‘Hawkerpreneurship’ is a word unique to Singapore, where young people strive out to be hawkers to make a living, not necessary a career path many would consider. I first met Chef Kenneth Lin during a television interview on Good Morning Singapore where we were invited to talk about that subject. On an ending note, he said “You must visit my restaurant.”
Chef Kenneth Lin started with a humble stall of Le Cuisson within a coffee shop in Queen Street and then Holland Close, created some news for bringing affordable French cuisine to the masses.
Can we say that he has made it?
He who first studied to be a banker, has moved on to another phase of his culinary dreams, from a hawker stall to a two-storey shophouse bistro along Prinsep Street, now renamed as La Cuisson.
While some may have the impression that French cuisine is about romance and exquisite, I can say La Cuisson (which means ‘the cooking’ in French) is all about being hearty, approachable and rustic.
The dishes are great for sharing – Pan Seared Foie Gras ($22), Ox Tongue Salad ($26), Coq Au Vin ($26), Pork Pot Au Feu ($29), Sous Vide Pork Chops ($33), Lamb Duo ($68). Prices are as well, no longer at coffee-shop levels.
Having a meal here does feel homely, both in terms of food, its presentation and ambience. Chef believes in “honest food, handmade goodness” – cooking everything from scratch in his kitchen, and maintains a very small team behind.
My favourite dish was the Pork Pot Au Feu ($29), a robust pot of sous-vide tender pork shoulder, pork sausage, puy lentils, mixed vegetables cooked in an aromatic pork jus. This is the kind of dish that you would gather 3 other good friends to mingle over laughs and good wine.
The Lamb Duo ($68) was the dish that gave every one on the table the thumbs-up, fork-tender meat in that full-flavoured sauce. It was presented as the last main, and was still swept clean even though everyone was quite full of French dishes of generous portions.
Although some dishes felt unpolished and could have been better executed, and La Cuisson may not have achieved commercial success (like Saveur did), but I can safely say that Chef Lin belongs to one of the local culinary talents we should gamely support.
La Cuisson Bistro and Wine Bar
44 Prinsep Street Singapore 188673, Tel: +65 83320302
Opening Hours: 5pm -11pm (Tues), 10:30am – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm (Sat), 10:30am – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:30pm (Sun)