Christmas meals to your doorstep
SAY goodbye to long hours in the kitchen this festive season; food and beverage outlets are pulling out the stops to bring their hearty delights - both sweet and savoury - to your table at home.
6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-18 Marina Square
Get a luxurious meat and seafood combination that is a great compromise between cooking everything yourself and ordering hot takeaways that go cold by dinner time.
Gourmet purveyor Emporium Shokuhin's surprise surf-and-turf hamper ($288) gets you a whole cooked lobster and cold brown crab that you can either eat as part of a cold starter or turn into a seafood salad (a homemade Thai dressing works quite nicely).
A hunk of raw USDA prime rib (two ribs) comes with cooking instructions for an easy roast. For another $98, upgrade to a 21-day dry-aged version for a richer, gamier flavour if you like stronger, earthy meat. Roast pork knuckle and peppercorn ham are easily heated up and a packet of beef and pork cheese sausages from Pan Pacific deli rounds off this good value hamper.
Available for orders until 2pm, Dec 23 and for delivery till Dec 25. Orders to be placed three days in advance via phone, online or at the store.
88 Horne Road
It may be better known as an artisanal patisserie but the Two Bakers really know how to make sausages.
The house special chicken sausages have an appealing smokiness and juicy bite while the Spanish chorizo has an addictive spiciness. The sausages are part of its range of savoury takeaways that stand out.
There are four Christmas sets available, ranging from the Festive at $98 to the Gourmet at $198. The Gourmet set comprises a citrus salad, New England clam chowder, thyme garlic butter bread, a tender roast ribeye (approximately 1kg) with potatoes and mushrooms, plus a charcuterie platter. The platter includes honey baked ham and turkey ham, as well as some juicy smoked chicken sausages and spicy Spanish chorizo.
Available until Dec 31, with orders made one day in advance via phone, firstname.lastname@example.org or at the store.
165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-00
Stephane Istel's homespun European classics get a luxury spin this Christmas with a fancy beef wellington - think buttery, rich pastry that is flaky with a nice chew, smeared with a thin layer of mushroom druxelles and stuffed with layers of very tender medium-rare beef and foie gras, moistened with bordelaise sauce.
It's rich and elegant - the ultimate celebratory pie. The portion serves four generously at $248.
Available until the end of the month. Orders to be made in advance via phone or www.bar-roque.com.sg.
198 Telok Ayer Street
Out of a rabid oversupply of log cakes, Pantler's Buche de Noel Chocolate and Orange ($75/kg) stands out with a wickedly decadent combination of orange, chocolate and crunchy praline.
There is complexity in its intense sweetness that helps prevent your palate from going into sugar shock: syrup-steeped chocolate sponge is rolled with orange scented cream while bits of orange confit offer gummi bear-like chewiness.
Almond roca-like candy bits add contrast and a coating of sticky chewy chocolate completes this minimalist designed confection. It is going to be really hard to stay away from this.
Also good is the dark chocolate Christmas pound cake ($28/350g) - a slightly boozy, caramelly butter cake studded with griotte cherries soaked in kirsch. It's got a higher cake-to-fruit ratio which we like, plus the moist, tender crumb.
Available till Dec 30, by reservations only. Orders via phone or email@example.com or at the store.
1 Scotts Road, #01-12 Shaw Centre
Les Amis pastry chef Cheryl Koh shows off her baking chops again with Tarte's Christmas Gift Box ($88 nett) - an ensemble of sweet treats that look good and taste even better.
The highlight is, of course, an addictive apple crumble tart which has just the right balance of apple to crunchy crust and just enough cinnamon to give it flavour without being overpowering.
Also part of the box is a crunchy sugar-coated stollen with rum-soaked raisins, lemon and orange peel, shortbread cookies, fruit and nut chocolates and a jar of freshly-made jam.
Available till Dec 25, with three days advance notice. Orders via phone or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLINTON ST BAKING COMPANY
31 Purvis Street
Three-month old Clinton St Baking Company has launched two homemade pies for the holiday season - a pumpkin butterscotch pie ($60 for 1kg, $9.50/slice) with a smooth not-too-sweet filling of pumpkin puree and butterscotch spiced with ginger and cinnamon and a maple bourbon pecan pie ($64 for 1kg, $10.50/slice) made with Grade A Canadian maple syrup, bourbon plus chopped and whole pecans to give you a mouthful of crunch.
Available till Dec 30. Whole pies must be ordered one day in advance via phone or email@example.com.
333A Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Road #04-16 Tel: 6235-2283
Sushi chef Kenjiro Hashida's dessert-making skills are well proven at his spin-off cafe/dessert bar. His elegant, Japanese-inspired macarons in flavours such as yuzu, hojicha and miso will look pretty at the Christmas table and are melt-in-the-mouth good too.
But the star is his signature mochi filled with Valrhona chocolate and strawberry - yielding, tender mochi skin enveloping a smooth mixture of chocolate and red bean and chunky bits of strawberry.
A box of six macarons costs $21 while a box of six mochi costs $24 and are available in-store.
THE BUSINESS TIMES