Cocotte – c’est très bien!
Sorry folks for the long pregnant pause from the last post. I have been under the weather for a while. I am much better now. Ok, time for a my review on a restaurant.
Together with my three girlfriends, we decided to try out a casual French restaurant called Cocotte located on Dickson Road. Cocotte means casserole in French and aptly represented by their blue logo of a dutch oven pot. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, the first impression came to mind is the casual ambience and homely feeling. It is like stepping into a local eatery in a small French provincial town. With battered paint look on the wooden table, the cutlery is displayed in a simple colourful pot plant with a small branch of fresh flowers. It is not your ordinary pot plant when it is made by the infamous cookware brand, Le Creuset.
We ordered several starters and shared among the four of us. From the description, we tried Pissaladiere, Chicken Liver Mousse and Fried Tripe. Pissaladiere is an onion and anchovy tart Nicoise style. There six bite size tarts. The onions are pureed and the anchovy carefully placed on top. At the first bite, you taste the sweet caramelized onions immediately then the saltiness of anchovy kicks in slowly. I love the contrast of sweet followed by the saltiness. Since anchovies are generally very heavy with the salt, it can overpower other ingredients in the dish. The crust of the tart is very thin almost biscuit like. There was a good balance of flavours for a starter.
It wouldn’t be French restaurant without one liver dish on the menu. The chicken liver mousse served in a ramekin with some thinly sliced gherkins, a bed of mesclun lettuce and tomatoes plus a small bowl of tomato coulis. With warm bread rolls, the liver mousse texture is very smooth. It has just the right seasonings and it is difficult not to have another spoonful of the mousse with the bread.
Next is the fried tripe coated with breadcrumbs. Accompanied with the tomato coulis (the same served with chicken liver mousse), the tripe was cooked nicely without being too chewy. Since the tripe has very little flavours, the breadcrumbs added a nice crunch and when dipped into the coulis, the sweetness of the tomato gives a little more zing to the otherwise boring tripe.
Moving on to the main course, their signature dish roast chicken came highly recommended but it is not served on Tuesday. So we couldn’t try it. However, he did suggest to try beef bourguignon and roast pork collar. My friend and I were in a carnivore mood. I wanted to try the beef bourguignon and my friends’ ordered the roast pork collar and lamb shoulder. When it comes to beef bourguignon, I immediately think of Julia Child’s recipe. I have attempted cooking Julia’s recipe and I know it is involves time and patience to produce a good bourguignon. Cocotte’s use grass-fed beef marinated overnight and braised in red wine served with roasted baby potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and pearl onions. The bowl filled with a large chunks of beef sitting in a pool of thick brown gravy with mushrooms, carrots and potatoes nuzzled between the meat. The meat is so tender that you need the minimal effort to pry to bite size pieces. It was beautifully seasoned that need take an extra scoop of gravy with each mouthful. It was a rather large bowl and a substantial amount of meat that I could only bring myself finishing half of the serving. It so yummy that it reminds me of a home-made meal.
The first thing that you notice with the roast pork collar dish is the mustard colour gravy. The pork collar is cooked in a creamy Dijon mustard sauce served with brussel sprouts, roast baked potatoes, sauteed forest mushrooms and a a handful of crispy fried almond flakes. I tried a small morsel. The pork is cooked perfectly and tender. The sauce is incredibly rich and it goes well with the pork.
Finally, the lamb shoulder. Using grass-fed lamb, it is stewed slowly and served with baby carrots, fava beans, new potatoes, fava beans, peas and pearl onions. Presented in the same size bowl as the beef bourguignon, the lamb shoulder is covered with some jus. A simple stew that packs some good flavours. The lamb shoulder is cooked perfectly that you can use a fork and spoon to cut the meat.
As much as the dessert menu look tempting, we simply had no room to fit any sweets in.
Overall, I love the Cocotte simplicity of serving down to earth and unpretentious French food. If you like the homey style of cooking with great flavours and great ambience, you should do yourself a favour and visit Cocotte. I would definitely return to try the other dishes like their roast chicken and leave some room to try the desserts.
No. 2 Dickson Road
1200hrs – 1430hrs
(Last order 1400hrs)
Mondays to Thursdays
1830hrs – 2230hrs
(Last order 2200hrs)
Fridays to Saturdays
1830hrs – 2300hrs
(Last order 2230hrs)
+65 6298 1188