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La Maison Fatien (CLOSED)

Restaurants, French Tanjong Pagar

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This venue is now clsoed. 

Though based in France, the Fatien family has been quick to recognise the allure of our Duxton locale. These owners of a winery and boutique B&B in the beautiful oenophiles’ mecca of Beaune have set down a gourmet’s touchstone with this, their first overseas outpost – and the good news is that they’ve brought Burgundian standards of eating and drinking with them.

We found little fault with the homely dishes at this four-storey shophouse, which feels authentically French, from the unpretentious ground-floor bar to the Paris-style dining room upstairs and a loft for wine tasting. The French onion soup ($12), in an ale-like veal stock, comes topped with a sheet of gratinated, chewy Emmental cheese, and holds handfuls of translucent sliced onions and swelled compagnie (‘company’) bread that help ease into the tartness. The pink-in-the-middle pan-fried foie gras atop a slice of lightly caramelised apple with raisin glaze ($18) is delicate and cooked just enough.

The mains are better still. The duck confit ($28) has crisp, dry skin holding together juicy leg meat. It’s accompanied by thick, comforting slices of potatoes à la sarladaise (cooked with garlic), roasted on the edges. 

The fit-for-sharing Wednesday cocotte special of beef bourguignon ($26) is a highlight – a generous portion of perfectly textured fat-and-meat cuts, stewed with pearl onions and a variety of mushrooms, and served with gloriously sinful fluffy, mashed potatoes flecked with potato morsels and herbs (a secret recipe, according to the manager). It pairs well with the other house special: the house red of Maison Fatien Père & Fils Bourgogne GO (‘Grand Ordinaire’) 2008 ($14).

The Maison Fatien Père & Fils wines are the secret weapons in this newbie’s arsenal, and not just because of their limited production – of the 10,000 to 15,000 bottles produced every year in Burgundy, around 5,000 will be brought to Singapore, to be sold and served only at La Maison. 

The entry-level swirls of the ten young vintage varietals (none older than 2006) are impressive enough: while the red takes a little while to warm up, the house white is a sweet-smelling, light-bodied Chablis 2008 ($16) that’s an ideal complement to local weather. It sips well, too, with the smooth, creamy cold-potted crème brûlée that comes with a thick, caramelised sugar crust ($10).

The setting helps you acclimatise to these émigrés’ epicurean experience – the ground floor is all dark wood counters and wood beams, with higgledy-piggledy, Moulin Rouge-style pictures; there’s more of a gilt-edged elegance in the dining room upstairs, while the loft area is peppered with baroque chairs and sofas.

The whole thing feels pitched at just the right level – casual and unpretentious but quietly elegant, with good service and fair prices. It does the basics right – which is what you’d expect in Beaune, and what we should come to expect in Duxton, too.



Address: 76 Duxton Road
Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, Sat 6.30-10.30pm
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