Friday 11 January 2013

[CLOSED] Hippopotamus – Simple and Comfort French Bistro Food

Hippopotamus is a restaurant grill originated from France, especially the Paris region. This restaurant present a simple and non fuss dining experience, or like what I prefer to call bistro. Decorated with red colour, it looks a similar to American Diners, except it probably got more cosy chair and more intimate dining experience.

This time around we are here with a group of friends for Christmas dinner and had made our reservations. A bit of disappointment because we are placed in area near the front of the restaurant, where the chairs already outside the restaurant. We do felt that they should have given us a table inside because they are not crowded as it is a weekday. It was slightly uncomfortable with the people from the shopping area walking behind us. But with our jolly festive moods, we ignored the environment and look forward to the food, with a big group we have ordered a few starters to share.

To start, we have bone marrow ($11.90), escargots ($16.90), foie gras ($17.90) and combo platter ($18.90). The bone marrow cut into half and baked. The marrow taste creamy, buttery but a bit sticky. If you have not tried this before, it is good to give it a try. I don't particularly like it as I can't get used to the taste. The escargots / snails are cooked with herbs and butter. The meat come out quite easy, the texture a bit springy, similar to other type of snails. The herb and butter give it a nice rich flavour, a bit rich for my taste buds.

Bone Marrow

The foie gras comes in a pate version. The texture is soft and creamy so it is easily spread on the bread. The Guerande sea salt really brings out the taste of the liver. On this particular pate, the taste a little bit strong and pungent than other foie gras pate that I have ever tried. Definitely not for someone that can't stand strong smell. (Sorry no photo, too busy eating).

The combo platter consist of “Rabas” style squids, cheddar and hot peppers munchies, chicken wings, and spring rolls. All served with Thai sweet chilli, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Unfortunately I was having a sore throat at that time, so I did not try this dish. With an empty plate at the end, I think it should have spoken by itself.

Combo Platter

Next come the French Onion Soup ($8.90). Believe it or not, this is the first time I ever tried and I seem to like the taste. On top of the soup of the soup is the combination crust of grated Gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese and bread. The soup is filled with onion sweetness combine with the robustness of the stock. Simple yet delicious, a true comfort food.

French Onion Soup

For the main, we ordered medium rare Prime Rib 1.2 kg ($139.90). Together with the steak come five type of sauces: Barbecue, Béarnaise, , Stewed Shallot, Pepper, and Roquefort Cheese. Other than the sauce, they also give rock salt. For prime rib sides come with 8 serving of sides, and we choose French Fries, Potato Gratin, Green Beans, Baked Potato, and steam vegetables. Some of them double portion.

Prime Rib Eye 1.2 kg
The Sauces
Side Dishes
The Prime rib is cooked as per our order and we distributed it nicely for 4 person. The presentation on a small tailor made stand with a black steel tray on the table is impressive. For the steak, it is tender and juicy but it does not melt in your mouth. Although it is call prime rib, I think the steak only come from standard grade of beef. The steak is not evenly cook as the meat closer to the bone can be consider rare very difficult to cut affected by the muscle. For the sauce, I find the béarnaise is the best to complement the prime rib.

On the plate, per person share 

The Aftermath

The notable mention for the side dish is the Potato Gratin. It is baked to crispy on the top and creamy on the middle. The cream goes well with the cheese. A must order side dish, if you are having a meal in Hippopotamus. The rest of the side dish is just average.

For some of us who still have stomach for dessert, we finished off the meal with roasted pineapple ($7.90) and combo desert ($10.90). The roasted pineapple is surprisingly delicious. Roasted in honey and topped vanilla ice cream. The honey and juice from the pineapple create a nice sauce for the dessert and goes well with the ice cream. Such a simple dessert but yet Yummyyyy!!!

The Roasted Pineapple

The combo desert come with crepe topped with chocolate sauce, floating island, scoop of strawberry sherbet, crème brulee and fruit salad. It is good that we are able to have a taste of multiple deserts on offer. The floating island, a fluffy soufflé, paired with vanilla custard, almond and caramel sauce is a nice and light desert. A good way to end the meal. The crème brulee is good with the evenly caramelised brown sugar. The Strawberry sherbet has a nice balance of sweetness and sourness of strawberry. While the rest of the desserts are of just average and personally think that you can give it a miss.

The Combo Dessert

The service is friendly and good. The service staff try to be as attentive as possible, however it can be very difficult to get their attention because of the design of the restaurant and the placement of tables given to us.

Overall, it is good place for a casual dining, if you are able to get the table inner side of the restaurant. Their food is fresh and simple, yet delicious. For the steak, I recommend to go for a normal and standard steak instead of the higher end. This is based on a few visit to this place. Price wise, it is similar to Jack's Place, but better in the food quality. Worth a try but don't expect the sky.

Food & Drink: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 6/10

Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill
6 Raffles Boulevard
#01-204/205, Marina Square
Singapore 039594

Ph: 6338 5352
Op Hours: Daily, 11 am – 10.30pm 

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