Love yourself some cheese, mama? We round up the best cheese shops in Singapore, and recount a delicious afternoon of cheese and whisky pairings…
My mum often tells me that during the nine months I was in her belly one of the only things she wanted to eat was cheese… lots of cheese! And thus my love affair with le fromage began about … (I’m not about to reveal my age!) three decades go.
We may be far from the cheese havens of Europe but you will be happy to know that Singapore has its fair share of fine fromage from the continent as well as from other regions across the world. Since our local supermarkets (with the exception of Market Place, which has an acceptable gourmet selection) just don’t make the cut in my opinion, here are the places you can head to/order from if you’re a turophile like me:
Jones the Grocer
The revamped artisanal haven comprises Singapore’s first walk-in cheese room (pictured up top) with over a 100 varieties of the world’s most delectable cheeses. Jones offers free delivery for orders over $100, too.
Jones the Grocer, Block 9 #01-12 Dempsey Road, Dempsey Hill, Singapore, 247697, +(65) 6476 1512, www.jonesthegrocer.com
This online store boasts a wide selection of cheeses imported directly from France. A brainchild of Chef Julien Bompard of Scotts 27, this fromagerie is well loved by cheese specialists. There is no delivery charge for orders above S$100.
The Cheese Shop
A gem in the East, this cheese paradise in a Joo Chiat shophouse stocks a wide variety of European cheeses along with tasty high-end crackers, jams and biscuits. Again, there is no delivery charge for orders over $100.
The Cheese Shop, 84 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore, 427801, www.cheeseshop.sg
The Cheese Ark
Located within PasarBella at the Grandstad, this is a convenient cheese destination for Bukit Timah residents. They have a curated collection of artisanal cheeses including a variety of truffle wonders such as the truffle brie, truffle raclette and truffle gorgonzola. Sure to please even the most discerning palate! The Cheese Ark delivers free of charge for orders exceeding S$120.
The Cheese Ark, Pasarbella @ The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, #02-K28, Singapore, 287994, +(65) 9830 3368, www.facebook.com/TheCheeseArk
Huber’s Swiss Butchery – as the name suggests – is uber popular for its meats. They do however have a good selection of Australian and European cheeses as well, aiming to have over 100 varieties on hand by the end of the year. Free delivery on orders exceeding S$75, but with a playground and more on site, it’s well worth a visit!
Huber’s Butchery, 22 Dempsey Road, Singapore, 249677, +(65) 6737 1588, www.hubers.com.sg
Foodie Market Place
This is a must-visit for those looking to grab some value buys. Stock up on your grated cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella balls and other regular dairy must haves at almost half the price of cold storage! One of my favourite cheeses to buy here is the Old Amsterdam. This aged gouda is slightly granular and has a rich, lingering flavor with hints of caramel and butterscotch.
Wine Connection Cheese Bar
A popular watering hole at Robertson Quay, this restaurant serves up cheesy delights like raclette and fondue and also has a selection of take away cheeses. The Cheese Bar is open until 1am daily (with the exception of Sunday night when they shut at 11 pm) — perfect if we’ve had a late realisation that cheese is needed for breakfast the next morning.
Earlier this month I was at Scotts 27 for a European Cheese Appreciation session led by Singaporean food and wine expert Edwin Soon.
We indulged in various cheeses and aside from the usual wine pairings we struck great combinations of cheese with whisky, as well as cheese with teas. Here are some great pairings for you to try at home mamas –
- Comte with Earl Grey Tea – I found the nutty tang of the Comte complements the rich, smooth tea really well)
- Gouda with Jasmine Gold Tea – One of my favourite pairs! The mellow, caramel-like flavor of the Gouda lingered on my palate and formed a perfect blend with the flowery jasmine tea)
- Aged Mimolette with Laphroaig 10 – whilst I love the aged mimolette on its own, the smokiness of the Laphroaig 10 was a tad overwhelming for me)
- Calvados Camembert with Singleton: this is a good combination for those who are not big whisky drinkers as the Singleton is relatively fruity with a light sweetness. Be warned, though, this particular camembert soaked in Calvados apple brandy is really strong!)
Of course, we did pair some of the cheeses with wine as well since a session on cheese sans wine would be so incomplete! These were some of the winning combinations:
- Muenster paired with Bourgogne VV, Henri Perrot Minot – This strong tangy cheese made the wine from burgundy ‘rounder’ and balanced the myriad of tastes on my palate well.
- Fourme d’Ambert paired with Quinta do Silval 1997- Blue cheese is of course an acquired taste and is often paired with port. The saltiness of the cheese is toned down by the fruity wine, making it a winning combination.
- Brillat Savarin paired with Cote du Rhone, E.Guigal Blanc- Brillat Savarin is usually a crowd pleaser and it didn’t disappoint. This triple cream cheese was a perfect match for the white wine.
We all know European cheeses are famously good to cook with – something to bear in mind over the holiday season, mama! As a prelude to the cheese flight, Chef Julien Bompard (owner of Scotts 27) and his team treated us to a cheese fondue (consisting of Gruyere and Emmental) with bacon emulsion along with canapés topped with blue cheese and marmalade. One word: delicious!
Now that the haze seems to have finally made itself scarce, bring out your wines (or whiskies and teas!), load up on the cheese and head down for a BBQ, a picnic or a casual gathering by the pool. Have a wonderful festive season, mamas!