Relief from a Hot Singapore Day
My husband and I weren’t looking for steaks when arrived in the Duxton Hill District ofinternet had assured us that there were tacos waiting –it had been weeks since tacos.
After an oppressively hot day in Singapore’s Chinatown, we also weren’t expecting to turn a corner and find a charming cobblestone street lined with shops and bistros. The tree-lined parkway was ten degrees cooler than the rest of the city, and it reverberated with the colonial charm one would find in Victorian Bermuda or a village along the Cote d’Azur. The windows above the shops were dressed with shutters in every color of the rainbow, wide-open to welcome the breeze.
Our taco restaurant was closed for the evening, but all of sudden the craving seemed out of place, and Duxton Hill had so much more to offer.
Hand-in-hand, my sweetie and I strolled to the end of the street and contemplated our options. We were drawn to a cafe and wine bar called L’Entrecote. Steak is usually a safe bet when traveling — I have celiac disease and so need to be gluten-free, which is a challenge in Asia, but this looked promising.
Simple Menu, Secret Recipe
The restaurant was cool and comfortable. The host seated us at a small table and we learned there was only one meal on the menu: steak frites L’Entrecote.
Our menu told the tale of this entree and of the French chef who was tired of the heavy foods popular in his time. He had sought to make a simple dish of steak and potatoes that would blow people’s minds and remind them that simple is good.
Being French, of course, it still had to have a sauce and the original recipe for Coca-Cola is not guarded with more devotion. They even declined to let me know if the Entrecote sauce had a smidgen of wheat in it. They could not, would not do it — and this was the only dish offered.
I had already started my wine, so I hesitated to go back out into the Singapore heat on an empty stomach. To be safe, I asked for the sauce on the side. We then awaited the arrival of this secretive meal — which also included a mesclun salad with walnuts, a loaf of bread — which my husband assures me was delicious, a medium-rare filet, perfectly cooked fries, and a blush rose wine. All this for S$29.90 ($22.40 USD).
Eyeing the sauce for any signs that it was thickened with flour, I took a chance. I am pleased to say that I suffered no negative effects.
I still dream of that sauce.
One salad with one vinaigrette, one wine, and one incredible steak. L’Entrecote does one meal, but that meal is impeccable. Should you find yourself in Singapore, you should definitely make your way here.
***(The room next door, The Annexe, does offer other things, such as mussels, oysters, and other specials that you should check for. The other locations in Singapore also have their own special approaches to their steak as well).
The beautiful picture of the meal is used under a Creative Commons license and provided by The Dessert Prince. Thank you.
The charming picture of Duxton Hill Road was acquired from Debbs who generously made the picture available on Flickr.