13th March 2024
Serving unfussy, traditional French food, The Union Group’s latest establishment in Senopati finds inspiration from the charming Lyonnais neighbourhood restaurants of bouchon.

Named after neighbourhood restaurants in Lyon that are distinct for their convivial energy called bouchon, the recently-opened establishment by The Union Group in Senopati strikes a similar impression with its casual ambience as it serves unfussy, traditional French cooking.

Just a few minutes from its bistro counterpart Pierre, the two-level space draws much of its inspiration from the Lyonnais dining institution—warm, inviting, the kind of place where one leaves their inhibitions and formalities at the door. Equipped with private rooms, a balcony and a bar on both floors, activities glide with ease over the hubbub of diners from office workers and couples to families enjoying their fill.

But for the food, the esteemed Singaporean chef Brandon Foo isn’t going for Lyon specifics. Instead, the head chef gathers heritage recipes of everyday French dishes from all over the country. “Our food here is more comfort food, easy to make and straightforward with not much decoration on the plate,” said Chef Brandon, who also owns a French bistro in Singapore.

Starting with their lineup of French salad, Chef Brandon makes a case of using locally grown greens to toss up popular classics like Riviera Salad (roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, arugula and baby cos and basil dressing) and Tuna Niçoise (green beans, black olives, boiled eggs and capers vinaigrette). Yet the eatery’s hidden star is their take on croque monsieur (ham and cheese sandwich); in the crowd-puller Croque Bouchon, an all-over crispy crunch determines just how well the bread is toasted, while the truffle bechamél sauce is a fitting addition to the combination of gruyére cheese and turkey ham.

At the centre of Bouchon, however, is their rotisserie. Spit-roasting poultry and meats over an open flame to render a tender and caramelised flavour, Bouchon included the cooking tradition from mediaeval French to plate up their house specialty of chicken, pork and lamb. The plate of chicken is served with garlic and rosemary au jus with a heap of matchstick fries, while the pork sits in apple cider jus and served with a side of potato gratin for variety, a sumptuous meal that is as effortless as they are presented. 

Likening the concept to the simple and humble charm of warung—”French warung” as they described it—Bouchon emerged as one of the establishments in the city to dismiss the often intimidating tag of French cooking. And despite its relatively new start, Bouchon is already attracting crowds from day to night. “We want to make Bouchon like a canteen, where people can come in and eat here every day.”