Good food sans the unnecessary frills.
Summer Hill, a casual French bistro at Sunset Way in Clementi, has a tiny menu serving unpretentious hearty food.
Owned by chef Anthony Yeoh (formerly of Cocotte), it is charming how laid back it is – you go to the counter to order your food (the menu is on the board, plus specials), pay and wait for the food to arrive.
There are two tables inside the restaurant, but do sit outside. With the sun, plants and unyielding breeze – thanks to the fans – you do not even notice the multi-storey carpark right next to it.
And while the novelty is French food in the heartland, the food should be the draw.
For a Housing Board neighbourhood, the prices may be steep to some, but it is not more than what you will pay anywhere else.
I ordered almost the entire menu of four mains and two add-ons for soup and drinks, and the bill came to about $110.
The star of the menu is the Roast Chicken (from $23). The bird is tender, juicy and flavourful, with a slurp-worthy gravy.
The chicken is hormone- and antibiotic-free, and that translates to sweeter breast meat.
I liked the Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($17.50), Summer Hill’s version of the classic croque monsieur. The Swiss cheese gives it a firm chew, and the dijon mustard gives it a hint of heat. It does not look like it will fill you up, but it will.
Visually, the Boneless Grass-Fed Beef Rib Roast ($36) is the most stunning.
The taste matches it too, although my dining companion wasn’t impressed. You have no choice in the doneness of the beef but it was tender, although slightly overcooked at the ends.
The accompanying smokey green chilli sauce elevated it. It needs to be on everything.
I am conflicted about the Roast Pork Collar in Creamy Mustard Sauce ($25).
I loved the flavourful meat, and the dijon and wholegrain mustard sauce was delicious, but the dish was served to me at room temperature, when it was supposed to be hot.
That diminished the experience, but the taste made up for it. If it was that good at room temperature, imagine how wonderful it will be when hot.
Desserts are good at Summer Hill. For me, the Citrus & Rosemary Oil Cake ($3) was the best. The cake is light and delicate, with just enough brightness.
#01-62, 106 Clementi Street 12,
Opens 11.30am to 9.30pm, Tel: 6251- 5337
A version of this story first appeared in The New Paper on Mar 1 2018, with the headline, ‘Hearty French fare in the heartland’.