Food picks: Rhubarb delicacy, a new patisserie and light herbal Teochew duck

Pate de Fruit (left) from Pantler and Vanilla ice cream and crumble from Rhubarb Le Restaurant. -- PHOTO: PANTLER/RHUBARB LE RESTAURANT
Pate de Fruit (left) from Pantler and Vanilla ice cream and crumble from Rhubarb Le Restaurant. -- PHOTO: PANTLER/RHUBARB LE RESTAURANT

Food writers from Life! offer five recommendations, from a vivid rhubarb dessert to a lightly herbal Teochew duck. 

1. RHUBARB DELICACY

If you have not tasted rhubarb before, try Rhubarb& ($18). At Rhubarb Le Restaurant, the red stalks of the vegetable are served with rhubarb sorbet – both pleasantly perfumed with rose syrup – plus vanilla ice cream and crumble.

The Duxton Hill restaurant has a menu that is small but big on taste. There are just six choices each for appetisers and mains, and five desserts. Each dish has a one-word name, such as Salad, so it is very easy to decide what to order.

I choose Squid ($26) and it is cooked just right, succulent and bursting with the stuffing of quinoa and diced chorizo, while the pepper piquillo froth adds flavour. – WONG AH YOKE

Where: Rhubarb Le Restaurant, 3 Duxton HillOpen: Noon to 3pm (weekday), 7 to 10.30pm (weekday and Saturday), closed on SundayInfo: Call 8127-5001

2. NEW PATISSERIE

Two pastry chefs who used to work at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Joel Robuchon Singapore have teamed up to open Pantler, a patisserie in Telok Ayer Street.

Writer-turned-baker Matthias Phua and chef Tomoharu Morita named their shop after an English term for a servant or officer in charge of the bread and the pantry in a grand family home.

Signature items include a lush ricotta cheese tart ($8.50), pound cakes ($3 a slice, $22 for a whole cake) and delicate pate de fruits ($3.50 for three). The breads, pastries and cakes are made with Japanese flour and French butter. - EUNICE QUEK

Where: Pantler, 198 Telok Ayer StreetOpen: 8.30am to 8.30pm (weekday), 10.30am to 5.30pm (Saturday), closed on SundayInfo: Call 6221-6223 or go to www.facebook.com/pantlersg

3. LIGHTLY HERBAL TEOCHEW DUCK 

I enjoy the duck at Tai Dong as the light herbal flavours blend with the savoury, spice-infused gravy. Even the rather fatty skin – I ate all of it with guilty pleasure – soaks up the sauce. Duck is piled onto a generous portion of white rice, with a splash of the braising dark sauce, which is not thickened with starch. Add a dollop of spicy chilli to the duck. 

With the addition of braised tau kwa or firm tofu, my duck rice lunch cost an affordable $4. Other side dishes (from 50 cents a portion) include braised egg, liver, peanuts and stewed cabbage. - EUNICE QUEK

Where: Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice, Sims Vista 49 Market And Food Centre, 49 Sims Place, 01-04Open: 10am to 3pm (Friday to Wednesday), delivery on weekdays only except ThursdayInfo: Call 9476-2449 or go to https://www.facebook.com/TaiDongTeochewDuckRice

4. KALE AND HEARTY 

If eating kale, which is fleshy and just a little bitter, seems too challenging, there are kale snacks which make it more palatable. Marks & Spencer offers an interesting spin on the usual dried kale. Salt & Pepper Kale Crisps ($5.90 for a 25g bag) come coated with cashew butter. The chips lose a bit of their crispness from the coating, but the trade-off is that the cashew butter adds a touch of richness to a very virtuous snack.

Even better are the Beetroot Kale Crisps ($5.90 for a 25g bag), which is much like the salt-and-pepper version except that the chips are coated with both cashew butter and beetroot seasoning. This adds a touch of sweet that is very pleasing.

But my favourite does not involve kale at all. Beetroot Vinaigrette Crisps ($8.90 for a 60g bag) are cut thicker than most beet chips and have a tangy flavour from the vinaigrette. I like that the chips are thick enough that I can appreciate their natural sweetness mixed with earthiness, a unique taste that characterises this underrated root vegetable. - TAN HSUEH YUN

Where: Marks & Spencer, 01-27 Great World CityOpen: 10.30am to 9.30pmInfo: Call 6235-7212

5. PRIVE AT CHIJMES

Prive’s second outlet finds a home at the refurbished Chijmes. Favourites from its Marina at Keppel Bay outlet include Eggs Royale ($16), smoked duck and orange salad ($18) and sticky date toffee pudding ($12).

New offerings include coconut waffles ($13) and spicy spaghetti arrabbiata with pan-roasted slipper lobster ($25). The menu also features a selection of Asian dishes, such as miso cod burger ($26) and Vietnamese beef noodle soup ($13).

Tipples include cocktails, wines and beers. - EUNICE QUEK

Where: Prive at Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street, 01-35Open: 11.30am to midnight (Monday to Thursday), 11.30 to 1am (Friday), 10 to 1am (Saturday, eve of and public holiday), 10am to midnight (Sunday)Info: Call 6776-0777 or go to www.privechijmes.com.sg