By the way, it’s supposed to be pronounced ‘SAH-VUR’, like cat fur. I’ve been to Saveur twice already and it has been a delight. Many other bloggers have done a Saveur food review as well for very good reasons.
Ok, the inconvenient drag is that you have to be there on the dot when they open at 6pm (for dinner). Come at 6.05pm and sorry, you have to wait for the next seating at 6.45pm (I know because this is exactly what happened to me the 2nd time).
Even at 6pm there’s a queue now. The tell-tale signs of a successful eatery is when the staff accidentally lets out a giggle as you phone ahead to place a reservation. You know it’s going to be full-house.
The setting in Saveur is pretty austere- black and white walls, simple light ornaments and hand painted images (Religious Christians I might add, judging from the choice of graffiti). I’d recommend this place for a first date if you can afford to meet early. Anyway, on to the food.
For appetizers, we ordered the Saveur’s Angel’s Hair Pasta with Sherry minced Pork and Sakura Ebi ($4.90), the Pan Seared Foie Gras with Lentils and pickled onion ($7.90), as well as the Duck Rillette with Toast ($7.90). I just realized how descriptively long each dish’s name is.
One of the most popular appetizers is the Angel’s hair pasta because it’s so damn cheap, but the taste to me is only average as there’s not much flavour in the minced pork and ebi, just a lot of pasta.
I definitely recommend the Foie Gras which has a decent size for its price, and the combination with Lentils and onions lessens the heavy umami palate with a pleasant, sweet after taste. Duck Rillete is cutely served in a little jam jar and tiny crackers masquerading as ‘toast’, but I would have preferred it paired with real toast. We ran out of crackers too, dammit.
The noteworthy concept here is the minimalism: 1 duck, 1 pork, 1 beef, 1 fish (not including PREMIUMS). I was especially impressed by thesimply wine and beer list: 2 whites, 2 reds, 1 beer. We got the Kronenbourg Blanc beer, and a glass of Portuguese red wine. Sweet and smooth, I like this wine that I’ve never heard of. The list might not be much, but the choices the owners put in were excellent.
Moving on to mains, we ordered the Crispy Pork Belly with Poached Egg and Diced vegetables ($10.90), as well as the Pan Fried Beef Tenderloin ($24.90) with Carrot Puree & Potato Gratin, served medium rare of course.
Seriously, typing Saveur’s dishes in a write-up review is tedious work. As with typical French cuisine, most dishes are ‘personal-sized’ and served with exaggeratingly large dish plates that are garnished with sauce/spices.
The beef tenderloin was magnificent. They raised the price by $2 since I last had this, but at $24.90 elsewhere you could probably only buy a mediocre fried steak at Jack’s place. Tenderloin is a good cut, and probably not the best breed/marbling of beef at this price, which makes the talents of the Chefs even more amazing due to the sheer amount of prep work to turn sub-par beef into glorious mouth orgasm.
Crispy pork belly with poached egg would be a more raw niche taste, so don’t try it if you want to play it safe. Slightly tough but still crispy on the outside, it pairs nicely with the tender fat belly meat. The soft poached egg compliments the crispy textures of the skin so mix and eat it together as intended.
Oh yes, I’ve tried the Duck confit ($10.90) on a separate experience as well, and for this price it’s absurdly worth it. Crispy outer skin, tender flesh and well seasoned. Some portions are slightly tough though. However, I felt that La Petite Cuisine‘s version was better and equally worth it.
Overall a splendid experience, service might be slow but I doubt you can run it any better with a full house seating and multiple table turnovers. Service definitely improved in time, a common teething problem for new places. Without any alcohol, you probably only need $20+ per pax.
*No reservations, queue early