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July 5, 2020

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Le Bec’s authentic French gourmet experience

THE tree-lined Xinhua Road embraced French flair for the first time when Bistro 321 le Bec opened its doors six years ago. And, for the city’s discerning diners, it brought an authentic French gourmet experience.

Nicolas le Bec later launched Epicerie & Caviste 62 le Bec in 2017, a French gourmet and wine heaven, as an alternative to the more premium experience, offering authentic Gallic deli products along with exciting French wines from a wide range of price tags.

The third place under the Le Bec family was initiated at the end of last year. It suffered because of the pandemic but it recently reopened its doors and is just a two-minute walk away on the same street as Epicerie & Caviste 62.

Le Bec 178 Grand Comptoir has a spacious indoor dining space and a relaxing outdoor lounge for eating and drinking. The décor retains Le Bec’s signatures but injects more tropical, colorful elements, especially in the outdoor lounge. Statues of Buddha heads, tropical plants, pink and green cushions all give the vibe a leisurely and chilled, vacation feel.

Inside, comfortable furnishings are enhanced by the bar area with bottles displayed along the wall. The wine menu ensures vino lovers will find their ideal bottles from both the Old and New World, with a wide range of varieties.

The food menu is ideal for sharing and wine pairing. Duck foie gras terrine, pork and duck rillettes, duck pate with pistachios, dry French sausage and black truffle creamy brie cheese all ensure universal appeal. It’s recommended to try out more creative, fusion-ish plates.

I started off with crispy Thai shrimp rolls and two crabs stuffed with cod fish brandade. Fried shrimp rolls is an ideal starter or snack for wine drinking customers, with complex, fragrant flavors wrapped and deep-fried for maximum crunchiness.

Traditionally, brandade, or cod and potato puree, is made with dry, salted cod. Here, the gratin is less creamy but more garlicky, tasty and presented inside crab shells.

Pan-seared tuna is a typical French dish but here the chef gave it a twist by using Provence oil with yuzu and soy to give it an Asian touch. It’s a good pick for summer season.


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