Far too often, new restaurants and cafes in Singapore disappoint me. Most often, I leave upset because I’ve been overcharged for mediocre food that may look okay but usually lacks flavour. I also leave perplexed because so many of these places are able to fill their seats, night after night, with (young) customers whose expectations must simply be lower than mine. So, I was thrilled recently to discover a new place (in my own neighbourhood no less) that offers simple, tasty, well-cooked dishes and pretty awesome pastry at sensible prices.
P. Bistro opened at the end of December 2013 on a quiet stretch of Owen Road in the Farrer Park neighbourhood. For peeps familiar with the area, it’s just down the road from Cafe L’Etoile. This unassuming little restaurant is owned by Mr and Mrs Pang, first-time restaurateurs. Mrs Pang (Min Yee) is also P. Bistro’s pastry chef. She’s Cordon Bleu-trained and freshly back in Singapore after a stint with Lenotre in Paris. Smartly, instead of opening just a cake shop, Min Yee and her hubby decided to open a proper bistro, hiring an affable chef from the Grand Hyatt to come in and take care of the savoury dishes.
The menu is ultra-simple. Please don’t come here expecting fancy stuff. But, if like me, you often crave good, simple food cooked properly, then P. Bistro might just become your next best alternative to home. Truth be told, we haven’t tried much of the menu. We’ve only dined here twice so far. On my first trip, I had the P.B. Cheeseburger, which was awesomely juicy, seasoned just right, and good enough for me to put it on my “I’ll order this again” list. On my second visit, I had the Spaghetti Carbonara, which was appropriately rich and good. S had the same dish on both visits, the Roast Chicken with Mushroom Sauce, which, I will admit, surpassed both of our expectations (we honestly weren’t expecting it to be that great). S would probably have ordered something different on our second visit, but we had brought our little boy with us, and when given the choices of what to share with mama, he chose the chicken.
In addition to the mains, we’ve also tried Min Yee’s chocolate tart, her NY-style cheesecake, her sables, danishes and macarons. All were excellent. S in particular admired the crust on her tart and liked that it wasn’t too sweet. Our son has become obsessed with the sables, consuming 7 of them during our last meal there (5 before the main course and 2 after, followed by 2 macarons).
P. Bistro has only one large communal table and a few small side tables in the main dining room. There is, though, a really lovely second floor private dining space which is perfect for events.
I am really grateful that the Pangs have opened up in my ‘hood. And I’m also grateful that they’ve decided to focus on serving simple food well, as opposed to jumping onto one of the trends a la moment. I am looking forward to seeing how this little neighborhood bistro evolves in the coming year. Hopefully, even if they become hugely successful, they’ll stick to the basics — which I know will keep me coming back again and again.
142 Owen Road
Tel: +65 6392 2333