A Chinese man making some of the best French pastries in Singapore sounds ridiculous, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Chef Pang Kok Keong is the brain behind Antoinette, a quintessential Parisian pâtisserie and restaurant that pays homage to Marie Antoinette — the last queen of France known for her love of excess. And with the cafe-bistro‘s new menu, you’ll get the same indulgence that the monarch once enjoyed.
Most of the spotlight is on the decadent collection of soufflé pancakes, arriving just in time to match the opening of Gram — Japan’s largest pancake chain — at VivoCity, but we don’t doubt the standard of Chef Pang’s creations. Plus, he has a loyal following to show for it. Starting with the sweet variants, the Trés Berries (S$16++) is a take on the classic offering of berries and pancake. The airy vanilla crème Chantilly is brilliant, and a generous dousing of honey maple syrup can only make it better.
The soufflés themselves are light, soft, and fluffy, like a pillow at the best hotel you’ve stayed at. There are also local interpretations, like a greenish Ondeh Ondeh (S$16++) lavishly sprinkled with snowy coconut flakes, pandan custard, and gula melaka syrup. It sounds like it can be too sweet, but it’s fairly balanced.
Brunch addicts can order the Benedict (S$18++), which comes with slices of serrano ham, a velvety omelette, and a rich Hollandaise sauce to hit their hipster quota. Seriously though, we like this one. The Forestiere (S$16++) is another savoury soufflé with an omelette, though this one comes stacked with creamy brown mushrooms for an earthier mouthful.
What’s better than a pancake? Some will say good ol’ French cakes. Chef Pang has five new artful creations with a surprising fusion of ingredients, but this is the man who once made a dessert yu sheng with edible gold coins and orange butter cake. The Kyoto (from S$9) is an aromatic homage to hojicha teas, flavoured with nutty hojicha mousse, a thin layer of orange confit for sweetness, and a soft finger sponge made with Okinawan black sugar. We’re hardly surprised to learn that he loves bubble tea, to which he’s created an Instagram-worthy Earl Grey Bubble Tea (from S$9) with a spongy ogura cake base and layers of salted cream cheese Chantilly, freshly mango cubes, and tapioca pearls — prepared in-house, for sure.
Now that Antoinette is veering towards bistro-style fare, you’ll find new all-day items imbued in French cuisine. Chef Pang’s Burgundy Beef Stew (S$16), cooked with red wine and left to simmer for hours on the stove, is a classic. As is the traditional Schiacciata ($18) flatbread stuffed with melted camembert, pecorino, and bits of black truffle to boost the aroma. He goes one step further and serves honey and sunny side-up on the side for dipping.
Then, there are seasonal specials like the Crispy Pork Belly Confit (S$28), perfectly tender and served with braised savoy cabbage and silky apple puree.
Truthfully, it’s a lot to keep up with, so we say head down and check out the rest of the menu for yourself — there are alluring delicacies to tempt pretty much every kind of taste bud. We’ve got other news too: the patisserie bade goodbye to its Mandarin Gallery abode ands found a new home at Millenia Walk. We can’t be more pleased!
Antoinette is located at 30 Penhas Rd, Singapore 208188, p. +65 6293 3121. Open Mon-Thu 11am – 10pm, Fri 11am – 11pm, Sat 10am – 11pm, Sun 10am – 10pm.