98 Yanping Lu (延平路98号)
Cantine do fabulous tapas – French and Mediterranean style, so I’ve heard. Tapas is one of my favourite styles of eating, since it means you can order way way more than usual and try out a whole lot more dishes. Suits me!
It’s a small, cosy little restaurant, with a huge orange bar right in the middle and the tables surrounding it. I did initially feel a little odd because the 2 bartenders there weren’t doing much (it wasn’t a busy night) and so kept watching us. I don’t particularly like being analysed whilst I order, and talk, and eat! But after awhile, I got over it and didn’t notice because I was concentrating too much on the food.
The dishes came out surprisingly quickly, which delighted me. Beautifully presented, I wondered how they managed to cook and arrange all the dishes so quickly, since not all of them could be pre-made. Nearly all the dishes were perfectly cooked and tasted delicious, though I found the portions rather small for the price.
My favourite was, by far, the Fois Gras. It looked fairly standard and unexciting on the plate, but was rich and creamy and absolutely glorious. Strangely, it came with a few slices of (burnt) cheap toast, which we ignored since we were also given a great bread baset filled with focaccia and French baguette. My other favourite was the Brie cheese on French baguette. It had a fancy name on the menu which I forgot, but the cheese was very lightly grilled and and warm and gooey on the crusty bread. It was drizzled with something.. a basil oil perhaps? Not sure, but it made these little bite sized morsels of pleasure just a treat to eat.
The only disappointing dish was the Duck leg confit, which was largely inedible. The duck leg looked meaty and delicious, but proved to be dry and tough. It also sat on a bed of beans, which didn’t help the dryness of the dish.
Overall, though, the dishes were fantastic and I loved how they all came out promptly. My fear with tapas is that some come out quickly, and then there’s a prolonged wait before the remainder dishes come out. This was not the case. They came out regularly and swiftly. The only improvement would be to lower the prices by 30-50%, then this restaurant would deserve a full 5 stars.
The bright orange bar is the main feature in Cantine
A rose and a red
Focaccia and French baguette with lovely dips
Scallop carpaccio with avocado cream –
Light and delicate, but way too small a portion!
Brie cheese on French baguette –
a total winner. Simple, yet luscious
Fois gras –
Oh maaan this was sublime. Loved every bit of it!
Cold platter –
I was OD’d out on fois gras, so didn’t have much of this. Chris loved it though!
fat and juicy, with a great tangy salsa
Mixed mushrooms –
all cheesy and creamy and absolutely delectable
Duck leg confit –
tender, but I thought the duck was a bit on the dry side..
Snapper and clams –
beautiful, delicate flavour. Needed the portion to be double the size though
Nougat ice cream –
a fantastic, refreshing way to end the meal