Was a little reluctant to share this, but I guess it was only a matter of time anyway !
Fans of Antoinette, rejoice, because they have opened a third branch at the Scarlet Hotel near Ann Siang Street ^.^
I’ve been a few times to the other branches but was sorely turned off by the more-than-an-hour wait and the so-so service, so I was so excited to find (after dragging shopping bags that included 1 kg of Japanese calrose rice with Abby) a tiny, boutique Antoinette that was virtually empty around din-dins time.
I have officially decided that its my favourite branch of the three – the decor is immaculately Parisian, and the attention to detail is the best I’ve seen in Singapore. It is also no way near as pretentious as TWG, and it is also nice to not always be served by foreigners. Antoinette’s Penhas Rd branch isn’t nearly as pretty .. and the Mandarin Gallery one has claustrophobically low ceilings.
My top gripes with TWG
- Inflated prices and only middling food
- Inexperienced servers who prefer huddling around the macaron counters chatting
- A mandatory ‘one pot of tea per person/no sharing’ policy. Don’t they know that the entire tea time experience is sharing tea and cakes and catching up between girlfriends?
- They have a huge selection of teas but I find most of them to be indistinguishable to the palate after a while (or maybe I just have peasant tastebuds, I don’t know.)
When I first heard about Antoinette, I was skeptical. I didn’t think anything could beat my actual experiences at Laduree, Pierre Herme, and Angelina’s. How could you possibly simulate old-world glamour and romance successfully without any of the actual history? I also think its impossibly gauche to queue for ANYTHING, including entry into tea salons.
Antoinette was a surprise – its probably the next best thing we have here short of getting on a plane and flying off the Paris.
Abby and I wanted to wait till the other two butas arrived, (honest!) but a 45 minute walk will tire out even the strongest and stoutest of hearts (of which we are neither) so we set about ordering our food with gusto.
My French Apple Tart tea – 아주 맛있었어요 !!
It was delicious! Like liquified, warm apple pie. If you close your eyes, you can even taste a hint of buttery shortbread. Remember to add in a little cube of white sugar from the pot they provide, it goes a long way in making the tea yummy!
Abby’s Creme Caramel tea was equally scrummy.
In case anyone was curious (No, I just want to share hee) my photos are all unedited ! I got that lovely soft glowy feel from the photos from using the art filters on my amazing new Pen Lite. =) Its a gorgeous camera. Now looking to get the Lumix’s Leica Pancake Lens so I can take pretty close ups and also more ‘complete’ looking photos (as per Juice’s recommendation!)
We saw Blinis on the menu, and nearly succumbed to the French Toast, but those are hardly substantial enough for two fungry girls (Excuse my french !)
Abby ordered the Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Pain De Mie (fancy way of calling toast).
It was actually really good for the price ! The salmon was silkily smoky without any fishiness, the toast was pillowy, and the eggs were creamy. We slathered the supplied fromage bleu (blue cheese) butter on the toast and that took things to another level altogether.
My dish was the scrambled eggs gratin. It was hearty but not as nice as I would have hoped.
The tomato fondue kind of overwhelmed everything else in the gratin. I couldn’t distinguish the stewed mushrooms or the slices of Paris Ham.
Also, the scrambled eggs had gotten a little overcooked from their time in the oven and lacked the loose creamy silkiness of Abbys’.
Halfway through our meal, the other two pigs arrive! -_-
LY with her new hair !
Our gorgeous L !
L’s duck breast with Eggs. The duck was fatty, salty = yummy. You can’t go wrong there unless you’ve overcooked it completely.
Their signature pastry – the second time I’m having it and I still loved it. I’m a sucker for delicious crunchy feuilletine bases paired with only slightly sweet milk chocolate. This dessert has BOTH the elements, plus its infused with my favourite Earl Grey Tea ! Topped with a little jelly sac of raspberry coulis to cut through all that chocolatey goodness. Rich, but if I could only order one thing at Antoinette it would be this.
A large choux pastry topped with little choux puffs and rose flavoured icing, a swirl of rose-infused chantilly creme, and topped with a sugared rose petal.
It is clearly a Laduree rip-off and I was already a little disapppointed when I saw how bright and artificial the pink cream looked – unlike the pretty pastel pink of Ladurees’.
We all agreed it was too sweet. And the choux was slightly stale. It could be that we were there rather late in the day but at $9 a piece, stale pastry is not supposed to happen.
In all, I like the place – Its pretty, its so me that my friends have been asking me why I haven’t already blogged about it.
But I wouldn’t go back for the mains – just the tea and the pastries.
Antoinette at Scarlet Hotel
33 Erskine Road #01-02/03 Singapore 069333
*Walk-ins only + Only sandwiches and burgers are served at this branch.