Food Picks: Singapore-inspired bon bons

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Chocolate producer Benns Ethicoa and Straits Preserves, known for its Asian-inspired marmalades and nut butters, have come together to produce a range of Singapore-inspired chocolate bon bons.

Food Picks: Singapore-inspired bon bons

Crispy pork belly served with dark beer and caraway gravy.

Food Picks: Singapore-inspired bon bons

Wildfire Chicken & Burgers

Food Picks: Singapore-inspired bon bons

Shiitake mushroom chips by Edens.

SINGAPORE-INSPIRED BON BONS

Chocolate producer Benns Ethicoa and Straits Preserves, known for its Asian-inspired marmalades and nut butters, have come together to produce a range of Singapore-inspired chocolate bon bons.

A box of 12 bon bons, which comes in beautiful packaging, is priced at $35, or get two boxes at $55.

Each of the three flavours – which showcases a delicious marmalade from Straits Preserves (straitspreserves.com) – has its own little surprise encapsulated in a delicate layer of chocolate.

Juicy bits of maraschino cherries are in the Singapore Sling bon bon, while the Ginger Snap bon bon has a candied-ginger centre and ginger biscuit base to crunch on.

My favourite is the Calamansi Surprise, for its tangy Tropical Calamansi Marmalade and dark chocolate popping candy almond praline. What a sweet party in the mouth.

WHEN: Till Sept 18 INFO: Order at bennsethicoa.com

GERMAN GASTRONOMY AT GORDON GRILL

Celebrate German cuisine at Goodwood Park Hotel’s Gordon Grill, which pays homage to the establishment’s 120-year legacy. In the 1900s, the hotel was known as the Teutonia Club, an exclusive enclave for German expatriates.

The five-course degustation menu ($98++ a person) starts with chilled white asparagus paired with dill-cured salmon and shallot apple vinaigrette, followed by seared Atlantic sea scallops with smoked black forest ham and brown mushroom ragout.

I enjoy the sauerkraut soup, a household Bavarian dish not commonly found here, in which the sliced cabbage is blended with potatoes and vegetable stock. It is topped with speck and creme fraiche – for added sour flavour.

For mains, choose the crispy pork belly served with dark beer and caraway gravy, or pan-seared halibut fillet with mustard dill veloute and yellowfin tuna.

Going for the pork belly, with perfectly crisp crackling, is a no-brainer for me. However, the halibut – a popular ingredient in Northern Germany – is also a delicious and lighter option for lunch.

Round off the meal with a duo of desserts. Dig into the tangy red grits, a redcurrant jelly – commonly enjoyed in Northern Germany – topped with bourbon vanilla sauce, alongside a decadent dark cherry crumble cheesecake with hazelnut ice cream.

A three-course lunch ($68++ a person) and four-course meal ($88++) are also available.

WHERE: Gordon Grill, Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road MRT: Orchard WHEN: Till Sept 21, noon to 2.30pm, 7 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6730-1744 INFO: Book at www.goodwoodparkhotel.com/dining/gordon-grill or e-mail [email protected]

WILDFIRE’S LAMB BURGER

Wildfire Chicken & Burgers’ Ottoman Lamb Burger (from $13) is the It burger to try.

Made with sustainably produced Mottainai lamb from Australia, it has been selling out since its launch on Monday. While most regular grass-fed lamb has about 3 to 5 per cent marbling, Mottanai lamb has 37 per cent and is therefore said to be comparable to Japanese wagyu.

The patty has a distinct lamb flavour without being overly gamey and the accompaniments take the burger to another level. Flavour and texture are packed in with fennel tzatziki, crumbled feta, eggplant caviar and Spanish onions, which cut through the richness of the meat.

I also like that Wildfire now uses better toasted brioche buns that can hold all the ingredients without getting soggy.

Pair the burger with Wildfire’s truffle parmesan fries ($9) and a slice of burnt cheesecake ($6).

WHERE: Wildfire Chicken & Burgers, 01-15 Nafa Campus 1 Wing A, 80 Bencoolen Street MRT: Bencoolen WHEN: Till Oct 31, 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30 to 9pm (weekdays), 11.30am to 9pm (weekends) TEL: 9198-2673 INFO: Order at wildfire.oddle.me

CRUNCHY SHIITAKE MUSHROOM CHIPS

I get hit by the occasional snack attack and, recently, I’ve been chomping on shiitake chips from home-grown, one-month-old snack brand Edens.

Started by two former Singapore Management University students, the brand features vacuum-fried shiitake mushroom chips. Low-temperature cooking with this method is said to help preserve nutrients in the mushrooms.

The whole, crispy pieces in each 100g packet are of a good size and are not over-salted, unlike some other brands I have tried.

The two flavours available are Himalayan Sea Salt ($10) and Black Summer Truffle ($12.90). I prefer the latter for its fragrant truffle aroma and slightly sweet aftertaste.

The shiitake chips also feature in Edens’ recently launched Valrhona chocolate shiitake mooncakes (pre-order at $50.90 for four pieces). Think chocolate snowskin filled with Valrhona chocolate lotus paste and crunchy shiitake chips.

I look forward to more of such bold flavours.

INFO: Order at www.edenschips.com, Shopee and Lazada

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