Antoinette – Celebrating Singapore’s heritage with new dishes
Whether or not we admit it, hawker food has and will always be a defining element to the Singaporean culture and identity. Ergo, it is encouraging to see chefs innovate new dishes that feature those beloved flavors. Keeping in line with that spirit, Antoinette’s award-winning Chef Pang Kok Keong is proud to present a myriad of newly curated dishes to celebrate Singapore’s Cuilnary heritage.
To start off, we tried the Bread & Butter. As primitive as it sounds and looks, this unique $5 set features 5 different breads: satay bacon epi, levain (sour dough), baguette, five-spice escargot and croissant. It is served with 4 types of hand made butter including preserved bean curd, caramelized shallot, rempah and chye poh (preserved turnips). Personally, My favorite was the levain with the chye poh butter. Try it and let us know which is your favorite.
Next, we had the Kale Caesar ($22) which sees a fresh creamy kale salad on the side of 3 thick juicy slices of 5 spice roasted chicken leg. The kale salad is dressed up in salted fish dressing and is well balanced with the sweetness from the butternut squash. For me, the star was the chicken leg. Succulent and infused with the rich flavour from the 5 spice powder, the chicken leg slices disappeared quickly from the plate.
How can you celebrate Singapore’s culinary history without chicken rice? While there have been multiple attempts at rethinking the iconic chicken rice dish, Chef Pang’s rendition of Chicken Rice ($26) really stood out for us. In order to soak up the flavour of the chicken, chef pang has cleverly replaced the fragrant rice with wholesome barley. The iconic dish sees luxuriously juicy chunks of sous vide chicken atop the barley mash, garnished with sinfully crispy baked chicken skin. The colourful blobs of colour on the side can be contributed to chef pang’s homemade coriander sauce (green), dark soya sauce (brown) and a powerful chili sauce (red). It’s a lot of work but you’ll taste it in the food. As with regular chicken rice, pair it with the dark soya sauce and the chili sauce for the maximum pleasure.
Our personal favourite would be the Hakka gnocchi ($24), served with cured pork cubes and morel slices, drenched in a buttery foie gras cream. Redolent of abacus seeds (suan pan zi), this savoury dish is complemented well with 4 distinct types of handmade gnocchi: yam, sweet potato, purple sweet potato and beet root. The consistency of the sweet potatoes was a little denser and less chewy than the traditional yam. While the stark sweetness from the beet root and sweet potato variants added contrasting flavors to the dish, I still preferred the classic yam pieces. Nonetheless, a very interesting twist on a popular Hakka delicacy and highly recommended.
If you’re a noodle lover, chef pang has not excluded you out. Made from scratch, the Spaghetti ($24) comprises homemade spaghetti decorated with cuttlefish pork belly ragout and a medley of 3 different oils. When asked which was his personal favorite dish, chef Pang bashfully pointed towards this dish. The noodles are harder than you’d expect, making it exceptionally chewy. The crunchy strips of cuttlefish add interest to the dish. I would’ve liked softer noodles, but to each his own.
For dessert, we were treated to a decidedly quirky breakfast set. Paired with candied bacon and roasted brioche, the eccentric Sunny Side Up ($10) is actually made from an ingenious use of coconut Malibu foam (egg white), passionfruit and mango coulis (egg yolk) and sprinkled with crushed cocoa bean (black ground pepper). Some of us enjoy our sunny side up by just devouring the yolk but we recommend mixing this sunny side up before dipping the toast in. The salty bacon helps to cut through the sweet coconut foam and the tangy coulis adds depth to the dessert.
For a traditional sweet dessert, you could opt for the Misty Forest ($18). It’s served in a glass cover shrouded in smoke. While it impressed us with its stunning presentation, the dessert itself didn’t disappoint. The Misty Forest comprises grand cru dark chocolate, cremeux, yuzu curd, praline cream, cashew nut nougatine, chocolate crumble, chocolate coral sponge and matcha moss. I really have to give it to Chef Pang for his vivid imagination on this one. (it closely resembled a little terrarium on a plate to me) Owing to the copious use of chocolate, the dessert boasts a medley of bitter-sweet flavours but the sharp acidity from the yuzu curd was a refreshing yet unexpected twist. Tangy yet sweet, creamy yet crunchy. It feels similar yet so different in some ways and this is what made the dessert stand out.
Grab 10% off pre-purchased $50 vouchers on Chope when you purchase them at https://shop.chope.co/collections/antoinette and redeem them at any Antoinette outlet you visit! Note that all the new dishes will only be available at their Penhas Road outlet! Give it a try and let us know which was your favourite dish!
Note: This is an invited tasting.
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