Monday, September 12, 2016

Antoinette : Fetish Chocolate 2016

September, my favourite and probably my happiest month of the year. Not only is this my annual month of aging, it's also the month of CHOCOLATE!!! *toasts with a cup of hot chocolate earl grey with croissants croutons* 

Following the successful launch of Fetish Matcha, Chef Pang from Antoinette has curated yet another series of 23 delicious sweets and savouries around the insane theme-Chocolate, made with luxury-grade chocolate from French premium brand Valrhona.

Like Pokemon, chocolate is not an easy ingredient to capture in every dish; some are more obscured while some are straightforward to tell you "I'm Chocolate!!! Eat Me!". In any case, it's all about feeding your mind and body with happy chemicals and you don't have to be a chocolate lover to enjoy this.


Take for instance, the Braised Wagyu Beef Brisket with Homemade Parpadelle ($30) was an accomplished dish that exceeded expectations with its magical braising liquid that tasted of subtle red wine and chocolate. The beef brisket was impossibly tender and could easily beat any restaurant out there as well. 
The Sous Vide Salmon with White Chocolate Hollandaise ($28) was the statement dish that was testimonial to the chef's understanding of chocolate as much as his underrated expertise in savoury dishes. Gently sous-vide at 55 degrees for 12 min before pan-searing on the grill, the salmon boasted a finely crisp skin, retaining an unbeatably soft and moist flesh that paired excellently with the intriguing sauce. The juices of the fennel salad seeped to the base and enriched the sweet milkiness of the hollandaise with a tangy taste, elevating the whole enjoyment to another level of satisfaction. 
This dish or the beef can enjoyed as a 3-course experience at only $38 with the Roasted Carrots in Basalmic and Dark Chocolate Dressing and Chocolate Ravioli filled with Wild Mushroom Ragout and cooked in a Light Sausage Cream Sauce. Do the math and you'll know this is an extremely good deal not to be missed. 
That said, as a person who cannot live without chocolate for every single day, I would greatly urge anyone to head for their desserts, which I thought had exceeded previous standards set by the Matcha Fetish. 
The defining dish for me of this Fetish Chocolate was none other than the Chocolate Brioche with Banana Nut Crunch ($18), griddled to a buttery crustiness and delivered a true epiphany as the luscious flow of chocolate lava unleashed within the yielding interior. So dark and aromatic, crunchy and gooey, humble and wholly beguiling. Forget about that chantily cream, tis' a brioche to remember....
The Flaming Chocolate ($22) is the new age classic of the millennium era just like molten chocolate lava cakes in the 21st century. Whenever I see one, I always think of Pierre Herme and so the alcohol and flames didn't spark as much enthusiasm in my heart as much as the humble brioche. After all, it's harder to find a place that sells Chocolate brioche of such excellency than a Chocolate bomb. 

That said, the version here was still a class above the rest with a kind of intoxicating richness in the fruit compote and strong liquor. 
It was the cakes which saw the largest divide in opinions but one thing for sure-each cake had its camp of supporters. A friend loved the Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake ($10) and I can understand why because it was the lightest and most delicate mousse cake of the series.For a savoury-inclined person,  it must have felt like reaching a green oasis in a arid desert. 

Another rallied for the Orangier ($10) because it was a orange marmalade-hazelnut feuilletine combo which she loved personally. For me, it was the ugly and black Trufflette ($15) that most people found too rich and potent.

True enough, the taste of black truffle persisted and fought head-on with the dark chocolate. But nothing spoke to me like the beautiful woody, slightly mushroomy taste in the truffle creameux that actually complemented the mellow tones of dark chocolate (just like how coffee or houjicha worked with chocolate). In terms of texture, it was less cloying than the Orangier ($10) or the Macaron burger ($12) because it was mostly mousse and not ganache. The layer of crisp hazelnut feuilettine at the base was optional but I wouldn't see it as a trespasser or any sort. 
Invader Inside
Caraibe 66% caramel Mousse, Jivara 40% exotic cremeux, almond hazelnut chocolate feullitine, Guanaja 70% chibouste, Manjari 64% moulleux, Manjari 64% namelaka, chocolate coral sponge, chocolate almond crumble, exotic fruit jelly, chocolate popping candy, Dulcey 32% whipped ganache, Ivoire 35% vanilla Chantilly 

As much as chocolate is a serious affair, the Invader Inside ($15) introduced an element of fun and play with a dictionary of chocolate components all "vacuum-sealed" inside a metal can. While chocolate industry experts will probably jump straight in to dissect and analyze what's inside, the laymen on the streets like me will just grab the tiny black spoon and start mashing everything up for a true revelation of textures and flavors. This isn't as arty-farty like the gorgeous Terratium, but more of a techno-hip Lego Play that evoke the child in you.
Still, there are plenty of gems in the Bons Bons and Confectionaries which should be relished in small bites without rush. From the gold-dusted "Salted Egg Yolk Truffles" (box of 9/$28) made with painstakingly hand-sieved salted egg yolk to the "4 chocolates with 4 tea" ($2.50), these nibbles made great accompaniment to the cloudy Marshmallow Yuzu Hot chocolate ($9) or the Earl Grey Hot Choc with croissant croutons ($9)

I'm not going to spill the beans on every single item here because it will spoil the fun. 
Just sign yourself in for a real life tour of our local version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

All ala carte items are available till 31st October

Antoinette 

Penhas Outlet
30 Penhas Road Singapore 208188
Mon-Thur 11am-10pm
Fri/Eve of PH 11am-11pm
Sat 10am-11pm
Sun/PH 10am-10pm
Mandarin Outlet (selected items)
33A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, 
#02-33/34, Singapore 238897 
11am-10pm daily

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