Just this month in August 2014, Antoinette has done a fair share of additions and revamps to its menu across all outlets. And if you don’t already know by now, no, while they are renowned for their desserts, they serve some rather kick-ass main courses as well. I must say, more so now, as I’ve found myself a favourite from the newly-launched menu. From all-day breakfasts to starters, to main courses and plated desserts on top of their displayed cake slices and macarons, you name it, they have it. And in all honesty, I am quite impressed at how they handle their dishes reasonably well despite an extensive menu. I got to give a go at some of their new releases, and I’m here to tell you what’s worth paying for.
Summer Salad ($16.50++) :: One of the more well-balanced starters I’ve had is this round garden of quinoa. That alone wouldn’t have done any beautifying works to the plate. It was the brilliant matching by the Chef to achieve a sophisticated-yet-not-overly-complicated touch on the palate. I love the feta cheese, sherry vinaigrette, pumpkin seeds, ingredients that contributed more to the taste, and especially the incredibly juicy compressed watermelon. There are also bits and pieces of rockets, roasted butternut squash, sour dough chips and extra virgin olive oil lying around. A starter I would have again, though admittedly, the portion isn’t the biggest around.
Poached Eggs with Red Wine Sauce ($17.50++) :: Next to the ‘Big English Breakfast’ of sorts under the All-day Breakfast menu here, this is the next more expensive dish. Quality wise, I have no gripe. Poached eggs contained in the bowl were cooked to perfect yolk-oozing doneness; cherry tomatoes were sweet and juicy; red wine sauce definitely detectable; small, cubed smoked pork belly could be more tender though. However, value-wise, I find it hard to justify. I can’t imagine paying near $20 for two eggs, a small portion of smoked pork belly, salad, and slices of toasted Levain bread made in-house.
The Grand Garden of Antoinette ($30++) :: A newly-introduced main course that I was absolutely blown away was a plate of some seven or so thick cuts of chewy and meaty roasted duck breast, smeared with the beautifully poached egg yolk, and paired with a strong all-round guard of seasonal vegetables, comprising some strong presence of sunflower seeds, sweet baby carrots, caramelised butternut squash, cherry tomatoes and caramel orange dressing, amongst other ingredients like roasted asparagus, beets, cresses, button mushrooms, and lotus root chips. Picking up the bits of tasty ‘decorations’ around the duck breast serves as a good break in between your mouthful slab of perfectly executed meat. A re-order can be expected of me on my next visit.
Black Angus Ribeye Minute Steak ($36++) :: A very simple dish is this ribeye minute steak served with shallot red wine sauce. I thought it was ordinary and nothing to yell about. Instead, the accompanying mashed potato was to die for. There were chunks of potatoes in it, and it was buttery and creamy to bits it was one of the best. Having it by itself was good. But having it with the shallot red wine sauce was great. The course comes with seasonal vegetables too.
Shrimp Capellini ($26++) :: I love a Capellini when it’s done al-dente. Disappointingly, it was slightly on the dry side despite tossing the noodles around in an attempt to mix it up. I must say though, the crustacean oil that they use was amazing. It possesses a very, powerful and strong shellfish-y smell and taste, and I love it, though really, if you don’t like it, you’ll hate it. The small sea shrimps were a little overcooked too, I thought. Again, I find it hard to justify paying heftily for this.
Strawberry Baba ($18++) :: One of the new plated desserts is the Strawberry Baba. The flawless baked Baba dough was soaked in citrus vanilla syrup, perfumed with aged dark rum. When they say that it’s perfumed, it really is. It’s the kind where you can smell the aroma diffused into the air, a relatively light flavour that is still present in the dessert; smooth and pleasant to match the sweetness and sourness of the overall concoction. It’s very strawberry-oriented with kirsch macerated strawberries and strawberry coulis incorporated.
Baked Alaska ($25++) :: This is the best of its kind that I’ve had. Firstly, the set-up is already a grand majestic classic by itself. After the much anticipated flamed Grand Marnier liquor was poured over the torched blackcurrant meringue and left to burn a while, we pried open the gem and found vanilla ice cream with ‘griotte’ cherries cooked in kirsch, orange confit and almond nougatine. The intentional slight burns on the meringue gave a good, substantial start to the rich, creamy, sweet and alcoholic entrance into the core. The flavours were perfectly harmonised, seemingly a match made in heaven. Compared to many other Baked Alaskas I’ve had, this is the one to beat.
A list of Chinese tea has also been added to the tea selections.
The new menu is available across all three outlets.
What’s worth paying for:
The Grand Garden of Antoinette.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address (outlet mentioned here): 30 Penhas Road
Telephone: 6293 3121 (takes reservations)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Thur); 11am – 11pm (Fri & Eve of PHs); 10am – 11am (Sat); 10am – 10pm (Sun & PHs)
Address (Mandarin Gallery outlet): 333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, #02-33/34
Telephone: 6836 9527 (no reservations)
Opening hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Address (Palais Renaissance outlet): 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance, B1-08/09/10C
Tel: 6735 6392 (no reservations)
Opening hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
This was a media session.