Seasons a-changing at Pantler
Piles of mangoes are everywhere in fruit stalls. It is peak mango season in Singapore.
Pantler, a patisserie in River Valley Road, has a beautiful and delicious Mango Verrine ($10.50) to hero the fruit.
In a pretty glass are layered yogurt orange pannacotta, mango orange jelly and mango orange cream. Dig your spoon deep to get a bit of every layer and enjoy the sunny sweetness while it lasts.
In a nod to autumn soon to come, there is also 3 Ringo ($9.80), with caramelised sauteed apple and two kinds of mousse – Calvados and caramel – all sitting pretty on almond biscuit sponge. This is the dessert I want when the weather gets cooler.
To round off its new offerings, there is the timeless Miyabi ($9.80), good any time of the year because of the classic pairing of matcha and azuki. Matcha chocolate chantilly cream, yuzu cream and red bean paste are sandwiched in between crisp, perfectly salted pastry.
It is a feat of engineering too, and it is possible to eat it without too much mess. Like with the verrine, get a bit of every layer each time.
Where: 474 River Valley RoadMRT: Great WorldTel: 6221-6223Open: 10.30am to 6.30pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on MondaysInfo: shop.pantler.com.sg/en_SG
Pocha! Korean Street Dining
I am powerless over the power of suggestion and developed a strong craving for Korean food after working on a feature about new Korean restaurants.
Specifically, I wanted street food. The fried stuff, you know. Carbs. The Pocha! Korean Street Dining chain offers these very things.
There, I had a perfect Corndog ($6.90), crunchy, greaseless and offering a phenomenal cheese pull. I have to get used to the fact that K-corndogs don’t always come with a sausage inside. This one oozes molten cheese. It takes a lot of willpower not to finish the whole thing.
Just as good is the Sindang-dong Tteokbokki ($10.90). Korean rice cakes, the kind that come in tubular form, have not moved me until recently. The ones I have had in restaurants tend to be too hard. I have tried cooking my own too, with unimpressive results.
The version at Pocha! is just the right level of chewy. Look for the tteokbokki that split apart at one end – these ones are the softest and most pillowy on the plate.
Sindang-dong in Seoul is also known as Tteokbokki Town, and, presumably, the dish is inspired by its offerings.
The housemade sauce is the right mix of sweet and spicy, with the heat creeping up on unsuspecting me.
It haunts me long after I manage to tear myself away from the restaurant.
Where: B1-181 Northpoint City, 930 Yishun Avenue 2; B2-47 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road; and 03-05 Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway RoadMRT: Yishun/Dhoby Ghaut/Jurong EastTel: 8660-3391/8321-1129/8321-1169Open: 11.30am to 10pm dailyInfo: www.pocha.com.sg
Savoury edge at Donas 8
Sweet doughnuts abound in Singapore, leaving those of us with a savoury rather than sweet tooth out in the wilderness. Donas 8, a South Korean doughnut chain, however, has two convincing savoury bombolini that are worth the calories.
The better of the two is Scallion ($5.90), studded with black and white sesame seeds and filled with scallion-flecked cream. It is substantial but not too heavy, because the doughnut is light as air. I love the generous filling – it almost justifies the price tag.
Basil & Tomato ($6.50) is also packed with filling – this time, basil-flecked cream and a generous amount of tomato paste. I could make a meal out of it.
Olive Cream ($6.50), the third savoury offering, is much less compelling than the other two. Save your money.
But if you are looking for something sweet, go for the Black Sesame bombolini ($5.90), filled to bursting with aromatic sesame cream.
Where: B1-K22 Great World City, 1 Kim Seng PromenadeMRT: Great WorldOpen: 10am to 10pm dailyInfo: @donas8_official on Instagram
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