Antoinette, Penhas Road
Antoinette is lavished with elements that are inspired by the French neoclassical period, and well known for their gorgeous Instagram-worthy cakes and multi-coloured macarons that makes patrons come back for more.
And with new additions to their permanent menu that's available for both lunch and dinner? You will be spoilt for choice! Antoinette's Chef Pang Kok Keong introduces creative new and modern dishes that will take you back to some nostalgic moments with touches of Asian heritage.
I decided to have a pot of Iced Yuzu, Mango and Passionfruit Green Tea ($12.50). And I love that it came with cubes of fresh mango and passion fruit at the bottom. Although it had a bit of a sour twang, but it was most definitely refreshing!
We started off with a basket of Bread and Butter ($5), which really took me by surprise. Amongst the variety of pastries, there was a Satay Bacon Epi. When I first had it on its own, I was a tad disappointed because I felt like the flavours were too light and almost a miss, until it was brought to life when I had it with the Lego-shaped flavoured butters that it came with. My favourite was the caramelised shallot butter. The preserved beancurd butter and preserved turnip butter were also surprisingly tasty and not as weird as it sounds! And there was the rempah butter, which honestly caught me off guard, but it was flavourful and had an interesting taste to it.
The Tuna Mousse ($18) had an Italian bruschetta or a deconstructed tuna sandwich vibe. Chef Pang swapped the more commonly used Italian basil and Balsamic vinegar for an Asian twist of Thai basil and Chinese vinegar. Although those flavours were more prominent in the salad portion of the dish, it was overall very light and tasty.
One of my favourite dishes of the night was the Kale Caesar ($22). I was surprised how the salted fish dressing paired so well with the rest of the dish. First thought, you wouldn’t think that salted fish would go well with kale, but alas it does!
Accompanied by bits of crispy fried garlic and that bit of sweet butternut squash, this dish won me over almost instantly. Not forgetting the yummy five-spice roasted chicken leg roulade on the side which tasted similar to Ngoh Hiang. Definitely a dish that would entice me anytime!
Chef Pang creatively put together a tasty twist to his version of Chicken Rice ($26), experimenting around with the textures, while keeping the elements that still made his version of chicken rice pretty authentic. As a healthier alternative, the was no rice. Yes, you heard me... NO RICE. Instead, Chef Pang substituted it with barley grains cooked in chicken stock. However, I felt that the barley was a little too mushy. But I did love the authentic flavours that came from the soya sauce foam and coriander gel. *PS: The chilli has a kick to it, perfect with the sous-vide styled chicken breasts and the super duper crispy skin.
The Chili Crab Arancini ($16) was beautiful to look at but unfortunately was a miss for me. The sea asparagus was a nice touch but the cheesy risotto ball that was filled with a homemade chilli sauce and cooked with crab meat as well as a lobster bisque that just didn't catch my taste buds. The element of the fried Chinese bun, or man-tou, were small crispy bites that I thought lacked the texture or taste of that beautiful steamed bun that everyone loves.
I was looking forward to the homemade Spaghetti ($24) but honestly, I was pretty disappointed. The pasta was on the thicker side and felt uncooked, shy of an al dente texture. But I later learnt that that was the proper texture of the pasta and was not amused. The other elements though, were pretty yummy! But I would have preferred the cuttlefish pork belly ragout with Asian egg noodles. The sprinkle of ebi sakura was delightful, though!
But let bygones be bygones because my favourite dish was up next! The Hakka Gnocchi ($24) comprised soft and chewy coloured balls that were just amazing. As gnocchi is more commonly known to be a great vehicle for a good sauce, this dish did not disappoint! The vibrant and colourful gnocchi was made with beetroot, yam, sweet potato and purple sweet potato. But what stole my heart was the sauce. With a medley of foie gras, cured pork, dried shrimp and more, this dish had an authentic taste of the Hakka Abacus Seed dish. A single serving of this dish could be a little too heavy for one person, so you might want to share this. As we always say, good things must share!
Of course by now, I felt so fancy eating such luxurious food that I need a fancy cuppa tea before dessert! So I ordered a pot the signature Earl grey d'Antoinette ($10). It was so aromatic and wonderfully light! Just how I like it!
And just when I thought the hot tea had calmed me down from such a good dinner, it was time for DESSERT!
Served in a coloured pan that looks oh, so cute! The Sunny Side Up ($10) looked legitimately like a breakfast plate, with two slices of toasted brioche, candied bacon and what looks like a sunny sided up egg! The "egg" was beautifully made with coconut Malibu foam and the bright-orangey yolk was made from an exotique coulis that gave me passion fruit vibes. Light and simple. They even drizzled sweet olive oil and had "pepper" that was made from cocoa beans! How clever!
Another amazing dessert was the Pandan ($14). It is a 2-part dessert, with a yummy pandan kaya and butter toast along with a gorgeously plated dessert of pandan ice-cream, coral sponge, caviar, coconut crumble and a very flavourful lime foam! The smear of salted gula melaka pulled this dish together so perfectly. It was a pretty sight and tasted so good. The experience is hard to explain so this one, I recommend that you must try!
The piece de resistance was saved to serve last. An Instagram-video worthy dessert, the Misty Forest ($18) was encased in a dome with smoke inside to give the dessert a nice smokey flavour. I personally wasn’t very impressed with the flavour of this dish or the smell even. When the dome was lifted, the smell of the smoke reminded me of the smell of joss sticks (not very appetising). Taste wise, the first bite had a slight tobacco flavour, but after you’ve gotten pass that the dish started to taste better.
Just when we thought we were done for the night, we were served five cakes that are new additions to Antoinette’s menu. These cakes are probably perfect for a classy mid-afternoon break with a nice warm cuppa.
The cake collection includes (ascending order by row) :
Café Blanc Caramel – just like having that after dinner coffee, but in a cake.
Charlotte IV – a slight sour tinge from the cassis strawberry jelly and strawberry creameux, not really my favourite one.
Monotone – you can never go wrong with classic chocolate. This was my favourite among the lot.
La Rose – the most Instagram-worthy cake that comes in a full-bloomed rose. The flavours change from sweet to sour as you go along. I personally prefer my cakes to taste the same throughout.
Orient – with its white lotus seed mousse and salted egg, it kind of feels like you’re eating a mooncake.
All in all, I loved the ambiance of this place and would probably come back again for the few of my favourite dishes!
30 Penhas Road
Tel: +65 6293 3121
Monday to Thursday – 11am to 10pm (Last order - 9.30pm) Friday and Eve of Public Holidays – 11am to 11pm (Last order - 10.30pm) Saturday – 10am to 11pm (Last order - 10.30pm) Sunday and Public Holidays – 10am to 10pm (Last order - 9.30pm)