Sweet Encounter: Macaron Singapore
Published 01 October 2007
At Macaron, no one will blink an eye if you just want cake and ice cream for dinner, as sweet-toothed Melanie Lee discovered with delight at Singapore’s first fine-dining dessert restaurant.
The first thing I do when I get a restaurant menu is flip to the back and see what the dessert offerings are. It is my favourite course of any meal, and Friday dinner dessert is personally, particularly effective in sweetening a typically chaotic week at work.
At Macaron, Singapore’s first fine-dining dessert restaurant, I was in sugary heaven one Friday night when I discovered I could choose not just one but multiple courses of dessert, and all with promisingly saccharine names such as Champagne Snow and Rose Bombe.
Opened in June this year, this stylish offering by the Les Amis Group is all about delivering a culinary fantasy with its fairytale interior landscape of silhouette trees and castles. With one of Singapore’s top pastry chefs helming Macaron’s kitchen, it is without a doubt that your dessert-filled dinner will be a refreshingly unforgettable and tantalizing meal.
Chef Pang, recently named Pastry Chef of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit 2007, brings his creativity and expertise to the restaurant’s unique menu, and also takes his cue from hip dessert joints such as Espai Sucre (Barcelona) and Room 4 Dessert (New York). Having trained with Master Pastry Chef Francisco Torreblanca at Totel Pasteleria Spain, Chef Pang’s creations are adventurous and complex to the taste buds, and are almost guaranteed to give anyone a dessert high.
The menu system at Macaron is rather different from your typical restaurant. For one, it is a proper sit-down restaurant, so you can’t just come here for after-dinner sweets. There are prix fixe menus for afternoon tea (weekends) and dinner. For dinner, you can choose between 4, 6, 9 and 15 courses, with prices ranging from S$38 – S$125. There are also savoury appetizers and entrees just in case one might feel overloaded on the sugar, though these can be traded anytime for more desserts. I choose the six-course option with a savoury appetizer and entree, and await my dishes with much anticipation.
My first course, Pulpo, is an interesting appetizer that tastes as good as it looks. While it basically consists of just sliced octopus, sautéed potato with aioli, paprika “air” and extra virgin olive oil, the visual combination of colours and forms makes this dish resemble a piece of installation art, and in terms of taste, the paprika and aioli serve as ideal zesty accompaniments to the main ingredients. The Tuna Tataki comes next as a savoury entrée, and I am incredibly impressed by the freshness and succulence of the fish, which goes well with the honey mustard sauce, seaweed salad and crab tuile. Interestingly enough, there are also pale green seaweed marshmallows that come along with this dish.
The sweets make their grand entrance soon after, and I am amused by “Sunny Side Up” which looks just like a fried egg, but actually consists of coconut (the “egg white”), passion fruit (the “egg yolk”) and cocoa (“pepper”). While not quite the greasy delight of a real sunny side up, this creamy concoction has a tropical holiday feel to it, which is just as pleasurable nevertheless. Next up, I am served a tall glass of Raspberry Granite, which is my personal favourite of this meal – the velvety crispy combination of berries, milk chocolate foam and hazelnut praline and nougatine is sheer bliss. Soon after, One Two Tea is placed in front of me. As a tea lover, I love how the flavours of tea are infused so harmoniously with other dessert elements, with all the goodness of raspberry espuma and chocolate tea parfait contained in one round chocolate shell, with a crunchy cocoa bean tuile placed on top to add that bit of crunch.
The grand finale is Petit Fours, which consists of a truffle and hazelnut macaron (what else?), vanilla pate de fruit, exotic caramel and dark chocolate. It is the perfect finish, especially with a hot cup of Earl Grey. While it may seem strange to some to have a meal consisting mostly of sugar, Macaron works because if anything, you will leave with a sweet, sweet smile on your face.
11 Unity Street, #01-09
Tel: +65 6235 7277