Slip away into a French enclave with Café Gavroche on Tras Street
By Cheryl Chia
Walking into Café Gavroche is a little like stepping into a Disney-fied version of a Parisian bistro. It is cleaner, air-conditioned and the service is much cheerier, putting to rest the snooty stereotype.
The décor is clearly French with authentic fixtures and mosaic tiles and the bar counter is a pre-war relic from the 1920s. The owners had to replace the zinc top as the metal was removed during the war to make ammunition.
You may be familiar with their sister restaurant across the street, Brasserie Gavroche. Also started by Chef Patron Frederic Colin – formerly the Executive Chef of St Regis Hotel – the atmosphere at Café Gavroche has been lifted to much a more casual and relaxed vibe.
One could almost imagine Amelie Poulain sitting in the indoor terrace, drinking her café.
For the upcoming Valentine’s Day, take your love to brunch at Café Gavroche for a sense of escapism. The breakfast/brunch menu on the weekends is eggs galore with seven styles of cooking, freshly baked vienoisseries, charcuterie or cheese platters and their signature tartines – an open-faced sandwich.
Our favourites were definitely the Oeuf Cocotte du Jour ($15) – a creamy egg casserole with seasonal ingredients (that day’s was salmon) and the Oeuf Benedict ($22) – poached eggs on brioche, bacon and hollandaise sauce. The eggs benedict was probably one of the best we’ve tasted with the eggs poached just right and covered in tart hollandaise. It also came with a side of sautéed potatoes with rashers.
Their Croque-Monsieur ($16) – an oven-baked cooked ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich covered in béchamel sauce may not look very filling, but looks are deceiving. The sweet brioche bread fills you up nicely. Add $2 more for a Croque-Madame ($18) which is topped with a sunny-side up.
The vienoisseries such as the Pain au Chocolat ($3.50) and Croissants ($2.50) fly off the trays as quickly as they leave the oven. Chef Colin also pays homage to his French roots with various pastis – an anise-flavoured aperitif – from the South of France, boasting the largest range in Singapore with over 35 different labels.
Weekend brunch is available from 10.30am to 2.30pm.
Café Gavroche is located at 69 Tras Street, Singapore 079005, Tel: 6225 4869. Open Tues-Sat, 2.30pm-late; Sun, 10.30am-2.30pm.