French Food Find: La Maison Fatien at 76 Duxton Road, Singapore

Spotted - newly set up french restaurant La Maison Fatien in the Tanjong Pagar area which is fast becoming a European quartier, what with L'Entrecote and spanish tapas restaurant, amidst other cool digs such as The Pigeonhole, Group Therapy, the Wok & Barrel, Buyan and the super nice Jap bakery Flor. Their name sounds strangely chinese, like a brother to Putien Restaurant, but no it is pronounced "fa-tee-an" and it is french.

Fatien is situated almost right opposite the Pigeonhole/Celina's and the entrance is quite dimly lit. Too bad I don't have any pictures of the interior as my phone sucks, so I only had photos I took of the food using Scott's lovely iPhone 4S. You can view more of their photos on their well-designed website.

The first level is where they sell their wines and display them while the restaurant is situated on the 2nd floor. I quite liked the decor, it was very intimate and in a cosy french style with vintage french posters on the wall. Perhaps it was the diners too but the noise level of the place despite the size of shophouse was very tolerable and there is no greasy food smell inside. +1 and +1 !

It was super fun to catch up with my uni friends for a nice night of good food and wine. Gabby was actually the one who suggested the place -- apparently it was covered by the Sunday Times just not long ago. The restaurant was 95% filled by 8pm too, perhaps also due to the coverage. Strangely, there was quite a few wait staff hovering about - this is perhaps the first time I've seen so many wait staff per table but overstaffing is good because our water were always filled and plates cleared swiftly. They were also very friendly and Singaporean, which is always a plus point. 

We ordered a Pinot Noir ($80) tagged with its own unique number of 383 out of 1910 bottles. It is made from this restaurant's own vineyard in the Burgundy region of France. A restaurant that also has their own wine? Special! Even for a wine waster like me, I must say it was a very palatable and light wine that goes down smoothly.

Next, some good old baguette and butter to start off the meal. Quite good but the bread was not as remarkable as Bistro du Vin's. 

Next, the gang ordered 2 starters. The escargots with garlic butter ($12) was alright but it could do with more garlic. The escargots were not really infused with anything much. Skip it!

Next up, a very classic french starter, Salade de Chèvre Chaud ($15) - Warm goat cheese on crusty toast and mesclun salad. Really liked the goat cheese even if its a bit strong. Yum.

So we all ordered different mains among the four of us. First is Gabby's choice - the Confit de Canard ($28) - a staple in French restaurants in Singapore. If the duck confit is missing, then it is not a french restaurant, they might think. The meat was a tad dry but that's quite normal. The flavour was rich and the skin looked quite well done. The "sarladaise" potatoes were very delicious too, you can taste a bit of the charred flavour.

Next is Scott's dish - the Chef's special that will change every Thursday. For this week it is the Mussels with White Wine and Thick Cut Fries ($26).

Unfortunately because I am not a big fan of shellfish, I did not try it. But everyone's feedback was it is very good. The white wine sauce at the end of the pot was also thick and almost creamy looking.

Nette's dish is the Bavette à l’échalotte ($22) which is grilled flank steak, caramelized shallot and French fries (hurhur, french..). You can see here it is medium rare, and covered with shallots! I felt that the steak was a bit too chewy compared to your regular sirloin, or perhaps I had the tendon part. The shallot gravy was a bit bitter for some reason too. Generally OK though not remarkable. Give it a miss if you were to try something on the menu and perhaps the other beef dish, the steak au poivre might do better.

Finally, my dish was the biggest surprise of the lot. The côte de porc "charcutière" ($22) which is of roasted pork chop, potato purée and "charcutière" sauce. We were debating between the lamb shank and the steak, then Nette picked the steak and I decided to go on a wild guess and pick the pork because the lamb shank was accompanied with roasted roots vegetables in red wine sauce. I guess I've been to enough restaurants now to recognize what sort of sides I want with the mains as well as how 'heavy' in taste they will be, so I now tend to avoid fries (cos I can never finish them), and red wine anything cos it will generally be too salty or heavy.

That's why the mashed potatoes was perfect because it is usually lightly salted only and acts as a good base for the meat. This one was as good as Bistro du Vin's, very fine and the potato's flavor was very fragrant. 

Of the meat itself, well the gravy was really good and that created a very interesting party in my mouth because the gravy is slightly tangy and it brought out the sweetness of the pork which was quite tender yet firm, almost like chicken breast meat. I believe they used tomatoes in the gravy. I could not stop myself from finishing the pork, it was that good.

If there is ONE dish you have to order in this place, I would say go for the pork!

Overall, this restaurant is not exactly ridiculous in their pricing, in the $25 range or so for mains. For the four of us, 2 starters and 4 mains plus a bottle of wine equates to about $60 a person. Yes it comes up to quite a bit but I don't feel like I got cheated or anything since the service, ambience and food was all satisfactory. You can view their menu here [PDF]. I wouldn't exactly have the wine there though since it was overpriced for most (ascertained by the wine geek my brother). A shocker - their Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle was $600 for a bottle. C'etait fou!

I am also going to try out a new "rating system" suggested by Ben. From now on, my reviews will have a yes, no or neutral at the end so you will know whether or not to visit it. Unlike a certain food blogger I will not want to write about food just for the sake of pretty photos (ahem). We concluded a 1-10 scale is not going to work since there is no diff between a 7 or a 8, let's say. Most of the reviews on this blog will have a thumbs up because I won't usually put up substandard food, but hey the thumbs down can appear if I get pissed off enough to rant about them on my blog. Neutral means there might be inconsistency or they are still swinging between good or bad, so wait it out and also take your chance with them.

"Date night perfect, c'est un bon restaurant francaise. Be one of the first in Singapore to try La Maison "Fa-tee-an", go on!"
La Maison Fatien
76 Duxton Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6220 3822
Mon–Fri: 12pm–2.30pm, 6pm–10.30pm, Sat: 6pm–10.30pm (Closed on Sun)
  1. La côte de porc "charcutière" a l'air d'etre delicieux! omg.


  2. je vais a la maison fatien plus tard pour une soiree Valentine :)