Some of you guys may have heard praises of this up and coming stall which serves super affordable French food at the atas coffee shop (apparently it’s called Salut) just beside Alexandra Village. Well, you heard right! The food is really awesome and the pricing slightly cheaper than Saveur’s (nothing over $20!) :D So why Immanuel French Kitchen (IFK) instead of Saveur? Because IFK’s experienced chef owner, Immanuel Tee, has an impressive list of fine dining restaurants which he has worked at :D Ok la and maybe also because I know him (met him years ago in church) HAHA.
I’ve been wanting to go check IFK out since it opened this month, but didn’t really get the chance till now. The beans (AKA my besties, don’t ask me why I call them beans) wanted to meet me for an early birthday meal, and I decided this was the perfect opportunity since the place is ~10min from my office. Haha so I told them we were going to a secret location which didn’t have air con and then laughed at their reaction :P We went there for dinner on Wednesday night (~7pm), and then again for lunch on Thursday (~12pm) cause the food was really good and I wanted to try more stuff on the menu haha. I won’t be differentiating between the 2 visits in this post to simplify things.
Immanuel French Kitchen.
Photo credits: Immanuel French Kitchen FB page
Upon reaching the coffee shop, we were greeted with the sight of cheery blue chequered tablecloths and chairs with backrests :D The area is well ventilated so the heat didn’t bother us too much. A few of the stalls passed us menus as we sat down, which was a really nice touch that almost makes you forget you’re at a coffee shop. Ordering is still done by going to the individual stalls though. Business there was pretty brisk and IFK had the longest queue, so I didn’t really get to talk to Immanuel.
For the entrée, we ordered Frog – sautéed with shallot, garlic and parsley ($12.60). If you think this sounds gross, let me tell you something: FROG LEGS ARE DAMN AWESOME! I’m serious haha. Cor thought it sounded disgusting but was game enough to give it a try, and she was like “omgosh this is quite nice leh!” Haha and Viv the super picky eater insisted she tried frog before and didn’t like it, but this was so good that she actually asked me to give her some more before Chumei and I gobbled everything up! The meat was extremely tender and flavourful, golden brown and crisp on the outside. Don’t be turned off by the amount of oil on the plate – the oil feels really light in the mouth, unlike the overwhelming oiliness you get with KFC chicken (that’s why I always pluck out all the skin LOL). As the first frog legs I’ve had in years, this dish was totally worth the half an hour wait.
Frog – sautéed with shallot, garlic and parsley.
The other entrée we ordered was Burgundy Escargots – baked half a dozen snail with tomato fondue and garlic herb butter served with bread ($11.90). Again, no it’s not gross, and the sauce for this is amazing! The escargot I’ve eaten are always just cooked in garlic herb butter, so this was a new (and really good) taste experience. The snails were fresh and just exploded in delicious juices when you bit into them. They have a slight earthy after-taste which Viv wasn’t too fond of, but despite that she still went back for more :P
Burgundy Escargots – baked half a dozen snail with tomato fondue and garlic herb butter served with bread.
We also ordered Duck Rillete – served with gherkin and bread ($7.90) from the homemade charcuterie section of the menu. While none of us liked the gherkin (we’re the type who pluck out the pickles from a Macdonald’s cheeseburger haha), the duck rillete itself was really good. Again, they were generous with the oil, which made it taste sort of buttery (or was butter used??) and really juicy, perfectly complemented its saltiness. We heaped the rillete onto the bread and it was oh so yummy! The only thing which I didn’t love was the bread, as I felt it was a bit hard.
Duck Rillete – served with gherkin and bread.
For the mains, we ordered the French Duck Leg Confit – confit of duck leg from France served with mash potatoes, braised savoy cabbages and au jus ($14.90), which happens to be their most popular dish. The first thing Viv did when this arrived was to steal some of the mash potatoes, promptly declared it delicious and proceeded to order just the side dish of Mash Potatoes ($3.90) LOL. The mash potatoes were slightly chunky with a really strong taste of butter. The portion for the side dish was bigger than expected, which was awesome :D As for the duck confit itself, the meat was literally tender enough to fall off the bones! While it wasn’t as juicy as I’d liked, the flavour of the meat and the slightly charred but not bitter crispy skin totally made up for it (:
French Duck Leg Confit – confit of duck leg from France served with mash potatoes, braised savoy cabbages and au jus.
The second main we order was Pork Belly – pork belly braised in Kakuni style served with Duxelle mushroom, onsen egg & potato foam ($15.40). If asked to summarise how this dish tasted like, it’d be “crazy amazing melt in your mouth food”. I’m serious haha this dish is so damn good, no wonder it’s their signature dish! The potato foam tasted just like their mash potatoes, but in foam form. I don’t really know how to describe it, except that it kind of dissolves in your mouth. It went really well with the mushrooms, which were super buttery as well. The pork belly had less fat than I expected, but was still incredibly tasty and juicy and just heavenly. Words can’t even begin to describe it haha and I’m in love with it :D Also, those who know me or have been following my blog will know I don’t like the taste of alcohol, yet somehow this pork belly manages to make it love its subtle flavour! The onsen egg was another amazing thing – imagine the perfect soft boiled egg, but twice as good, and you get a rough idea of it. The texture is unbelievably soft and almost custard like, almost as if it’s a raw egg (don’t worry, it doesn’t taste raw lol). This dish is definitely a must try when you visit IFK!
Pork Belly – pork belly braised in Kakuni style served with Duxelle mushroom, onsen egg & potato foam.
Aside from those food from IFK, I also wanted to try the Ramen Burger from Mian by The Travelling C.O.W. since they are located in the same coffee shop. We got the beef bulgogi one, and… I was kinda disappointed. While the beef itself was really nice and tasty, the ramen burger tasted more like that Mamee noodles snack ): Instead of just being crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, the ramen bun was crunchy through out. At least the burger came along with a bowl of pumpkin miso soup (which tasted more like plain miso soup), and they were generous with the beef. We also ordered some chicken wings from Two Wings, which were not too bad. They were golden and crispy (apparently they can stay crispy for a few hours :O), but I don’t particularly fancy fried chicken so I may be a bit bias here. Drinks we got from Brown Sugar by Eskimo, which basically sells mostly bubble tea stuff. Their drinks are on the pricier side, but the 3 drinks we ordered (Green Apple Yakult; Strawberry Yakult; Apple, Beetroot, Ginger and Orange juice) were all pretty good and refreshing.
Beef Bulgogi Ramen Burger.
Overall, these 2 trips down to IFK were totally worth it. We spent a total of $66.60 over 2 meals, and for the quality of food served, I think you can’t possibly find anything more affordable than this. The waiting time there was quite short at less than 10min for all the items except the frog legs. IFK will be hiring another staff next week though, so look forward to even shorter waiting times (:
Immanuel French Kitchen is just beside Alexandra Village, and is about 5min walk from Anchorpoint / Queensway Shopping Centre / IKEA Alexandra (how to get there) / Alexandra Hospital. Anchorpoint has free weekday lunch time (12-2pm) shuttle bus to and from Mapletree Business City, PSA Building, and Depot Road, so those working one of the 3 locations can go there for lunch too! Haha this place is super value for money – where else can you find restaurant level French food at coffee shop prices – so definitely try it out if you get the chance!
Immanuel French Kitchen
Block 119, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-40
Tue to Sun, 11am-10pm
All photos in this post have been Auto Awesomed on G+ (: