Posts Tagged ‘French Cuisine’

Antoinette– The new Hakka-inspired dishes taste fantastic!

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You may know Antoinette for it’s dainty and delectable desserts, but did you know that Antoinette serves up delicious mains as well? These are not just a few savoury dishes to cater to those that happen to be hungry, but a full-fledged menu that you would find in a good restaurant.

Award-winning Chef Pang Kok Keong is always experimenting with new dishes. You can tell when he makes it a point to come up with a cake collection launch every single year. Recently, he decided to create Hakka inspired dishes so as to showcase his culinary heritage. When you look at these dishes, you’ll wonder, are these Western dishes, or are these Asian dishes? Therein lies the excitement of dining at Antoinette’s, some of the new dishes are so different, you’re kept on your toes wondering what’s coming next!

Take a sneak peek below of what the 6 new dishes are like. The revamped Antoinette menu will still feature some classic French dishes as well as these 6 new special dishes. So glad to know that my favourite Nougatine crepes are still available, although only during tea time and weekend brunch. One of the best crepes I’ve ever had!

 

Antoinette - Bread and Butter  (2)

Bread Basket $5

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Les Tommeries Restaurant

Day 5 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

As part of our stay at the Chateau D’Isenbourg, we were treated to a sumptuous feast at the hotel’s resident restaurant, the Les Tommeries. Les Tommeries is lovely, with numerous grand arched windows to enjoy the view of the vineyards just beyond. In the Summer, you can also partake in your meals on the al-fresco verandah, which must surely be an exciting thing to do. Scroll down to see pictures of the verandah and vineyard.

Chateau D'Isenbourg Les Tommeries Restaurant (7)

In a Louis XV style, its crystal chandeliers and stone flooring somehow brings me back to a bygone era.

Chateau D'Isenbourg Les Tommeries Restaurant - Amuse Bouche  (2)

Amuse Bouche

We were treated to a lovely palate pleaser in the form of a foie gras pate. I love pates and a foie gras pate is obviously even more delectable. The little block of pate smooth and rich tasting. I could have eaten the whole thing easily but I decided to limit myself to only half as it is very satiating! Don’t want to be too full for my mains!

Chateau D'Isenbourg Les Tommeries Restaurant - Salmon marinated in soy and sesame, crisp white cabbage wasabi cream 22 Euros

Salmon marinated in soy and sesame, crisp white cabbage wasabi cream 22 Euros

The Partner scored a homerun with this fantastic salmon starter. The chef must have taken pains to lay out each sliver of salmon in this eye-catching geometric shape. The Asian-inspired marinade was a welcome change from European flavours and I think I must have enjoyed this starter more than the Partner!

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Jaillance, the N°1 AOP Sparkling Wine Brand in France comes to Singapore!

Listen up people! If you’re planning a big party or an intimate evening, you would no doubt have had some thoughts on what sort of alcohol to provide. Champagne’s always a crowd pleaser, however most people can’t provide that without being afraid of burning a hole in their pockets!

Well, fret not, now that bestselling French bottle-fermented sparkling wine Jaillance bubbles onto our shores for the first time with two offerings – the brut Sémillon from Bordeaux and the demi-sec Muscat, Clairette from Die. Sweeping accolades at the International Wine Challenge, the International Wine and Spirit Competition, the Decanter World Wine Awards, the Concours National des Crémants and the Concours Effervescents du Monde, these sparkling wines are sure to bring the holiday spirit into any celebration, just in time for the upcoming Christmas and New Year festivities.Jaillance Event at Balzac Brasserie -  brut Sémillon from Bordeaux and the demi-sec Muscat, Clairette from Die

Jaillance originates from the Drôme Valley, nestled between Vercors and Provence, and represents the Cave de Die, a cooperative founded in 1950 under the leadership of Henri Bonnet. More than 120 000 connoisseurs and enthusiasts visit its cellars every year in Die and Bourg-sur-Gironde to savour its collection.

What’s the difference between sparkling wine vs Champagne?

For those not in the know, Champagne IS sparkling wine, produced from grapes grown exclusively in the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine made using the exact same method as Champagne but with grapes not from the Champagne region cannot be called Champagne.

The point of this is that because there can only be a limited amount of Champagne produced in the Champagne region, and because the average person does not know that there is more to sparkling wine than just Champagne, Champagne the sparkling wine obviously commands a premium.

The thing is, not everything called Champagne equals quality. For the same price, you would probably get a superior tasting sparkling wine of other origins as compared to sparkling wine from the Champagne region. And that’s where Jaillance comes into the picture. Can you believe it that these award winning wines are retailing in Singapore for $26.90 (Muscat,Clairette) and $29.90 (Semillon)???

Jaillance Event at Balzac Brasserie - (3)

Personally, I favoured the demi-sec Muscat, Clairette from Die much more than the brut Sémillon from Bordeaux. Demi-sec means slightly sweet, whereas brut means dry. The demi-sec has a slightly higher sugar level in it, which was more palatable to the sweet-toothed me.

I’m no wine connoisseur so obviously I don’t think I can tell the difference between a good quality sparkling wine vs a good quality champagne. What I can say is I did enjoy drinking these sparking wines very much. More so as compared to a champagne I drank at a subsequent event later that week!

Canapés from Balzac Brasserie

Jaillance Event at Balzac Brasserie - (11)

We got to pair our sparkling wines with canapes courtesy of Balzac Brasserie at Rendezvous Hotel. Balzac Brasserie is a French bistro which I have not tried to date, but based on the quality of the canapes served, and the nice, light & airy ambience at Balzac, I’m quite keen to come back again soon!

Jaillance Event at Balzac Brasserie - (16)

Jaillance Event at Balzac Brasserie - Carpaccio of REd Beetroot and marinated Calamari

Carpaccio of Red Beetroot and marinated Calamari

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Brasserie Les Saveurs – Restaurant Week March 2012

After a not so spectacular Restaurant Week experience a year ago at Magma restaurant, I skipped the next Restaurant Week event. I wasn’t planning on going for this year’s Restaurant Week either, but when Amex sent me an enticing email saying “PRORITY BOOKINGS ENDS TONIGHT!”, I succumbed and clicked on the email….just to you know, check out the restaurants without really intending to make a reservation.

I was actually still mixed after perusing the list of restaurants. I asked the Partner if he would like to go and he said “OK but you decide on the restaurant”, which totally didn’t make things any easier. I casually told a friend who was on MSN about Restaurant Week and to my surprise he was keen to attend! Not only was he keen, he didn’t mind going on a Monday night to a restaurant that listed its menu as “Surprise Menu”. OK fine let’s just plunge in and hope for the best! So with trepidation, I clicked “Book table for 2 at St Regis Brasserie Les Saveurs”.

Brasserie Les Saveurs Restaurant Week Menu

I am so glad we went for Restaurant Week cuz the meal we had at Brasserie Les Saveurs was totally fantastic. The ambience was good, the food was good, the service was good. Really I couldn’t ask for more, except perhaps a little more lighting because the food photos didn’t turn out too good. But then again, more lighting would have changed the mood of the place. Next time I’ll bring a torch.

Normal Restaurant Set Dinners are at $35++ each, but St Regis Brasserie Les Saveurs is considered as one of the high end restaurants so an additional $20++ was imposed. Still, it’s worth the money as most of the ala carte main courses are well over $40++ already.

Brasserie Les Saveurs - Trio of chocolate mousse with coffee ice-cream and pepper anglaise sauceHave to start with a picture of dessert first even if I ate dessert last.

Brasserie Les Saveurs - Bread Basket (2) The usual bread basket served before the commencement of the meal. Bread was nice and warm in its covered basket. Love the tub of French butter provided! Decadence! My friend polished it off entirely.

Brasserie Les Saveurs - Gaspacho Amuse Bouche Amuse bouche of gaspacho served. Refreshing vegetable concoction with a dollop of cream. The cream is supposed to be mixed into the gaspacho but it was so lovely I couldn’t stop eating it on its own.

Brasserie Les Saveurs - Foie Gras Terrine - Duck Foie Gras Terrine and Roasted Figs with Balsamic vinegar and Mesclun Salad (2) Duck Foie Gras Terrine and Roasted Figs with Balsamic vinegar and Mesclun Salad. Heavenly melt in the mouth rich duck foie gras. Brioche was provided but I felt it was just in the way of me enjoying the terrine in all it’s naked glory. I had to stop myself from finishing it all off or I would be too full to enjoy the main course. I didn’t let the waitstaff clear it either until after desserts, just IN CASE. My dining companion sniggered at me for consuming so much fat. Ya lah he had the healthy soup for starters, but need I remind him that he ate the entire tub of butter?

Brasserie Les Saveurs - Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup with olives and basil (2)-tile   Spicy Tomato soup with olives and basil. Soup came separately from the condiments! I had a spoonful and thought it to be delightfully refreshing with a nice sour tang from the tomatoes.

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Au Jardin at Botanic Gardens

To celebrate her 4th year at the company, my very generous colleague decided to treat us to a huge meal. At first, it was going to be a 1 night’s stay in Bintan! But alas, we booked too late for the Hari Raya weekend.

The outing was the day after I arrived back from Norway. I woke up at an ungodly hour of 5am thanks to the jetlag, fell back asleep again somewhere around 8am, and managed to crawl to the Botanic Gardens at 10.30am. The rest of my colleagues were already there, snapping photos of everything in sight as we’d also organised a mini photography competition. Yours truly got second place, darn!!

After the photography session, we made our way to Au Jardin. In contrast to the hoards and hoards of people at Casa Verde, and just about any other spot in the Botanic Gardens, Au Jardin was refreshingly quiet and serene. Au Jardin occupies an elegantly restored 1920s colonial residence and serves French fine-dining food. A waiter greeted us at the ground floor and led us upstairs to our table. I was glad to discover that Au Jardin is quite small. Apart from us (9 people), most of the other diners were couples enjoying a romantic date together. It really is a very romantic and peaceful setting, with a view out into the lush gardens. I’m sure Au Jardin must have been witness to many a wedding proposal over the years.

We were there for the Sunday brunch, which comprises of an appetiser and soup buffet, plus choice of eggs, mains and dessert, for the price of $88. From the Les Amis website (they own Au Jardin), it appears that the mains and dessert selections have changed, but the following was what we had when we were there in the 1st week of November.

Au Jardin Dining Area

Photo courtesy of Au Jardin

Au Jardin - Appetiser selections from the buffet

Appetiser buffet – Vine-ripened tomatoes are one of my favourites. Ever since I learnt about the difference between vine-ripened and artificially ripened tomatoes, I’ve not turned back.

Au Jardin - Fried Egg sunny side up (2)

Egg selection – Eggs benedict, cocotte, scrambled or fried. I chose fried because I love my eggs sunny side up. Eggs benedict I thought would be a little too heavy considering that we still had mains coming up.

Au Jardin - Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted Pork Loin with garlic sausage, smoked bacon and mustard sauce – This was my choice of mains and I had no regrets. The pork loin was very tender and juicy. Finished the whole thing. Garlic sausage was a nice addition and made me feel like I was getting 2 for the price of one.

No idea about how the other mains tasted. Didn’t ask, shy lah…

Au Jardin - Panfried Meagre Fish

Pan fried meagre fish with butter leek and green peas

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