Immanuel French Kitchen @ 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1

Salut, not your usual coffee shop.

Salut, not your usual coffee shop.

Immanuel French Kitchen is another stall of Salut, a coffee shop in Bukit Merah that is unlike any coffee shop you’ve ever seen. The place is basically your above average or as some people might call it “atas” version of your typical neighbourhood coffee shop. Salut is filled with stalls pertaining mostly to Western cuisine. Immanuel French Kitchen, as you can tell by it’s name, specializes in French food.

Immanuel French Kitchen's stall.

Immanuel French Kitchen’s stall.

I have previously written a short introduction to Salut in my review of another stall, Two Wings Pte Ltd, but I will do the same here for easy reading.

Salut (which is French for “Hi”) differentiates itself from other coffee shops with its unique take of stalls. Ranging from German to French cuisine, this fancy coffee shop is not only filled with western cuisine but the place brings it up a notch by having blue chequered table cloths on their tables. I do feel like Salut is very similar to PasarBella @ The Grandstand, with Salut being a more affordable variation. Most of the prices of the stalls in Salut do not go over the 20 dollar mark. The place is very popular with the working adults around the place who head there for lunch or after work. Among the stalls of Salut are –

1. Stew Küche – German/Italian cuisine, which offers Pork Knuckles, Bangers & a large array of imported Beers
2. Two Wings Pte Ltd – Western cuisine, specializes in fried chicken and wings
3. Brown Sugar by Eskimo – Drinks, includes freshly brewed teas & pressed juices
4. Jolly Bell – Desserts, Home-made Ice-cream, Tarts & Tiramisu
5. Seasalt: The Seafood Place – Fresh Seafood (Not to be confused with Sea Salt Caribbean Deli @ PasarBella)
6. 面miàn by The Travelling C.O.W – Ramen Burgers, Pasta (Physical stall of the mobile food van)
7. Immanuel French Kitchen – French cuisine, from Chef Immanuel Tee

The menu.

The menu.

Food
Immanuel French Kitchen is by none other than Chef Immanuel Tee, who graduated from SunRice GlobalChef Academy. His résumé includes 2 Michelin starred Pastorale Restaurant in Belgium & being the youngest Chef de Cuisine at Keystone Restaurant in Singapore. Following Keystone’s closure, Chef Immanuel decided to open up his own restaurant. However, when things didn’t pan out, he found an unlikely place instead – a coffee shop in Bukit Merah.

The food of Immanuel French Kitchen are all quite top-notch. The place is somewhat comparable to Saveur, the ever-popular French food restaurant known for it’s highly affordable yet delicious French dishes. Immanuel French Kitchen is no different, with their prices coming quite close to that of Saveur’s. I do find that Immanuel French Kitchen has a slightly higher price range (I got scared away from the price of the Foie Gras), but the great thing is that you are getting high quality French cuisine even though it’s a coffee shop setting. It is definitely impressive, to have such great food prepared for you by a very experienced chef that is still pretty affordable to the average Joe.

Service
Perhaps my one disappointment with Immanuel French Kitchen was with the service. Yes yes, I’m pretty sure you’re wondering “It’s a coffee shop, service… what??”, and most often then not, I have the exact same thinking. However, during my visit, I kinda felt that the majority of the staff were somewhat unfriendly & also gave off a snobbish vibe. It was the only thing that dampened what would have been a great dining experience. I may be reading too much into it but it was enough to put off my companion, who has a very low tolerance for things like this. Of course, aside from this fact, I really loved the food & I guess you shouldn’t expect much from a coffee shop setting.

Frog ($12.60) Sauteed with Shallots, Garlic, Parsley I'm all for frog legs, when done right, it's phenomenal. If you usually afraid of trying frog legs, you shouldn't. They taste just like chicken. Immanuel's version of frog legs were fantastic. Really tasty & delicious, I could have a hundred of these. (*Exaggeration)

Frog ($12.60)
Sauteed with Shallots, Garlic, Parsley
I’m all for frog legs, when done right, it’s phenomenal. If you usually afraid of trying frog legs, you shouldn’t. They taste just like chicken.
Immanuel’s version of frog legs were fantastic. Really tasty & delicious, I could have a hundred of these. (*Exaggeration)

Burgundy Escargots ($11.90) Half a dozen Snails, Tomato Fondue, Garlic Herb Butter, Bread Just like frog legs, I don't shy away from escargots.  This was another fantastic dish. What sets it apart from the usual escargot dishes that I've had, would be the Tomato Fondue. It adds a very nice kick to the garlic herb butter and it all goes well with the slices of bread.

Burgundy Escargots ($11.90)
Half a dozen Snails, Tomato Fondue, Garlic Herb Butter, Bread
Just like frog legs, I don’t shy away from escargots.
This was another fantastic dish. What sets it apart from the usual escargot dishes that I’ve had, would be the Tomato Fondue. It adds a very nice kick to the garlic herb butter and it all goes well with the slices of bread.

Duck Rillette ($7.90) Served with Gherkin & Bread To be honest, I never really take notice of Rillettes until my visit to Immanuel French Kitchen. Didn't even know there was such a dish. Rillettes are cubed or chopped meat, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste This seemed like one of the specialities from Immanuel's, with quite a number of people ordering it. I caved in and ordered it as well. It was actually pretty good! Apart from it's off-putting appearance, it tasted smooth & buttery. Goes great with bread. Something you should try if you haven't.

Duck Rillette ($7.90)
Served with Gherkin & Bread
To be honest, I never really take notice of Rillettes until my visit to Immanuel French Kitchen. Didn’t even know there was such a dish. Rillettes are cubed or chopped meat, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste.
This seemed like one of the specialities from Immanuel’s, with quite a number of people ordering it. I caved in and ordered it as well.
It was actually pretty good! Apart from it’s off-putting appearance, it tasted smooth & buttery. Goes great with bread. Something you should try if you haven’t.

French Duck Leg Confit ($14.90) Mashed Potatoes, Braised Savoy Cabbage, Au Jus You can't have French cuisine without Duck Confit. Immanuel's version of this dish is actually very popular.  I do quite like it, the taste and texture was great. It's definitely different from the usual duck confit that I've had, with this version having a darker & less crispy skin. Really good nonetheless.

French Duck Leg Confit ($14.90)
Mashed Potatoes, Braised Savoy Cabbage, Au Jus
You can’t have French cuisine without Duck Confit. Immanuel’s version of this dish is actually very popular.
I do quite like it, the taste and texture was great. It’s definitely different from the usual duck confit that I’ve had, with this version having a darker & less crispy skin. Really good nonetheless.

Pork Belly ($15.40) Braised Pork Belly in Kakuni Style, Duxelle Mushroom, Onsen Egg, Potato Foam This was simply... remarkable! Considered as their "Signature", one taste and you can tell why. The flavors of the foam mixed with the Onsen egg & the pork belly was heaven. This is definitely my favourite dish from Immanuel's. My only regret is that I ordered & ate too much and hence couldn't finish this entirely.

Pork Belly ($15.40)
Braised Pork Belly in Kakuni Style, Duxelle Mushroom, Onsen Egg, Potato Foam
This was simply… remarkable! Considered as their “Signature”, one taste and you can tell why. The flavors of the foam mixed with the Onsen egg & the pork belly was heaven. This is definitely my favourite dish from Immanuel’s.
My only regret is that I ordered & ate too much and hence couldn’t finish this entirely.

Braised Bourguignon ($17) Beef braised in Red Wine, Bacon, Mushroom, Onion, served with Crushed Parsley Potato This was another winner from Immanuel French Kitchen. Perfectly braised beef. I love how red the stew is. (Some places usually stinge on the red wine, leaving the stew more brown.) The potatoes were delicious as well. Wish I could have this everyday.

Braised Bourguignon ($17)
Beef braised in Red Wine, Bacon, Mushroom, Onion, served with Crushed Parsley Potato
This was another winner from Immanuel French Kitchen. Perfectly braised beef. I love how red the stew is. (Some places usually stinge on the red wine, leaving the stew more brown.) The potatoes were delicious as well. Wish I could have this everyday.

Worth A Visit/Revisit?
No where else will you be able to get such affordable French cuisine from a highly skilled chef at a coffee shop setting. You must be crazy NOT to pay Immanuel French Kitchen a visit. The food is definitely top-notch, perhaps even surpassing Saveur. What I like about Immanuel French Kitchen is that the food here has more of a personal touch with a restaurant-like quality, while Saveur (though still good), has become more made-for-the-masses. I’ll definitely head back for the Pork Belly & Bourguignon again.

RATING

Food
9/10
Aesthetic

Price
8/10
Service
7/10

IMMANUEL FRENCH KITCHEN

Blk 119, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-40, Singapore 151119
(Nearest train station: Queenstown)
Contact: 9297 3285
Opening Hours:
Tue – Sun: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
https://www.facebook.com/immanuelfrenchkitchen

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