Decided to drop by Choupinette for lazy brunch but I was totally wrong. The place was extremely crowded at 11am but crowds don't scare me since it is an indication that the food is worth coming back.
Though the place is small for its weekend crowd, the interior part of the café is crammed full of rustic wooden tables and cushioned chairs with a sitting capacity of about 30 to 35 people. The use of pink gauze curtains provides a classic and romantic environment for the window seats. According to SD food review, diners can actually purchase the contemporary designer lampshades, table-top ornaments and other other quirky items that are exhibited around the café.
On the other side of the café, an array of freshly baked breads was displayed and this reminds me of Swiss Baeckerei since the latter also has a dine-in menu of sandwiches, salads, little French pastries and beverages.
I would say breakfast at this place is not cheap and the ambience is compromised during weekends due to the high amount of human traffic but I will just briefly run through the dishes ordered by the clique. Julie managed to snap a overhead view of the menu so do use that as a reference if you are curious of what they offer.
Anyway, Elaine and Ziheng ordered a ChouChou's Set at $22+ which includes a sandwich or La moussaka with drink and desserts. Le Noe is basically smoked salmon with homemade gravlax sauce in a warm fougasse while La moussaka is actually beef moussaka with rice. An a la carte portion of each costs $17++.
Carnivorous diners such as Yuan will be pondering on his order and thus settled with a cheeseburger ($19++). The beef patty though well-seasoned is way too overcooked till poor Yuan needs to replenish his energy (with more food) after cutting the burger. Claire suspected the beef patty was left on the grill after the café ran out of gas last morning. Thus, might explain the overly well-done beef.
Le Croque (Grilled sandwich) with a choice of Monsieur (ham), Poulet (chicken) or Vegetarian (eggplants) with emmenthal cheese and bechamel sauce ($15++) was either Vicki's or Sihan's order so I am not sure with the taste.
The quiche is a must-try and Claire, Evan, Yuan and I come to a common consensus that this baked dish has a sufficiently salted and seasoned custard with pastry crust of a right crispness.
Since Eggs Benedict's is highly recommended, Evan and I settled with their breakfast sets which comes with a juice and a drink.
Eggs Benedict's ($20++) is served with ham while Eggs Royal's ($21++) is served with smoked salmon and both are served with 2 lovely poached eggs on crispy toasts and creamy hollandaise sauce. Yuan regret not snatching a piece from my plate as I happily licked my plate clean. We liked everything of Eggs Benedict's (ham fares better than smoked salmon for its stronger taste) but not its price.
Before I continue, Choupinette's desserts mysteriously resembles the ones we saw at Swiss Baeckerei and due to the huge kitchen at the back of Swiss Baeckerei and Swiss Baeckerei pricing the cakes lower than Choupinette, I can't help but to think that the desserts either came from the same supplier or were out-sourced. Due to this factor, I wasn't keen to try the desserts at all.
Palais Royal, a dark chocolate with crunchy praline ($6.90++) was the best among the entire lot we have tried but was no where close to my top 4 chocolate-hazelnut favourites. Good but not heavenly. By the way, Swiss Baeckerei claims this to be their best-selling dessert but was sold out by the time we finished our main course that day.
Tarte au citron, a lemon meringue tart ($5.60) which Swiss Baeckerei claims to be their speciality. Yuan and I didn't bother to try it as our description fits Claire's opinion. Oh, Evan felt that Canele's Citron tart was much better so Canele's desserts are good after all, don't they?
Millefeuille frambois, custard and raspberries ($7.00++) was Yuan's choice and I think I enjoyed this the most despite its pastry being alittle soggy. Something light and refreshing after the loadful of eggs.
The Eclair au Chocolat Noir, a dark chocolate eclair ($5.00) has a mysterious resemblance with Swiss Baeckerei's chocolate eclair. Didn't try it either since we were sure that it is going to be a duplicate.
Vendome, a dark, milk and white chocolate mousse ($6.90) is another creation we saw at Swiss Baeckerei except for the different decoration on top of the cake. The chocolate content is weak and thus was too creamy to my liking.
Tarte aux Pommes, an apple tart (a slice costs $5.90++ while an additional scoop of vanilla ice-cream costs $7.90++), is something which Yuan and I have seen in the shelves of Swiss Baeckerei. No doubt it is an extremely thin slice of apple tart and I have neutral thoughts towards it. It is the nicer dessert among the entire lot but the ice-cream was just Magnolia, Marigold or Meadow Golds ice-cream (have I missed out anymore brands, yes... Kings).
Macarons, ah... was a... complete disappointment. The unsightly cracky shells, the hollow pockets... with the chocolate gaunche in almost all flavours... has a distinctive taste that is similar to popcorn.
The thing I enjoyed the most about the Choupinette outing is Yuan was the photographer for this entry.
In short, I was astonished by the close resemblance of desserts with Swiss Baeckerei and I think their breakfast sets is the only thing that will justify my next visit. By the way, they have been opened since 2001, maybe I am just not in the right state of mind for this entry.
Elaine has uploaded her reviews on this place, apparently she didn't like it that much. Vicki, on the other hand, has a prelude to her photos... looking forward to her post. LIC has uploaded has views on Choupinette: Brunch, desserts and outing and Evan presents her lovely pictures on Brunch at Choupinette. Vicki has uploaded her full review on this place too.
Finally had the time to type in my comments. Choupinette is a really nice place for breakfast if your pocket is deep enough. (The food here is really expensive) However since this is a food blog, lets not dwell too much about the price. Fen and I ordered the cheessburger and the egg Ben. The beef patty was overly done and really a challenge to slice. The egg Ben was delicious. Poach egg with ham, what a way to start the day.
Moving on to desserts, the desserts here look and taste puzzling similar to the one at Swiss Baeckerei. I posted this question to the waiteress and she said they bake their own desserts. Hmm.. are we seeing some copyright infringement going on here.
Since Fen has given a vivid description of the desserts. I shall just highlight 2 desserts which left a vivid impression. First was the macarons. Do not be mislead by the photo you see, in fact when the macaron was served, it was already cracked. The crust was very loose. One bite and everything collaspes and the filling was all chocolate regardless of which flavour you order. Personally I would think this is contender for one of the worst macarons which I have eaten.
My personal favourite for the day is the vendome. Three different layers of chocolate mousse and of course chocolate fudge on top. Not the extremely rich kind of chocolate mousse but good enough to taste the contrast of the chocolates.
607 Bukit Timah Road
Tel: 6466 0613
9am to 8pm (Tues to Fri)
8am to 8pm (Sat)
8am to 6pm (Sun)
Closed on Mondays.