The Queen’s Vacherin ($25) – rose petal meringue filled with yuzu cream, vanilla bean ice cream, vanilla crème chantilly, lychee, strawberries and raspberries, crowned with spun sugar
Antoinette has carved a huge name in Singapore’s dessert field, satiating sweet tooth(s) of all ages and genders. So much so the savoury items are often left out of conversations, underemphasised, undervalued. It’s time to give the savoury menu a time to shine –not that it needs a desperate call for attention, but it does deserve special mention.
The brand (and appellation) is inspired by the famous last queen of France, Marie Antoinette. Conceived by Chef Pang Kok Keong, Antoinette Restaurant, Påtisserie & Salon de Thé has 3 outlets: its flagship store at 30 Penhas Road opened in June 2011, second at Mandarin Gallery opened 2 months later, and the third and largest (3100 square feet) opened in 2012 at Palais Renaissance. The outlets exude the style and ambience of Marie’s favourite hideaway chateau, the Petit Trianon, in the gardens of Versailles.
The flagship store at Penhas Road for instance is bedecked in an eclectic mix of charming furniture evocative of the late eighteenth century neoclassical style.
Chef Pang’ has a strong foundation in classical French cuisine, and is highly gifted in both the sweet and savoury departments. The dedication and precision he applies to his sweets are also applied to savouries, which are bound to impress fastidious diners. I never knew this before, but the savoury menu is available across all three outlets.
Quinoa Salad ($16.50)
First to impress is the artfully presented Quinoa Salad, composed of rocket leaves, compressed watermelon chunks, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, sour dough chips, feta cheese, sherry vinaigrette and extra virgin olive oil. Scoring high distinction for the excellence in the coalition of ingredients, the contrasting textures work well together. This is one salad that leaves a deep impression and builds up desire.
L’oeufs en Meurette ($17.50)
If you’re feeling like “brunch” (think: eggs and toast), order the glorified version, the L’oeufs en Meurette, where poached eggs are accompanied by sautéed mushrooms, smoked pork belly and red wine sauce, and sided with toasted Levain bread and salad.
Ham and Cheese with French Toast ($14)
Also sliding into typical brunch favourites is the Ham and Cheese with French Toast. Brioche bread coated in egg and pan fried, is sandwiched with Swiss Gruyere cheese cream and Paris ham, served maple syrup and Chantilly cream alongside salad with house dressing. I can have this dish every other day and not get bored!
Le Grande Jardin d’Antoinette (The Grand Garden of Antoinette) ($30)
I’m not the biggest fan of duck meat, but the Le Grande Jardin d’Antoinette (The Grand Garden of Antoinette) is one duck dish I adore endlessly. Succulent seared roasted French duck breast (I can’t believe it’s duck breast because it’s so juicy) is surrounded by a garden of pickled pears, roasted asparagus, baby carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cresses, flowers, mixed greens, sunflower seeds, button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, lotus root chips and lavosh crackers, crowned with a perfectly poached egg, and complemented with caramel orange dressing.
Entrecôte Poêlée a la Bordelaise (Black Angus Ribeye Minute Steak with Shallot Red Wine Sauce) ($36)
Crab Pomodoro ($26)
It’s always nice to see homemade pastas on the menu. It shows the kitchen’s dedication and efforts in bringing forth the best possible product from kitchen to table. The Crab Pomodoro is essentially homemade pappardelle pasta sautéed with fine herbs, a touch of chilli and chunks of crabmeat, infused with clam broth and coated in white wine tomato sauce.
Baked Alaska (Omelette Norvegienne) ($25)
Now that we’ve given the savoury items the glory they deserve, we have to admit that a meal is never complete without dessert, especially at Antoinette.
The unassuming Baked Alaska comes with vanilla ice cream with “griotte” cherries cooked in kirsch, orange confit and almond nougatine, enveloped in a blackcurrant meringue, which is torched and a flamed with Grand Marnier liquor.
Strawberry Baba (Baba aux Fraises) ($18)
My top pick would be the Strawberry Baba, featuring baked baba dough soaked in a citrus vanilla syrup perfumed with aged dark rum, served with kirsch macerated strawberries, strawberry coulis and vanilla crème Chantilly.
Blanc et Rose (white and pink) ($9)
Bringing out the “tai tai” in you is a range of teas, such as the Blanc et Rose (a delicate floral blend of rare white Silver Needle tea blended with organic pink rose petals, a fragrant, softly sweet tea with a feminine touch) and the Iced Lemongrass, Honey, Kaffir Lime and Red Tea ($12.50 a pot).
Antoinette’s Hot Chocolate ($7.50)
Providing immense comfort, especially on rainy days, is the vanilla perfumed hot chocolate. Chocolaty rich and sufficiently thick, this is one of the better hot chocolates around. You can also have it with crème Chantilly served on the side to enrich it further, with the Viennese Hot Chocolate ($8.50).
Antoinette Restaurant, Påtisserie & Salon de Thé is exemplar of “French elegance meeting contemporary cuisine” in Singapore. With such high level of creativity and dexterity, Antoinette has the potential to reach greater heights.
30 Penhas Road, Singapore 208188
Tel: (65) 6293 3121
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 11am to 10pm, Friday and eve of Public holiday 11am to 11pm, Saturday 10am to 11pm, Sunday and Public holiday 10am to 10pm
333A Orchard Road Mandarin Gallery #02-33/34, Singapore 238897
Tel: (65) 6836 9527
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily
Le Jardin d’Antoinette, 390 Orchard Road #B1-08/09/10C, Singapore 238871
Tel: (65) 6735 6392
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily