Review: Salted egg yolk croissants from Antoinette vs Flavour Flings

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ANTOINETTE
$6.50 per croissant

The minute the craze started at Flavour Flings, I knew the day would come when a bigger, badder brand would step up to take on the challenge. So come Monday morning this week, I headed down to Antoinette and tasted Chef Pang's newest creation: the salted egg croissant.

His patisserie skills were out on full force here with a crisp, crusty, buttery croissant taking centre stage. To ensure everyone had a fresh, warm croissant, we had to wait a couple of minutes before a waitress brought out a large croissant about 1 1/2 times the length of my palm. So it came as no surprise when we were told that 3 salted duck egg yolks made up the filling. The generous amount of salted egg was just the right amount for the croissant the size of a horn. Grainy, rich and thick, the lava flowed out sluggishly when we cut into the croissant. Because the filling's so "gao" (thick and heavy) you'll feel almost sick after finishing the whole thing. It's just too much food for one person! Definitely get one to share. You'll probably have to anyway, all 300 pieces sold at at 11:45am the day it was released at the Penhas outlet! (Who are these people queuing for food man. So kiasu for good food, they probably have lots of good lobang. I also want to get in on this!)

The salted egg yolk filling: Salty and savoury, this is a smoother version of the solid salted egg yolks you'd find in mooncakes. It didn't flow as much as I wanted and as it cooled, the filling slowly congealed as well. The savoury filling was still delicious, but of a less enjoyable texture. The croissant: Crispy, flaky and oh-so-buttery. You don't need the salted egg yolk filling to make the croissant worth the trip down. The heavy croissant contributes to the richness of this dish and is perfect for slopping up the filling that has "liu-ed" onto your plate.

FLAVOUR FLINGS
$7.50 per croissant

At 3.30pm, I arrived at Flavour Flings in Hougang, and sat down in anticipation for the famed salted egg yolk croissants. But Chef and owner Shawn Koh walked out to meet me and whispered, "I think you'll have to wait till 4-ish when we take our break. There's too many people now and it won't be very nice if they see you with a croissant." See, the problem was that Chef Koh implemented a time restriction on his croissants. He only starts selling them at 5:30pm everyday. Once the crowd dissipated and the staff took their break at 4pm, Chef Koh brought out the salted egg trio: the Salted Egg Yolk Croissant, $7.50, Dirty Benny,$15.90, (Eggs Benedict with salted egg yolk sauce served with two sausages and salad) and salted egg yolk and cereal fries, $8.90.

Before I start on the review of the salted egg yolk croissant, let me point out that Flavour Flings has plenty of options for salted egg yolk fans. The eggs benedict was by far (yes, beating out the croissant) the best dish. The halal-certified cafe served perfect eggs benedict with a good-sized salad with balsamic vinegar that balanced the rich flavours of the salted egg yolk sauce. Two, slightly wrinkled sausages accompanied the eggs, but were tasty. It reminded me of those hearty Hong Kong breakfasts - simple, basic ingredients cooked for the everyday man's pleasure.

The fries were the same, perfect for the everyday man. Soaked in sweet, sticky salted egg yolk sauce and sprinkled with a generous helping of cereal and spring onions. I loved the combination of sweet from the sauce, salty from the cereal and fresh from the spring onions. But I didn't enjoy the fries. they were hard and a little chewy, almost overcooked. But it could be just me, I brought some home for the husband and he declared he loved it almost as much as he loved KFC cheese fries. An indulgent, affordable treat he said.

It was time for the croissant. Chef Koh shared that his croissants came from Joe and Dough bakery, and that his homemade salted egg yolk sauce was pumped into it before they toasted it again. He also shared how patrons could reheat the croissant if necessary (he doesn't recommend it, but go ahead if you must).

Wrap the croissant in aluminium foil and place it in a toaster oven for 12min. NEVER put it in the microwave. Preheat an oven at 180 deg C and leave it in for 12min. Once cooked, unwrap and leave it to air and crisp for 30sec before biting into the croissant.

Chef Koh also shared that he tried the salted egg yolk croissants from across the causeway and wanted to create something different. He aimed for a croissant that had slightly sweeter sauce that poured out of it once broken. Well, he definitely achieved that!

The salted egg yolk filling: Break open the croissant and it pours out of the croissant. The sauce is much thinner, but still just as rich. It's sweet, milky and almost like a salted egg yolk gravy. No need to slop it up with the croissant, the milky yellow sauce has already been soaked into the buttery dough of the croissant, making it beautifully moist and delicious.

The croissant: The flaky pastry from Joe and Dough doesn't disappoint. While it's not as large or heavy as the one from Antoinette, it's just as hearty. The flaky, lighter croissant goes well with the sweet sauce.

VERDICT

Visit Antoinette for a croissant that's salty, hearty and extremely filling. It reminds us of liu sha baos with a thick, rich sauce. The Flavour Flings croissant is perfect as a dessert croissant. Sweeter, a much more dramatic flow of mouth-watering lava, this would be a good finish to a meal! Go to herworldPLUS for more stories.