SINGAPORE - Shortly after making headlines for raising US$10 million (S$13.4 million) in a recent financing round, Singapore-based food tech company Next Gen Foods will launch its plant-based chicken brand Tindle on March 18 across 11 restaurant brands.
Its first product - an alternative to chicken thigh called Tindle Thy - is made with nine ingredients such as water, soy, coconut fat and the company's trademarked "magic ingredient" Lipi, a blend of "plant-based fats and flavour" and sunflower oil.
It is antibiotic- and hormone-free, and has been certified by the Health Promotion Board as a Healthier Choice option, containing less saturated fat and sodium than other plant-based alternatives.
A tasting of the plant-based patty was held for members of the media on Thursday (March 11) at burger and cocktail bar Three Buns at The Quayside in Robertson Quay.
Tindle Thy was featured in four dishes, which will be served at the restaurant from March 18.
I found the burger called From Russia With Love ($20) to be the tastiest.
It is Three Buns group executive chef Adam Penney's take on chicken Kiev, which is usually stuffed with butter, coated in breadcrumbs and fried or baked. His burger features Tindle meat stuffed with roasted garlic, miso and parsley butter, and served with pickled onions and truffle aioli.
He says: "The product is easy to work with and portion out. I have wanted to do a chicken Kiev for years, but using the real meat was messy. With Tindle, I can make it in minutes and not worry about parts of the meat being under- or overcooked."
Other dishes include The Big Cease ($19), which features a buttermilk-fried Tindle patty with shaved parmigiano reggiano and anchovy mayonnaise; and Ay'm Tindle ($12), crispy Tindle bites coated in a barbecue sauce, pickled chilli, toasted nori and sesame seeds.
In all the dishes, I found the texture of the patty to be slightly soft, similar to other meat substitutes I have tried.
Chef Penney, who has been working on the Tindle Thy dishes since August last year, already uses alternative meat from California's Impossible Foods and Hong Kong's OmniMeat for plant-based burgers at Three Buns.
Other restaurants that will be using Tindle products include modern Indian restaurant Adda in Beach Road, for chef Manjunath Mural's Butter Tindle Pot Pie ($28); and The Market Grill in Telok Ayer Street, which will serve a Tindle chicken strudel ($32) with chestnuts, mushrooms and carrot puree encased in puff pastry.
Across its 10 outlets, restaurant chain Prive will roll out Tindle katsu curry ($19), which has a breaded Tindle cutlet in Japanese curry paired with an apple, edamame and corn salsa, and brown rice.
Foodies can also flock to popular food truck The Goodburger, which will offer a What the Cluck! Tindle Burger ($18) at its Ocean Financial Centre location on March 18, 19, 22 and 23 (11am to 3pm, while stocks last). The first 100 burgers served each day are free.
Tindle is the latest addition to the growing plant-based meat industry in Singapore, which is poised to be a hub for alternative meats. It is the debut brand of Next Gen Foods, which is co-founded by Mr Timo Recker, the former founder of German plant-based meat company LikeMeat, and Mr Andre Menezes, who was the general manager of Country Foods Singapore.
The product was developed in collaboration with chefs, who are the "toughest critics", says Ms Jean Madden, chief marketing officer of Next Gen Foods.
"We're confident that Tindle is the only plant-based chicken that is versatile enough to be used across a multitude of cuisines and dishes. If chefs are happy with Tindle, then we're very sure customers will be too."