Antoinette – Singapore
When Antoinette first opened in Singapore a couple years back. I thought it was just a cheap (i.e. expensive to customers) knock-off the Laduree salon du thé. But now that they’ve updated their menu with some savouries and plated fancy desserts, I’ve changed my mind.
I made my way down to the flagship store on Penhas Street, which I felt has the best ambience out of all the outlets due to its atypical location. It was filled with couples looking at their phones instead of talking to one another. 😛
Anyway, I started my meal with the Salade d’été – a quinoa salad with compressed watermelon, butternut squash and croutons. I wasn’t so sure what was so “summery” about this salad to warrant the name, but the compressed watermelon added a thirst-quenching dimension to an otherwise ordinary quinoa salad, making it slightly less dry to the mouth.
The other salad was my favourite and it was also my main. Le Grand Jardin d’Antoinette (menu spelt it as grande, but jardin is masculine), the salad comes with a whole French farmed duck breast that was cooked to a perfect shade of pink and topped with a poached egg. The surrounding vegetation of the said “jardin” came with a slew of dehydrated vegetables and frisee leaves. I stress the French duck as European farmed ducks are meatier, fattier and much less gamey than regional ones.
Oh my god, the L’oeufs en Meurette – eggs in red wine sauce – is awesome sauce. Two runny poached eggs sit in a red wine reduction with sweet onions and grapes. The sauce was heady and you could taste the meat jus that was simmered with the wine. The crusty bread that comes with it make dish a perfect this to prod, crack the yolk into the sauce and dip the bread in for a thoroughly satisfying meal. Mmm!
Antoinette’s also has plated desserts now. And they are all quite chi-chi.
The La Vacherin de la Reine, is very royal like as the name suggests. The dessert arrives crowned with a halo of spun sugar which opened to reveal a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream beneath. The dish reminded me very much of an Eton mess, minus the mess. The meringue at the bottom was infused with rose water.
The Rhum Baba…I must say, I’ve had stronger babas else where. A baba is essentially a rum soaked cake the French call dessert. I think it could have use a smidge more rum and less creme Chantilly and strawberry coulis. But my favourite dessert of the night was the Omelette Norvégienne a.k.a the Bombe Alaska a.k.a the baked Alaska. HIIIII! (Sorry, Rupaul’s DragRace reference).
Look at the glorious 49th state!
It comes soaked in Grand Marnier before the waiter sets it alight, gueridon service-style . The Grand Marnier form a bitter orange glaze on the cream which complement the vanilla ice-cream and red berry compote on the inside. Share these plated desserts, because all these sweets can be a bit much for one person to finish. Also because, it is more expensive than Antoinette’s counter cakes and macarons.
All in all, as Antoinette (or some dispute Marie-Therese) would say “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!” Let them eat cake! I say let them eat Bombe Alaska.