KING OF CHICKEN RAMEN
I may be partial to tonkotsu or pork broth ramen, but I can be swayed. The new additions to the menu at Keisuke Ramen Tori King at 100AM mall for its fourth anniversary are worth returning for. This is the only branch under the Ramen Keisuke Dining Tokyo chain that specialises in chicken-based ramen broth.
Those who like clear soup can go for the Tori King Ramen (from $11), featuring broth made with kelp and shavings of dried skipjack tuna (bonito). The soup is light but no less flavourful.
If, like me, you prefer a robust soup, go for the Tori King Tan Tan Mien (ultra super rich, above, from $14.90). Inspired by Chinese-style dan dan mian, the thick soup is cooked for up to 12 hours and blended with white sesame paste and housemade chilli oil.
Each of these ramen dishes comes with a special option for diners who want all the toppings - tender chicken leg, flavoured egg, sliced chicken, seaweed and the new roasted chicken meatball.
The meatballs are juicy and flavoured with yuzu zest for a fragrant tang.
My other pick is the Tori King Dry Noodle (from $12.90), which is maze soba topped with minced pork, spicy chilli and vinegar - almost like a Japanese version of bak chor mee. The dish also has almonds, walnuts and pine nuts, which work very well, adding texture and flavour. For this option, the noodles are topped with tender sliced chicken.
WHERE: Keisuke Ramen Tori King, 03-15 100AM, 100 Tras Street MRT: Tanjong Pagar WHEN: 11.30am - 3pm, 5.30 to 10pm (weekdays), 11.30am to 10pm (weekends) INFO: www.facebook.com/KeisukeTokyoSG
ANTOINETTE'S CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
The festive season is here and it is time to plan an indulgent Christmas spread.
Since the best Christmas trees are the edible ones, get Antoinette's Red Rosette ($150, right), which also makes a beautiful centrepiece for your dessert table. Under the swirls of dark chocolate chantilly are layers of chocolate cake, crunchy almond nougatine and orange confit in a light chocolate ganache.
For something more savoury, try the pastry chain's Hivernette ($75) - a fancy sandwich "cake". It has four layers of house-baked country bread drizzled with olive oil and spread with mustard butter and tomato jam.
The first layer is spread with wild mushroom ragout, followed by caramelised onions and cornichons. The last layer is spread with boeuf bourguignon, made with wagyu beef brisket. The layers are covered in a beetroot cream cheese chantilly and topped with roasted vegetables such as broccoli, onion, kale, cauliflower and carrot.
The entire Christmas collection also features a variety of chocolates, cakes, and macarons - perfect for satiating my sweet tooth.
WHERE: Antoinette's three outlets at 30 Penhas Road; 02-33/34 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road; and Sofitel So Singapore, 35 Robinson Road MRT: Lavender/Somerset/ Telok Ayer WHEN: Till Christmas Day INFO: www.antoinette.com.sg, order three days in advance
NEW DISHES AT XI YAN
Chinese restaurant Xi Yan Private Dining is celebrating its 11th anniversary with a slate of new dishes for its set menus.
Some of my favourites include the jade radish ring, which gets its lovely green colour from being soaked in green pea juice, with mixed mushrooms; and crab with egg white on coconut bounty, where fresh crab meat is mixed with egg white and served in a coconut shell (above). I scoop the sweet coconut flesh from the shell, which goes well with the delicate flavours of the crab and egg white. The pop of saltiness from the ikura on top balance the flavours perfectly - a good starter.
Other highlights include the rose smoked chicken (available from Monday to Dec 4 for dinner, from $88++ a person, minimum two people). The fragrant aroma from the rose petals perfumes the chicken and its juicy meat; and claypot garoupa with pig stomach and salted vegetables (available from Jan 16 to Feb 15 at Xi Yan Shaw). I enjoy the peppery soup with the salted vegetables and the moist fish.
If the dishes mentioned are not available for the week's menus, diners can request the dishes to be included.
WHERE: Xi Yan Private Dining, Level 2, 38 Craig Road, MRT: Outram Park WHEN: Ongoing INFO: Go to www.xiyan.com.sg for the full menus
GOOD CAFE GRUB AT D'GOOD CAFE
Four years after opening at Holland Village, d'Good Cafe has spawned a second outlet at Ngee Ann City. Finally, another proper cafe in Orchard Road.
And I am glad that this London-themed branch is very different from the original. It has a more extensive food and drinks menu. I am sure instant crowd-pleasers are the poached fresh lobster pasta ($26 for half lobster, $48 for whole) and D'Lobster Roll ($22, above) - both come with chunks of succulent lobster. The bread for the lobster roll is also nicely buttered and toasted, so it does not get soggy from the filling.
The meat dishes I try - slow-braised cider pork cheek ($16) and pan-roasted chicken breast ($16) - are also good options. I would not normally order chicken breast, for fear of it being dry, but this one is tender and very juicy. The pork cheek is also succulent and not overcooked.
Clearly catering to the Instagram generation, some interactive drinks are also available. While another colour-changing drink - green tea mocktail Spiral Galaxy with grape juice - from the cafe has been making its rounds on social media, I much prefer the coconut-infused cold brew ($9.50++). The aroma of the coconut is not overwhelmed by the coffee. It will give you a good video because of the dry ice.
WHERE: d'Good Cafe, B1-56 Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road MRT: Orchard WHEN: 10am to 10pm daily INFO: www.facebook.com/dgoodcafe