I would like to make a confession – I have a fetish for chocolate, which often leads to chocolatedosis, a condition that results from uncontrollable urge to devour excessive amounts of chocolates, leading to explosions of endorphins in the body system. It all started recently at Antoinette, when Chef Pang presented his latest offering, Fetish Chocolat that included Le Carte du Chocolat, which was a curation of 4 savoury chocolate dishes.
I had the savoury chocolate starter, an exquisite salad with Roasted Carrots in Balsamic and Dark Chocolate Dressing ($18). The dark chocolate used was an Equatoriale 55% – it is a chocolate with a good balance of dark chocolate with similar proportions of sugar and fat. Roasted, sweet carrots mingled with mildly salty serrano ham with just a few flirtings of the Equatoriale-Balsamic dressing – do not let the simple, unassuming appearance of this salad fool you.
Chef Pang offers 3 more chocolate-based savoury dishes. It is a rather bold move as Chef Pang needed to find the sweet spot of combination of various chocolates with the other ingredients. Here are my favourites in descending order.
I started with the Sous-vide Salmon with White Chocolate Hollandaise ($28). I had much anticipation for this one, as I have never tasted a hollandaise made with Ivoire 35% white chocolate. The white chocolate hollandaise was lightly sweet with delicate flavours of fresh milk and vanilla. To balance the flavours, Chef Pang – the man-at-helm, added acidity into the fray, with apple slices, fennel salad and dressed them with olive oil and lemon juice.
This dish is meant to be tasted in unison – the brined, sous vide and finally pan-seared salmon needs a gentle dip of the white hollandaise and a dash of the salad. Only when these tastes have intertwined, only then you will get the best out of this dish – this was undoubtedly my favourite.
Next was the Braised Wagyu Brisket with Butter-tossed Parpadelle ($30). The magic in this one is in the wagyu brisket, braised with Guanaja 70% dark chocolate that has characteristics of complex fruit, coffee, molasses and floral notes. The chocolate blended with the braised brisket, but it did so at some cost as the complex tastes of the Guanaja seemed to have been lost.
The last savoury dish was the Chocolate Ravioli filled with Wild Mushroom Ragout ($22). With much bewilderment, I went straight to the brown-coloured ravioli. And then, I felt much disappointment trickling in – there was a complete lack of chocolate taste. I could not taste the Caraibe 66% chocolate, that was supposed to carry a fruity, barely sweet taste with a long finish of delicate flavours of almonds and roasted coffee.
Despite being rather disappointed with most of the savoury chocolate dishes, those brown-coloured goodies kept my endorphins simmering at a good level. I could still draw from my previous experiences that Chef Pang’s magical work with chocolates desserts and cookies will make it all up.
The recovery started with the Chocolate French Toast ($18). This is not your regular, boring French Toast – the brioche is filled with Equatoriale 55% chocolate lava, vanilla Chantilly and maple syrup. I enjoyed this quite a bit as the chocolate stood out over the brioche. Just make sure you share this with 3-4 of your friends.
Next up, the Invader Inside ($15) will surely appeal to your kid, or the kid in you! It, literally, has every chocolate magic inside – 10 textures of chocolate, to be exact. Words just can’t adequately describe the explosion of Invader Inside – the level of detail that Chef Pang is known for, awes everyone enough! Eat the chocolates, and read the label!
My favourite dessert of the lot was the Trufflette ($18). It resembles a black-diamond-encrusted dessert that reveals a treasure of different chocolates within it. You will get the Caraibe 66% dark chocolate mousse, black truffle cremeux, chocolate genoise, and a hazelnut feullitine. The Trufflette comes highly recommended – each element of the chocolates were able to shine without much suppression.
Chef Pang’s meticulous work can also be seen in the Macaron Burger ($12). Yes, burger made entirely of chocolates! I know that it is almost a natural mental reflex to expect the taste of a burger in this one. You have to remember, visually it is a burger; but tell your taste buds that it is a lot of chocolates. The Macaron Burger is one for the Instagram.
Included in the Fetish Chocolate series, the Bon bons (price ranges form $2.50 to $15) and the Chocorons ($3.50 each) are the ones that I really liked. The White Chocolate Matcha, Almond Butter Rusk, Chocolate Rice Crispies and the 4 Chocolate with 4 Tea are the bon bons that should not be missed. In fact, the special Valhorna chocolates used have shone through the best in these goodies.
The verdict goes that most of Antoinette’s Fetish Chocolat creations are immaculate, despite my reservations with a couple of the savoury chocolate dishes from Le Carte du Chocolat. I would strongly advise you not to get overloaded with the chocolates in a single seating – there is only so much chocolate that the taste buds could take. May I suggest you to get Bon bons and Chocorons as take away, if you have had a hearty chocolate meal at Antoinette that day.
Antoinette’s Fetish Chocolat and the Le Carte du Chocolat have been available since 1st September through to end of October 2016. Reservations are taken for lunch and dinner only at the Penhas Road branch.
PS.: Chocolatedosis (pronounced chocolate-doh-sis) is a FICTITIOUS term. So, do not panic!
Antoinette at Penhas Road | 30 Penhas Road (off Lavender Street) Singapore 208188 | 6293 3121
Antoinette at Mandarin Gallery | 333A Orchard Road Mandarin Gallery, #02-33/34 Singapore 238897 | 6836 9527
Antoinette at Sofitel So Singapore | 35 Robinson Road Singapore 068876