Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Choupinette

Choupinette is a french bakery at a corner of a row shop houses in between Coronation Plaza and the petrol station next to Duchess Lane. It has been in this area since my secondary school days (which are a loooooooong time ago) and i never really noticed it until I read about the fantastic Eggs royale and Eggs Benedict on atetoomuch's blog. Considering how I turn into Duchess ave everyday and I still never got down to noticing it (until I had this blog) means im either really blur or its such a well-kept secret gem - and i love places that are not commercialised and hugely publicised lest it gets too crowded.


Choupinette has plenty of interesting (and eccentric!) furniture like this lamp over here - In fact, most of the d├ęcor is for sale. The whole place gives a very cosy vibe. I'd be contented here with a nice breakfast, coffee and dessert, a very good book and very good company (okay i guess it'd take alot for me to be content!)
you can see the furniture is very victorian like. I love how the cafe feels like it belongs to me on a lazy weekday afternoon, it was so empty on a late Wednesday afternoon- I'm sure it'd be super crowded for brunch on weekends and I'd have to compete to be heard (and wait very loong for my yummylicious eggs!!). Heard that this is quite the expat hangout too - especially with the German marketplace and Swiss butchery down the street.

there are many loaves of bread to choose from, and buns as well - there are some over at the counter as well, mostly the sweet donuts and pastries.

this is a place I'd come again cos the Eggs royal is indeed fantastic and best of all, its ALL DAY breakfast! As i mentioned, I love breakfast food but I can never wake up for it. Like today, breakfast for me here at Choupinette was at 430. yup, PM. They have all day breakfast sets as well as lunch sets - which I suppose are more worth it since they come with dessert. Its strange that their lunch hours are from 8am to 730pm. Especially since they close at 8pm. What difference does 30 minutes make?!

Eggs Royal's $21

Eggs on Toast with smoked salmon and Hollandaise sauce
With a small fruit juice and any hot drink

Since Im on a breakfast spree these weeks (having tried Riders Cafe, Jones the Grocer), I must say Im quite blown away by the Eggs Royal here. The perfectly poached eggs, generous layers of smoked salmon and the bottom-most toast was fantastic, especially with that Hollandaise sauce lathered all over the toast. The buttery sauce (which is almost like cheese) did make all the difference - and so did those speckled coarse black pepper atop the toast.

I was very curious about the Hollandaise sauce cos I also saw this sauce in the smoked salmon sandwich at Jones the Grocer as well, so I went to Wikipedia it and it turns out to be a French sauce - an emulsion of butter and lemon juice using egg yolks as the emulsifying agent, usually seasoned with salt and a little black pepper or cayenne pepper. Hollandaise sauce is well known as a key ingredient in Eggs Benedict.
For the chefs wannabe (not me, though I like to watch and know about how my food is prepare =P) :

'Hollandaise requires some skill and knowledge to prepare; care must also be taken to store it properly after preparation. Properly made, the sauce should be smooth and creamy. The flavor should be rich and buttery, with a mild tang added by the lemon juice and seasonings. It must be made and served warm.'

Indeed the buttery and creaminess of the sauce was exemplary for the Eggs Royal, and when the sauce was left to stand for awhile on the plate, it solidifies (like how egg yolks and cheeses do, forming that thin layer). It is quite rich too and for a moment we were mistaken that it could be cheese. So Im quite surprised that they don't have cheese inside Hollandaise sauce. The whole time we were figuring out what went into the sauce so we just mopped it all up.
I love anticipating when I'd burst the egg yolk and the rush to mop it all up before it solidifies!

Cranberry juice

Cranberries are good for you because it prevents urinary tract infection. But I'm not a fruit juice person at all (I don't understand how some people die die must have their orange juice for breakfast, isnt all that acidity early in the morning bad for your stomach??) so my friend drank most of this. It is quite sweet though, kind of like a syrup.

Flat White
I had this instead, as recommended also by atetoomuch. Flat White is basically ⅓ espresso and ⅔ steamed milk. I don't really see many flat whites sold in the coffee joints here - Most of them serve Lattes, which usually have more milk than expresso. Hence the curiosity to try it here.. well I guess I prefer my coffee stronger (a la Americano - expresso with water) hence I felt that the expresso was thrown off balance with the milk - a little diluted. I guess its personal preference.

Now onto desserts... Somehow today the dark chocolate and praline cake wasnt screaming to me, surprisingly. I guess I overdosed on it during the previous cake platter occasion and I already tried very good ones from Hilton. So this time around the thin apple tart seemed so appealing (especially the whole ones) for a light afternoon tea, made more appealing with vanilla icecream - I guess I'm still cant shake off my hot-cold sweet-savoury combination addiction.

I guess I will try the other slices of cakes here during my next cake platter. Especially the Double Plaisir - Chocolate and Creme Brulee- this sounds particularly good. Note that the chocolate mousse here is for dine in only.

And look how long the eclairs are! Its like a hot dog size.

Tarte aux Pommes, $5.90
French for Apple tart. This has gotta be the thinnest apple tart I've eaten - and I've recently learnt to appreciate that thin tarts actually taste better, because they have a much better balance of toppings and pastry. Think Laurent's cafe's Chocolate Tart and you will know what I mean.

Here, the apple slices are really thin, with another thin layer of glaze, and the base was flaky. It was very good.
It was supposed to come with a scoop of icecream but they ran out. There was only chocolate icecream (ack! who eats choc icecream with fruity tarts) so they asked us whether we could wait - they'd run to Fairprice at Coronation to buy (sigh no homemade icecream). But I'm glad that they did run out of ice cream because without the ice cream, we could appreciate the simplicity and balance of the apple tart. The apple tart is so thin anyway, any ice cream will probably overwhelm and ruin the apple tart.
Hazelnut Macaron $1.80
As I said, I am gonna build up my momentum for a macaron spree. After the baker at Almunch educated me about the anatomy of macarons - I realise this particular macaron is missing the trademark 'foot' ! Though the top is very smooth and has no blemishes. This macaron is very very light- like a meringue - so much so that the chocolate filling is equally sparce!
Check out the large air pockets within the macaron shell. The whole macaron crumbles in when you bite into it. This is supposed to be hazelnut flavour but I couldnt detect any clue of it - any taste nor scent even in the filling. Even my friend couldnt guess the flavour when he bit into it. He thought it was coconut. I guess I prefer the slightly denser Raspberry macaron shell from Almunch (it didnt compromise on crispness) - and its thicker chocolate filling layer as well.

A last look at the bakery before we check out. Do you see that book title? Bipolar disorder. 2 gentlemen were sitting there - and we were wondering whether they also came from TTSH after testing some students - where my friend just had his test. Luckily we didn't gossip that much! Never know which Profs you'd bump into in these atas places man.
Choupinette
607 Bukit Timah Road #01-01

4 comments:

ratatouille said...

the macarons on the display looked quite sad. some are even broken and seem uneven in shape and size. But I must say it's slightly on the cheap side. Try CentrePs and u will be wowed.

julie said...

yup centre ps is on my wannatry list too. but i wanna try the cakes there first, any to recommend?

indeed they were quite sad man - the ones at the new bakery Almunch were much better...shall hunt down more macarons from other places...

I'm on a roll to find better macarons, breakfast sets, and fries!

brad said...

oh you went choupinette already! is the place big? can seat how many? so when you all went is it like crowded? haha. i having a mini outing with a few others there next sun. i also want to try centreps. ha

Fen said...

My entry on choupinette was saved by my photo on their menu. They actually gave me a receipt with just the total amount printed after I have paid the bill...

Yeh, the macarons were so disappointing and I agree with ratatouille that CentrePs' lychee macarons are really good. Do check with them before dropping by as they only have it pre-packed of 5 or 10 assorted flavours so if you want a particular flavour, better to order...

I guessed I share my same sentiments with you on their food but I was more disappointed with a close resemblance of desserts with somewhere else...