When Poulet got its halal certification earlier this month, the Internet was abuzz with news from various publications.
And understandably so, as this marks the first time that the restaurant brand has become completely halal.
Today, Poulet (pronounced Poo-lay, meaning chicken) is a chain of French casual dining restaurant with locations from Bugis+ to VivoCity, and coming soon: Westgate.
And if you are worried that just because it’s a French restaurant, Poulet is for highbrows only, we are here to tell you that it is certainly not. Check out our lowbrow Editor’s recommendations for first-time diners.
French Onion Soup (S$6.90)
This is one out of two dishes in the menu that has the word “French” so it’s just right that I start the meal with it. It has the rich, ultra-savoury flavour that I associate with a good soup. It is not salty, nor is it overly sweet…perfectly seasoned. The caramelised onions are already flavourful enough. I only wish the soup comes with a bread basket to soak up the best part of any soup: the bottom of the bowl.
Truffle Shoestring Fries (S$7.90)
French fry fact: It is not French. In fact, it may have roots in Belgium and the country has even tried to lay claim to the simple fried potato. Now that that’s out of the way, the truffle fries at Poulet is most likely the safest starter to order if you’re dining in a group. The earthy truffle flavour is strong, yet its aroma is not off-putting at all. The parmesan dressing has a shaved ice texture which I like. All in all, an undeniable crowdpleaser.
Signature Roast Chicken (S$14.90 for quarter, S$16.90 for half, S$30.90 for whole)
Poulet’s ultimate signature dish is its roast chicken that is slow roasted in a rotisserie till it becomes golden brown. The chicken is accompanied with a choice of sauce — mushroom cream, cranberry or Diane (a type of brown sauce with turkey bacon and mushroom). The sauces are merely supporting casts to the show-stopping chicken, though. The chicken is that good! Tender meat with thin, crispy skin…a winner in my book.
If I really have to pick a favourite sauce, I am partial to the cranberry. I love dishes that are both sweet and savoury so the chicken-cranberry combo works for me. It also comes with a side of mustard to help cut through the sweetness. However, note that you can only choose one sauce. Tip: If you’re dining in a group, order two half chicken so you can try two sauces!
Prawn Aglio Olio Pasta (S$16.90)
Aglio olio is a relatively easy pasta dish, so restaurants serving it better make it great. And this one at Poulet is faultless. Al dente pasta, medium-sized prawns, and just the right amount of spice.
Slow-cooked Beef Oxtail Pot Pie (S$15.90) Editor’s favourite
When I asked our host which of the three pot pies in the menu was her favourite, she replied “oxtail” even before I could finish my sentence. If I was convinced of the dish’s greatness prior to ordering, I am a true believer the instant I had my first bite. Simply put, Poulet’s beef oxtail pot pie is the food equivalent of Leonardo Dicaprio. So talented, but always narrowly win an Oscar.
The slow braised oxtail is cooked in a delicious, rich sauce and the meat is pull-apart tender, greasy and perfectly served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. The entire dish is served in a bake dish and encased in a pastry shell that you have to crack open to get to the stew.
For drinks, I was recommended Poulet’s original creations: the Lychee Flower Juice (S$6.00) and Homemade Brazilian Lemonade (S$5.00). For in-house drinks, I think they are reasonably priced so ignore the rest of the drinks and just order them.
The Lychee Flower Juice has notes of cloudy apple juice — reminds me of the apple Yakult — with a few pieces of lychee. Super refreshing and helps to clean the palate especially if you order greasy dishes like the pot pies.
Like the name suggests, you can enjoy flavours of the tropics when you order the Brazilian Lemonade. It has calamansi, milk and lemon, and reminds me a lot of the Japanese soft drink Calpis. This too, is bright and refreshing, though I feel it’s a missed opportunity not to name the drink something French.
Poulet’s dessert menu is very lean — there are only three items. Out of these three, I tried the Mango Pudding (S$5.90) and Tiramisu (S$5.90). Unfortunately, the former is quite forgettable — I’m having a hard time thinking how to describe it.
But the Tiramisu, I remember fondly. It’s perfectly dense, the mascarpone cheese is thick and creamy, and the sponge fingers are adequately soaked in espresso. It’s served in a glass jar as all tiramisu should be, so bonus points for thoughtful aesthetics.
Sleek but casual vibes
I visited the Poulet + Brasserie outlet at ION Orchard which has a decidedly contemporary concept with a touch of industrial. A broken tile mosaic floor design provides a stark contrast to the clean lines of the tables, chairs and mirror fittings on the wall. The communal table in the center is the best vantage point in the restaurant as it provides a 360 view of the entire restaurant, although I would personally opt for the booth seats for a more intimate dining experience.
We were invited to dine at Poulet as part of a media tasting. However, opinions are our own.
Food5/5 AmazingUltra flavourful dishes that are prepared a la minute so you are guaranteed something fresh and hot every time. The roast chicken is an undeniable star, but the beef oxtail pot pie also deserves special mention.
Price4/5 GoodReasonably priced for a restaurant that is located in Orchard Road and stellar quality food.
Location4/5 GoodPoulet+ is located in B3, which is not to be confused with the main dining hall in B4. It took us a while to find the right escalator down but the food was worth it, so not a big issue here.