There are lots of good dessert places in Singapore. But one that specialises in both desserts and savoury dishes – maybe not so common.
That’s one of the things that impresses us time and again with Antoinette, helmed by chef Pang Kok Keong. After all, being able to get the best of both worlds under the same roof is a pretty neat idea.
We were at Antoinette to try out Chef Pang’s new dishes and desserts. The new savoury dishes are a fusion of East meets West – and they are all pretty elaborate.
We had some warm bread ($5) to start off the meal. They came served with 4 types of special butter including caramelised shallots, rempah and preserved turnips (chai po). The fourth and most outstanding butter was preserved beancurd or Chinese ‘fuyu’. The ‘force’ is strong with this one – you’ve been warned.
Our favourite dishes of the night are the Kale Caesar ($22)and Hakka Gnocchi. The salad is served with roasted five-spiced chicken roulade and a generous sprinkling of fried garlic and crispy salted fish, which goes extremely well with the kale.
The colourful Hakka Gnocchi ($24) is not only pretty to look at, it is also well executed. The soft and chewy gnocchi got their beautiful colours from ingredients like beetroot, purple sweet potato and yam. As we couldn’t taste the difference between the different flavoured gnocchi under the heavy-tasting foie gras gravy, we like them all the same. Mixed with salty cured minced pork, the dish was very satisfying.
Next came Chef’s favourite amongst his new creations – Spaghetti with Pork Belly Ragout and cuttlefish ($24). Chef says he draws inspiration from a “peasant dish” he fondly remembers from his childhood days called ‘Ke Jia Yen Mien’, which is prepared by tossing fragrant oil into noodles. We especially like the addition of cuttlefish to this hearty dish as it not only lends umami flavours but also provides chewiness to the dish.
The Antoinette style Chicken Rice ($36) is a play on the Singaporean Classic. Even though only breast meat is used, the chicken slices are very tender, as it’s cooked sous vide style. Barley is used instead of rice and the grains are infused with chicken stock and spices. The accompanying sauces come in the form of small blobs of dark soya sauce foam and chilli gel beautifully arranged around the plate. It’s definitely an interesting dish but we would go for a normal plate of hearty chicken rice (not barley) anytime.
Desserts are a must at Antoinette, especially after we’ve seen how exquisitely designed the cakes look on our way in. If you only have space for one, we highly recommend the ‘Pandan’ ($14). The first part of this dessert consists of creamy Pandan kaya smeared on small pieces of toast. The second parter builds up to a medley of pandan infused desserts consisting of Pandan foam, ice cream, sponge and coconut crumble. Chef must have crammed a ton of aromatic pandan leaves into the dessert, as the flavours are so intense. The dessert is made even better by pairing it with salted gula melaka. Beautiful as a dream!
Chocolate lovers will be charmed by the Misty Forest ($18). It’s designed like the ground of a forest covered in small twigs, crumbly dark soil and the occasional sprig of weed (edible). Served under a glass dome filled with smoke, the dish is well deserving of its dramatic presentation (all eyes will be on your table). Enjoy the chocolatey goodness to madness as you shovel your way into this delicious crumble of chocolate cream, cashew nut nougatine and bright yuzu curd.
30 Penhas Road (off Lavender Street), Singapore 208188
Tel: (65) 6293 3121
Fax: (65) 6293 3220
333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery #02-33/34, Singapore 238897
Tel: (65) 6836 9527
Fax: (65) 6836 9209