Lazy Saturday Set Lunch @ Pamplemousse, Dempsey Hill

It has been a while since C and I met up as we've both had such busy schedules the past few months. We finally caught up over a leisurely lunch at Pamplemousse Bistro + Bar last Saturday.
Pamplemousse is a cosy bistro in Dempsey Hill run by husband and wife, Chef Adrian Ling and Cleo Chiang-Ling. Despite the spotty reviews that I've read, the Francophile in me was intrigued by this bistro because it bears such a beautiful name that essentially refers to the humble grapefruit. Thankfully, my fellow Francophile, C, was game to try it too.
Our bottle of Pommery Champagne
Champagne Pommery Brut Royal @ S$120++ per bottle
It's great to see the ever-cheerful and optimistic C! We decided to celebrate the occasion by sharing a bottle of Pommery Champagne. In addition to being Francophiles, C loves her tipple whilst I love bubblies. There's truly nothing like deliciously chilled glasses of bubbly with good company to get our  spirits up! The champagne was delicately light and not overly acidic, a wonderful way to warm our tummies on a rainy afternoon.

Warm & Soft Bread Roll @ Pamplemousse

I was famished as this was my first meal for the day so I dug into the the warm and soft bread roll whilst waiting for our orders to be served. We had ordered the 3 course Set Lunch @ S$32++ as the description of the dishes were mouth-watering!

Whipped Unsalted Butter @ Pamplemousse
I was very pleased to discover that they serve unsalted butter with the bread rolls. I was even more impressed when my butter knife slid without much resistance into the lightly whipped butter that was served in a chilled beautiful glass butter dish with a vintage-style dome for a cover. I like that they pay such attention to detail to serve whipped butter that is not only easier to spread onto bread but is also lighter though still possessing a luxuriously creamy texture.

Caprese Salad - Momotaro & Buffalo Mozarella @ Pamplemousse
Caprese Salad - Buffalo Mozzarella & Momotaro (Japanese Tomato)
Thai Basil. Jamon Iberico Powder. Watermelon Foam. Balsamic Jelly. Bonito
My starter of Caprese Salad was excellent! I love Mozzarella Cheese and cured meats. Thus the combo of chewy, delicately flavoured Mozzarella with crunchy, glutomate-rich, salty Jamon Iberico Powder was like a match made in Heaven as far as I was concerned. Jamon Iberico is the Spanish name for Iberico Ham, a decadently rich tasting, well-marbled ham made from the Black Iberian Pig. The juicy Momotaro (tomato) and herby Thai Basil puree served as a refreshing palate cleanser of sorts. I could barely taste the Watermelon in the Watermelon Foam though I found the melted ice-cream-like texture of the foam interesting. The lightly flavoured Balsamic Jelly and the little dots of reduced Balsamic Vinegar added a pleasantly tart touch to the greens and whetted my appetite for more food. The umami-rich Bonito (Japanese dried, smoked skipjack tuna) flakes added a hint of the sea to the salad.  This is a Must-Try!
Ocean Trout @ Pamplemousse
Ocean Trout
Citrus Marinated Ocean Trout. Pamplemousse Confit. Saikyo Miso Aioli. Croutons.
C had a starter of Citrus Marinated Ocean Trout which tasted very much like a slightly less salty version of Smoked Salmon. Relative to the Caprese Salad which excited the palate with a myriad of flavours, the starter of Ocean Trout paled in comparison and seemed more one-dimensional in flavour.
Uni Taglioni @ Pamplemousse
Uni Taglioni
Crustacean Cream Sauce. Pork Gratons. Nori. Chives.
C's disappointment with her starter was quickly forgotten when her main of Uni Taglioni arrived. The palate-coating creamy sauce was richly flavoured, like a thick seafood bisque. Unfortunately, the Taglioni was just a tad overdone and thus we missed the bite that is so highly prized in al dente pastas. In spite of the slightly overdone pasta, the sauce more than made up for it. This is a Must-Try! Hopefully, the pasta will be al dente on our next visit.
Scallop Risotto
Scallop Risotto
Conpoy Risotto. Seared Hokkaido Scallop. Roasted Pine Nuts. Asparagus.
My main course of Risotto was well-executed with rice that had been cooked just right. Though I generally like Conpoy in Cantonese food, I was not too thrilled to have it in the Risotto as I felt that it didn't add enough flavour. I love cheese and felt that maybe omitting the conpoy and adding just a little more cheese instead  would have flavoured the Risotto far better. The seared Hokkaido Scallop was freshly sweet with a smoky seared crust. I loved the warm nutty flavour of the roasted pine nuts and how they added a crunch to the dish.
Chocolate Banana Sponge with Salted Caramel Ice Cream & Buttery Filo Stick
Dessert of the Day
Chocolate Banana Sponge. Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Buttery Filo Stick.

I love Salted Caramel and so I was absolutely thrilled when our server informed us that the Dessert of the Day was a Chocolate Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Though I am generally not a fan of desserts, I was certainly eager to try the Salted Caramel Ice Cream here. It was divine especially when slathered onto the flaky, crumbly and buttery filo stick. The Chocolate Banana cake was a good mix of dark chocolate with bananas but if I had to choose one or the other, the Salted Caramel Ice Cream would be it. The Salted Caramel Ice Cream here is a Must-Try!

Illy Coffee Latte @ Pamplemousse
Illy Coffee - Latte

The set comes with Coffee or Tea. After eating so much food and drinking quite a bit of champers, I had to get a caffeine fix for a pick-me-up before my shopping expedition. I apologize for the blurred shot here. The coffee here was strong, which was just what I needed, and the Madeleine (a small sponge cake baked in a shell mould, traditionally from the Lorraine region in France) was a sweet companion for the bitter coffee.

The food at Pamplemousse is generally well-executed and though it is not particularly distinctive nor outstanding enough to create a buzz in the competitive food scene, it is honest food and worth a try. I like the attention to detail from the whipped butter, the attentive service, to the liquid hand soap from Savon de Marseille (Soap from Marseille) fragranced with Pamplemousse (grapefruit fragrance). I think C and I will be back soon to try other dishes!

Pamplemousse Bistro + Bar 7 Dempsey Road, #01-04 Singapore 249671 Telephone: +65 6475-0080 Email: Hours: Lunch:  Tuesdays to Fridays: 12pm to 2.30pm Saturdays & Sundays: 11.30am to 2.30pm Dinner: Tuesdays to Sundays: 6.30pm to 10.30pm