniel Boulud till then so I went with little idea of what to expect.
The bistro was pretty in a dimly-lit sort of way:
I’m big on bread, so I may be biased, but I really enjoyed the bread basket. The mini baguette was yummy and chewy under its crisp crust, and the dark bread – rye? – had a nice, ‘grainy’ flavour.
For appetisers, we shared the Spicy Tuna Tartare ($22) and the Wild Mushrooms ($10; actually a side dish).
The tuna was fresh and meaty, like good raw tuna should be. There was harissa in the preparation, but I didn’t find anything spicy about the dish on the whole. Mixed into the tuna were little crunchy bits like Rice Krispies, which may or may not have substituted for the sesame seeds that should’ve been there, but weren’t.
Do you love mushrooms? If you don’t, I think you’re weird. I order mushrooms everywhere I go, but rarely do they really blow me away. These mushrooms came in a cute little skillet, and were very lightly seasoned with a little charred garlic and salt. And their flavour was AMAZING.
Our mains were somewhat hit-and-miss. I had the Duck Confit ($34) and James had the fabled Original DB Burger ($35). We always go halves on our mains, so we each had equal portions of both.
For a signature burger, the DB Burger was kind of a letdown. The patty is famously stuffed with short ribs and foie gras, which sounds like a lot of protein awesomeness in a single patty. However, while the concept sounds great, the execution didn’t excite us much. The short ribs made their presence felt more through the variation of texture than anything else, while the sliver of foie gras was just too small to add very much to the flavour.
The duck, on the other hand, was pretty incredible. The skin was perfectly crispy with no soggy spots, and the fat was nicely rendered into the moist flesh underneath. Make no mistake, the first bite sent me straight to ducky heaven. I also really liked the bed of xiao bai cai that accompanied it – it soaked up the sauce nicely, and was generally a great complement. The potato cubes (or pommes Lyonnaise, if that’s how you roll), meanwhile, were just decent.
Stuffed as I was, I still had to make room for the very interesting-sounding sorbets on the dessert menu. I had a scoop of Pear-Cassis sorbet ($4) and really liked it. James’ sorbet has a weird name I’ve forgotten – bananaguana? guabanana? – so I had to look it up. Apparently, his very yummy Mango-Guanabana sorbet could well have gone by the much more prosaic name of Mango-Soursop. CHEY.
Despite the unexciting burger, we’ll be back. Next time I’m saving more room to try their desserts – they sounded really good.