They say the lower the capacity of a restaurant, the more luxurious it is. Which is most generally true. Antoniette, though it looks puny and petty in appearance, this French restaurant sure does the opposite of the description by taking us with a a bang. Having already heard so much about it before finally getting my
hands mouth on it, there couldn’t possibly be any parts of it that could have disappointed. Even with the ridiculous queue and waiting time, we were persistent on getting in. Mind you, we were already the first in line with the three of us, but most seats are catered for twos, so we waited for three-quarter of an hour. When we were eventually ushered to our seats, I understood why people refused to give up their comfortable and home-y seats.
Even though the menu was limited, we took our time to browse through it and get soaked in the moment – like a princess does on most occasions. Oh, just kidding.
Baguette :: The presentation was enough to fill my satisfaction. I mean, just look at those little jars of chocolate and butter that you just want to take it as yours. It makes eating some mundane pastries more enjoyable. The baguette itself, though was forgettable – nothing bad, nothing good.
Iced Chocolate ($7.50++) :: This has to be the best Iced Chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s thick(er than blood – Advanced Happy Halloween!), so flavorful, yet not hurting to the throat, it’s like the best combination for a drink. No one should be giving this a miss; At least I know I wouldn’t, the next time I’m there.
Marinara ($24++) :: I must say I’ve never been a fan of tomato-based pasta (or anything in general). But this that I’ve tried, didn’t in any way give me the icky tomato feeling. Topped with some of my favorite seafood – mussels, scallops, prawns and squids, it’s an ‘ok’ even for non-tomato-lovers. Heck if you’re a tomato-based pasta lover, I doubt there’d be any issue with this.
Wild Mushroom Risotto ($24++) :: Coincidentally too, I’ve never been a fan of rice-based main courses (like Risotto / Paella). But once again, Antoinette proved me wrong. I actually find it quite appealing and appetizing, and it kind of gave me a turn – I recently had a Risotto as main dish myself. It really isn’t -that- powerful, but the point is, I guess it’s a good bet if you usually don’t eat them but would like to give it a try.
Boeuf Bourguignon ($32++) :: Braised beef brisket, in Burgundy style red wine. So no, this has no requirements for stating of the degree of rarity you’d like for it to be cooked. Even though a relatively small portion, it is with great pleasure throughout the process of completing the course. The meat is tender and soft, contrary to popular belief that beef meat is tough. Because the brisket muscles holds some 60% of the body weight, the lot of connective tissue requires perfect cooking to tenderize them, thus I must say, good job on it!
Macarons ($2.50++) :: Yes, guilty as charged. I wasn’t here for the main courses – I was attracted by their colorful and vibrant display of macarons. True that they are pricier than many other places, but their quality sure is directly proportionate too. After so long, finally Bakerzin and Jewels Artisan Chocolate have met its match.
A definite full 4-star (✰✰✰✰) for me. Good food. Good atmosphere. Good service too, for me, even with reviews stating otherwise. No qualms.
—> Note #1: Outlet here at Mandarin Gallery doesn’t take reservation, but the one at Lavender does. They have an outlet at Scarlet Hotel opening soon. I must say, what more appropriate location.
—> Note #2: Really, don’t ever go in a large group. If possible, stick to 2 especially when heading down to Mandarin Gallery’s outlet.
Address (In Context): 333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery #02-33/34
Telephone: 6836 9527
Photos by Kathleen.