Brainchild of esteemed sommelier Maximilien Fedkiw, Le Bistrot du Sommelier was a passion project: a place where hearty countryside French food could be found alongside a fantastic list of high quality wines that were a mix of the great names and lesser-known labels that Max feels deserves more exposure. Le Bistrot du Sommelier opened their doors in 2008 and quickly rose to the top of the French culinary landscape in Singapore. Now 7 years old, Le Bistrot du Sommelier’s reputation has been built on their consistent strength – their food and wines earn glowing reviews from the French community in Singapore as well as the local gourmets.
Le Bistrot du Sommelier’s menu started out in their early years with two parts and has stayed a twoparter. There is a mainstay option which features perennial favourites that use ingredients available fresh throughout the year. These include the Onglet de Boeuf aux Échalotes which became famous because it featured the then-unusual hangar steak cut cooked perfectly, and their meltingly soft Côte de Boeuf in an uber-generous serving large enough for three to four persons.
Many of their aficionados, however, pay close attention to the seasonal menu. Closely following the tradition of bistros in motherland France, Le Bistrot du Sommelier has a dynamic menu which focuses on the fruits, vegetables and meats that come into their own and taste the best during that season.
The current chef de cuisine is 29-year-old Singaporean Brandon Foo, who trained for years under the previous chef de cuisine Patrick Heuberger. Despite his youth, chef Brandon’s deft touch with the hearty French food that Le Bistrot du Sommelier has come to represent has turned him into a rising star of the local culinary scene. His food is so strongly rooted in the French traditions that native Parisians dining in Le Bistrot du Sommelier have insisted on thanking the chef only to be flabbergasted when Brandon turned out to be local. Chef Brandon’s bio is available on request.
Guests new to Le Bistrot du Sommelier will find the prix fixe lunch menu an easy gateway to the cuisine the bistro represents. Titled ‘The TGV Lunch Menu’ after the high-speed express train in France, Le Bistrot du Sommelier’s aim with is to help guests get a complete meal, within their precious lunch hour, without compromising on taste, quality or the level of service they are looking for. Priced at a reasonable S$35++, the lunch comprises three courses with a choice between starters, main courses and desserts.
Wine can often be seen as a supporting player to the food, but as befits the name of the restaurant, wine is the co-star in Le Bistrot du Sommelier. The wine programme and list is designed by founder and director, Maximilien Fedkiw, more often called by his friendlier appellation Max. Its changes and direction is matched to the seasonal menu; in fact, the two are often planned hand-in-glove so as to ensure strong pairings are always available. The wine list is virtually entirely French, and explores different grape varietals thematically.
Max insists on taking the path less travelled for Le Bistrot du Sommelier, featuring uncommon and less well-known labels. This is made possible because Max travels twice a year at least, sometimes more often, to vineyards in order to keep up with the news and his relationships with the winemakers – Max calls them “the best informants”. In fact, we exclusively reveal here a little secret of Le Bistrot du Sommelier: not all the wines Max sources are on the wine list. A wine discussion can sometimes inspire Max to showcase some of the wines he is considering.
Its current premises opened up new possibilities for the team at Le Bistrot du Sommelier. They could share their abiding passion for French foods and wIne in a way different but connected to Le Bistrot du Sommelier. Rillette Bar was born.
Located on the second floor of the heritage shophouse Le Bistrot du Sommelier is housed in, Rillette Bar offers patrons a fun, informal place to enjoy an evening of wine exploration. Peckish guests can choose to nibble on delicious charcuteries made in-house by chef Brandon.
Charcuterie refers collectively to meat products that have been cured, salted, smoked or otherwise prepared to be kept for some time and includes pates, terrine, rillettes and hams. Sometimes misunderstood as referring only to pork products, charcuterie can be made from all kinds of meat. In Rillette Bar, the most popular items include their savoury duck rillette served with slices of crusty French bread and the more esoteric rabbit rillette.
For those with heartier appetites, a small carefully considered selection of salads and hot foods are available. Ordering from this menu means customers can enjoy a substantial meal to go with their wine. It’s even possible to do a combination of charcuteries and hot food just as one might do in France.
With the opening of Rillette Bar, a full French dining experience is available. Guests can choose to begin their night with small bites and a few glasses of wine before adjourning down to Le Bistrot du Sommelier for dinner. It’s even possible to finish the night off back at Rillette Bar if one desires. Rillette Bar also presents an alternative spot for diners to enjoy the good authentic French food Le Bistrot du Sommelier has become famous for – the casual laid back atmosphere and more rustic décor offers a different feel when compared to the restaurant proper.
As Rillette Bar occupies the entire Level 2 of the shophouse it shares with Le Bistrot du Sommelier, it is particularly ideal for hosting private and corporate events and parties. When complete privacy is required, the host can choose the option of reserving the entirety of Level 2 and closing it off for their function. This also allows the host to put up simple decorations such as streamers and balloons if desired. Needless to say, food and beverage arrangements can also be arranged according to the needs and desires of the host.
Address: 53 Armenian Street, Singapore 179940
For reservations: +65 63331982