We’ve got another weekend or two left to play our part and stay at home. Deliveries and takeaways are good for meals, but what about after? That’s where creativity comes in. A cheese platter – plus grapes, charcuterie, and plenty of good vino – is the perfect backdrop for a romantic night in. Here’s some of Singapore’s best places to get said platter, no matter the provenance or preferred level of funk.
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Sometimes, eclecticism is overrated. There’s nothing wrong with sourcing from one region, and one region only – especially when it’s armed with a treasure trove of excellent cheese. That region is France, and (one of) its local purveyors of all things fine and French is the aptly named So France. There’s the usual pick of the region’s stalwarts – think fruit camemberts or unctuously soft Brie de Meaux – along with a bevy of other good eats like pates, rillettes and cold cuts. Naturally, they’ve got an equally strong selection of wine labels to pair with your cheese. No prizes for guessing where they’re from.
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The Cheese Artisans were founded in 2012 by a pair of, what do you know it, cheese lovers frustrated with the lackluster selection on the market at the time. Founders Geri Kor and La Perera have come a long way since then. They’ve continuously refined their selection of over 80 artisanal cheeses, aged within their very-own climate-controlled maturing rooms and unveiled their own cafe space (cheese-focused, naturally). They’ve even got pre-selected platters if you’re willing to partake in a cheese-omakase of sorts, courtesy of chief fromager Oliver Sutton – though we’d save the party portions for a couple of months down the road.
Culina‘s revamped space at Dempsey Hill is one of the few supermarkets you’d want to be seen at thanks to a combination of chic minimalism and a touch of quirky, head-turning aesthetics (pop-art; massive paper lanterns; tons of greenery indoors). Somewhere in there, they’ve managed to find space to stock actual food and drink, and plenty of it. They’ve selected cheeses from Spain, France, the Netherlands and more – not to mention, a massive catalogue of fine wine and meat brands from across the region.
The Cheese Shop is an artisanal, well, cheese shop that makes up for its rather uninspired name with a stirring selection of European cheeses, available from three separate locations around the island. It’s an enterprise born from ex-Paypal project manager Christopher Moore’s adoration for fine cheese. Though the shop’s part wholesale supplier, they’re not one to neglect their clientele – there’s a selection of other ready-mades like pates, deli meats and more, along with cheese platters that are part culinary exploration, part European grand tour – in terms of rare cheeses from small-batch producers.
As far as lifestyle all-in-ones go, The Providore’s got you covered every which way. Brunch when you’re in a pinch? They do that. Festive tipples to go if you’ve forgotten a special occasion? That too (and no, working-from-home is not a valid excuse). They’ve even got a suite of cheese, deli meats and accompaniments at the ready. If you require a tad more coddling, opt for the deli bundle for 2 – they cover the bases, all the way from Comte to Chianti and crackers.
The Cheese Ark is owner Ai Ming Syu’s love letter to everything cheese, gathered over a decade’s worth of globetrotting, which happens to be tucked in a shophouse beneath one of Singapore’s oldest flats. Equally “ancient, old fashioned and forgotten”, their cheese, declares their website proudly – cheese from smallholder farms that they’re trying to preserve (though not two blocks at a time). It’s painstakingly sourced and sold at their very peak of seasonal deliciousness (after a stint in their ageing room as a way of keeping their unique stories – and tastes – alive.
This story first appeared in The Peak.