Tag Archives: french

Le Jardin D’ Antoinette

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Antoinette has been making waves in Singapore with its exclusive dining atmosphere and pastry creations. The inconvenient location of the Penhas outlet, together with the too claustrophobic outlet at Mandarin gallery, has created an imaginary barrier stopping me from stepping into them. Then came the latest outlet at the quiet Palais Renaissance which was simply what I was hoping for.

Themed Versailles, this new hideout could be one of my favorite casual dining places now. My favorite part of this outlet, other than its food, is the roofless gazebo which is stunning and that made up for the fact that there is no view of orchard road from the restaurant. Unfortunately I was unable to secure seats in it (even though it seemed empty and reservation-free the whole time I was dining there).

The menu for Antoinette is extensive and offers all day breakfast, french toast, pancakes, main courses, crepes and their signature pastries and teas. To play safe, I opted for Burger Antoinette – consisting of layers of pan-fried apple, chicken leg patty, house dressing, veggies and chips to go along. Preferably I would pick fries to chips to go with the burger – sometimes it’s best to go with the norm. Yet I liked how the ring of apple was decently good when paired with chicken.
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The Club Honey Baked Ham was more like a sandwich except that it was huge. This one came with omelette and honey baked ham as main ingredients. Less heavy compared to the burger while eating but it makes you equally full.
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Desserts are a must at Antoinette. In fact, I gathered that majority of its patrons want desserts here the most. 3 macarons – Chloe (citrus yogurt and yuzu), Brittany (caramel with fleur de sel) and Passion (Milk chocolate passionfruit ganache). My personal favorite was Chloe. I’ve had many sweet macarons, so I loved how it refreshed and redefined macaron for me. Otherwise, Passion and Brittany were not bad as well.
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It’s a cakes galore at Antoinette. Simply too hard to choose the perfect cake at Antoinette, so I go with my girly instincts on the prettiest one. Saint Honore l’Amour (or just call it rose) is composed with choux pastry, rose petals, raspberry, glaze and strawberries. It was not overly sweet but just the right balance of strawberry and cream.

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Antoinette is definitely one of the places to drop by if you’re in the orchard area. Mandarin gallery’s outlet features dim lighting and royal upholstery while Palais’s is classical, romantic and airy. Reservations are recommended.

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390 Orchard Road

Palais Renaissance

#B1-08/09/10C

1100 – 2200 daily

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Ma Maison Restaurant

The Ma Maison group of Japanese restaurants include full-fledged restaurants and cafes and what’s making them do so well is their casual yet hearty affair. Ma Maison @ Bugis Junction, the outlet I visited, had a Japanese-French appeal with its dim interiors. Despite seeming a tad too dim and dusty, I loved the rustic charm of the narrow restaurant.

An extensive menu awaits you at Ma Maison as new items are regularly added and may come in the form of a whole set of lunch and dinner offers and set meals.
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A plate of prawn paste chicken wings ($9.80) to start the meal as appetizers. Nothing much to rave about them though.
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Surprisingly, the different outlets of Ma Maison all have differing signature items. Ma Maison @ Bugis Junction emphasizes on their mains of beef steak and pastas. Their hamburg steak dishes look especially appetizing (plus the fact that I have a thing for japanese beef) so I got the Italian Hamburg with Cheese ($16.90). Though the steaks weren’t out-of-the-world fantastic, I still like the idea of what I call “casual beef” at comfort prices.
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Fruit pies and tarts are a must when at Ma Maison. Initially I was pretty much tempted by the massive array of colorful fruit pies, cakes and tarts however a sudden appearance of brownie and ice cream on an isolated sheet of the menu changed my mind in the spur of a moment. Surprisingly, the seemingly out-of-place dessert was made well – a soft, light one for the tummy.

Overall, with its centralized locations, decent food and prices, I see no harm to return. Next on my list: the praised Tonkatsu at Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, new kid on the block Aloha Ma Maison and more cakes at Cafe Ma Maison!

 

200 Victoria Street

Bugis Junction #02-51

Singapore 188021

1130 – 1430, 1800 – 2200 on weekdays

1130 – 1430, 1700 – 2200 on weekends

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Donq Bakery

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I am the type of “kiasu” blogger who rush with the crowd during a hype. Well, not exactly to rush with them exactly since I usually take a few weeks to make an eating trip after spotting a trend. Donq gourmet grocery has opened its doors at the basement food hall of Takashimaya in Orchard not long ago in late April. It has since then attracted many customers. It is easily one of the busiest, if not busiest, space at the dining hall.
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Donq Bakery was founded in Japan and incorporates a French style within. They are said to be sold out of products in the evening so be there early. It was a tough decision, what with the extensive range of products and everyone of them seem to be a ‘best-selling’ one.
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From left to right: the Sausage Boat, Dutch Bread and Tart Bresson Fruit.

The Dutch Bread ($2.40) was something special, what with its hard crust and soft interior (like a baguette) with a slab of cheese hidden within. I thought it would be better for the cheese to be cheesier as it reminded me of a block of butter, but on the other hand it keeps the bun plain but a good time of plain, if you understand.

The Tart Bresson Fruit ($2.80) left the greatest impression on me. It’s appearance attracted me in the first place, then I realized it tastes as well as it looks. It’s a soft tart of sweet custard filling with mixed berries which are a tad sour to complement each other.

Don’t forget to grab some other of their renowned items such as the cheese cookies, pain au chocolat and spinach and sausage buns!

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Takashimaya Singapore

391A Orchard Road

#B2-03

Singapore 238873

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Pamplemousse Bistro + Bar: 3 course set lunch

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Laid back among the greenery at Dempsey’s 6ix and 7even blocks, I should just get to the point and say that the 3 course set lunch at Pamplemousse Bistro & Bar at $32++ per person is a great deal for lunch especially when considering the quality main courses they serve. Pamplemousse which also means ‘grapefruit’ in French, offers European dishes mastered with French techniques.

Alfresco dining lets you feel the serenity of the greens around while dining indoors provides a posh dining experience with white and silver tableware.

That pleasant feeling when you are served Complementary bread & butter with olive oil.

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For appetizers, we ordered what we were recommended, namely the Salmon and croquettes. The salmon was just simple and light yet everything good at the same time – a good appetizer to have.
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On the other hand, Crab “Otak” Croquettes had a distinct taste and tender strands of meat beneath the crispy exterior. I fell in love with it immediately, next time I see croquettes on a menu….. hmm.
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Uni Tagliolini – The pasta was light with crustacean sauce and a good rendition of tagliolini. It is also another recommended item of the main courses.
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There’s nothing like a french meal without the Duck Confit. The duck leg was cooked very well, with a well-marinated and crispy skin as well. It was set atop a bed of red cabbage which I initially thought was a weird ingredient but then realized later on that it was simply unique especially when eaten together with the meat. Besides that, I loved the creative sides of lychees and potatoes.
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Melons & Sago – A subtly sweet dessert which had a zesty taste to it. It reminded me of oranges. Altogether it was like a sweet concoction of fruits.

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“Milo Dinosaur” – A deconstructed dessert of milo parfait, chocolate streusel, milo sponge, dulce de leche, brioche and condensed milk.

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The service there left me a great impression of Pamplemousse. One of the waitresses was very dedicated in serving us and making sure we had the best lunch possible, even filling us in the components of the dishes. I wouldn’t hesitate to try out their brunch menu soon enough. Portion sizes here are not filling enough when going a la carte so don’t hesitate for the set lunches or the chef’s menu ($98++) for dinner.
7 Dempsey Road

#01-04

Singapore 249671

Operates for lunch from 1200 – 1430 weekdays and 1130 – 1430 on weekends

dinner from 1830 – 2230 daily

* with Mondays as exceptions

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PAUL Bakery

A legend from France has arrived.
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The very much anticipated french bakery and cafe-restaurant, PAUL, has made its way to our doorstep. Paul is a renowned bakery establishment most famous in Europe, and not to mention hundreds of franchises worldwide. When the boards for renovation of the area where it is now were put up, I felt the wave of excitement.

The menu had a wide array to choose from ranging from bread baskets to breakfast items like eggs to sandwiches and more. I thought the Potato Pancake with Salmon ($21.40) sounded more special and ordered it. The potato pancake is something like rosti but quite different from it. Fried to a crispy skin revealing strips of well-flavored strips of potato, I enjoyed it especially with slices of smoked salmon atop it. To my surprise, they tasted good together. A vegetarian alternative would be the potato pancake with mushrooms.
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I wouldn’t recommend the Waffle with Chocolate Sauce ($6) over here. Sure enough, it was rather crisp but I thought it was normal as a find anywhere else.
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On the other hand, the Chocolate Millefeuille ($6.40) is one of the must-try pastries at Paul. It is more like a stacked chocolate biscuit full of creamy goodness of chocolate. After that, I found some reviews claiming that the Vanilla Millefeuille is even better than the chocolate one! Uh oh, I guess I’ve got to make a trip back to Paul.
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I would like to think that this one’s made specially for the ladies. This Strawberry Tart ($6.40) certainly grabs the attention of any girl. The strawberries were glazed, hence turning out sweet more than sour. This time, yet another creamy goodness surrounds the strawberries in held together as the centerpiece, making the tart taste as sweet as it looks.
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Some feel that the franchise in Singapore has fallen short of their expectations while others are simply enjoying the new food. Perhaps it may not seem at its best compared to the franchises in Europe but I think that it’s just it being placed in the Singapore context. There are 2 dining areas to Paul and I don’t really fancy the squeezy sitting area outside the restaurant. The ambient is just not there. If I were to ever head back, I would probably ask for a sit in the more comfy main dining area. Queues are still going long so be prepared to wait.

Also, don’t forget to takeaway some bread and pastries like their pain au chocolat, croissant and even huge macarons home from their bakery!

391 A Orchard Road
#03-16/16A/17
Ngee Ann City Tower A
Opening Hours

Bakery: Sun–Thu: 8.30am – 10pm
Fri–Sat: 8.30am – 11pm
Restaurant: Mon–Sun: 10am – 11pm

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