For those who bemoan the way food delivery arrives tepid and lacklustre, Teochew Paradise heard you. Its chefs are so obsessive about heat retention that your Luxury Trio (S$158) of soup, main dish and dessert arrive mummified in cling wrap and are snugly tucked into a two level thermal bag with no room to move.
It replicates the fine dining Chinese meal complete with crockery (that you get to keep as a bonus), including a mini claypot to hold a braised 3-head abalone in a thick golden brown braising sauce, and two mini tureens.
When you finally release them from their cling wrapping, they reveal an intense double boiled chicken broth filled to the brim with combs of shark’s fin, and a dessert of imperial bird’s nest lightly sweetened with rock sugar. They take pains to specify that there’s a 150gm worth of the delicacy crammed into the little ceramic pot, which makes this an attractive deal when paired with the other pricey ingredients.
The abalone is a decent size and tender, even if the sauce can get rather cloying. An alternative to shark’s fin is a double-boiled fish maw and conpoy soup, with braised sea cucumber as the main course. There are three options available, making a fuss-free set meal for one that hits the spot.
#03-04 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209. Tel: 6538-0644.
Takeaway/delivery orders: 10.30am to 9pm daily.
To order: paradiseteochewdelivery.paradisegp.com
One of the things we greatly missed after the Circuit Breaker was Meta’s home style Korean cooking, which took a back seat when chef-owner Sun Kim devoted his time to more elaborate degustation menus.
Now, those popular comfort meals are back. We zero in on the Korean heritage menu (S$58) – a set meal that serves one, but the portions can easily feed two, although there may be a fight at the end over who gets the bigger bite of the banana cream puff.
Here, your Korean drama dining dreams come true with Miyeok-Guk or seaweed soup (supposedly a birthday tradition) that’s a robust broth with lots of slippery wakame in it. A sweetish japchae has all the slippery sauteed noodles with shredded eggs and beef, and a rib-sticking Kimchi Deopbap – a less publicised cousin of bibimbap. Tender-chewy shortgrain rice gets mixed with a spicy gochujang sauce and kimchi (which is previously stir-fried for extra punch) and luscious chunks of pork belly and bean sprouts. We almost forget a little container of rich oxtail stew and potato puree which distracts us as we focus on the other three. The cream puff however, commands our attention so you may want to order extra.
This time, the chef has also introduced takeaway condiments such as white kimchi – a clear pickled cabbage, as well as extra tubs of stir-fried kimchi. There are other sets and ala carte options but if you want to further your drama immersion, stick to the real McCoy.
1 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089109. Tel: 6513 0898
Takeaway/delivery orders: 11.30am to 3pm; 5.30pm to 8.30pm.
Closed on Mon.
To order: metarestaurant.sg
Yes, we’ve heard how Candlenut tends to polarise diners – some who swear by its Michelin star-worthy Peranakan cooking and those who say the cooking is inconsistent, pricey and its portions keep shrinking.
It’s been a while since we’ve been there but a recent order reminds us of why we’ve always enjoyed Malcolm Lee’s cooking – for its thick, multi-ingredient rempahs, intense and distinctive flavour profiles. At first glance, he seems to dish out portions like a budget-conscious bibik trying to stretch a pot of curry to next week, but when you consider how rich everything is, the portions add up to quite a bit, especially when copious amounts of rice are involved.
Now is also the time to re-acquaint yourself, because Candlenut has lowered its prices for the duration of the current dining in lockdown, with ala carte portions priced at an average $20 to $25 each.
Among the highlights are mainstays such as Chef’s Mum’s chicken curry that’s as homespun as its name; a toasted coconut-enriched beef rendang; and a dark-as-ink buah keluak with slightly stringy pork instead of chicken. The bakwan kepiting broth is intense to the point that it’s almost milky. Two plump crab-pork balls, tofu puffs and bamboo shoots add a layered mouth feel. The blue swimmer crab curry is more Thai than Peranakan with its heavy emphasis on lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf and lime juice to cut the richness of the coconut milk, but still a favourite. There’s a new dish that’s also done well – a kind of sayur lodeh amped up with a thick piece of otah and moist mackerel.
There’s a must-have new dessert – besides the star kueh salat and caramelised kueh bingka – a lemongrass pandan sponge that you will curse for being so expensive – S$20 for a largish slice. Blame it on the amount of lemongrass manually shredded to extract its natural essence for the delicate mousse (even better when semi-frozen), which is layered between light pandan sponge and covered in delicate rose jelly. Inventive but not pretentious, it’s an extravagant but luscious treat.
From June 7, some of Candlenut’s highlights will be packaged into an omakase menu for S$120 to serve two, so plonk what extra savings you get into a slice of cake. It may well be worth the splurge.
17a Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676. Tel: 1800 304 2288.
Takeaway/Delivery: 11.30am to 3.30pm; 5pm to 9pm daily.
To order, go to: takeaway.comodempsey.sg
We don’t know what’s more impressive – a whole smoked duck from the kitchen of one-starred Summer Pavilion or the cool black thermal Ritz Carlton bag your order arrives in. But you can contemplate that as you devour the fragrant, smoky herbal sweetness of the marinated signature duck (S$81.30).
Eat it fast while it’s still warm and you can still relish the fleshy chunks before it quickly cools down. It’s not the optimal way of enjoying this but it’s still worth it when you’re craving some classic Cantonese goodness. The dimsum of prawn dumplings (S$8.05) and poached prawn and preserved vegetable dumplings (S$8.05) look like they escaped from a sauna in a hurry but they taste fine even when cold. The poached dumplings are revived somewhat in a black vinegar dip and both retain a resilient texture. And, in a case of good old fashioned technique, the fried rice with crab meat, dried scallop and egg white (S$31.05) has barely a trace of oil sticking to the individual grains of perfectly textured rice with generous crab meat and a shower of shredded dried scallop.
It’s nothing fancy but just familiar comfort that hits the spot, especially with a 15 per cent discount off its signature dishes now.
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039799. Tel: 6434 5286.
Takeaway/Delivery: 12pm to 9pm daily.
To order, go to: summerpavilion.oddle.me
This article was originally published in The Business Times.