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Escentials Fall / Winter Preview @ Operation Dagger

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2016

Decided to bring Justin along for Escentials Fall/Winter 2016 preview last month! It's actually his first event ever because he's not very interested in fashion (as most guys are), but when there is food and cocktails involved (+ maybe some gift inspiration for the upcoming holiday season *AHEM*) I managed to convince him to come with me as my date!

If Rennie (from Mercury PR!) wasn't standing outside, I probably wouldn't have been able to find the entrance of Operation Dagger, the cocktail bar where the event was at. The building facade looked like it was under construction or abandoned, but it was revealed that the bar was actually underground! Felt like we'd been let into some top secret club... hence the name of the bar I guess!

Got ourselves some cocktails to settle in first. All the bottles behind are actual ingredients used in the cocktails, and it felt quite apt tying in with Escentials because there's the whole "chemistry" and scents vibe going on.

Anyway, Justin got the "Fallen Fruit", which came in this adorable pear shaped cup/container with real curry leaf included! It had hints of poached pear and sugar, and I admit drinking more of this than my own which was the "Creaming Soda" (all cocktails are S$25.00 net!)

Mine had juniper, rasberry, pink peppercorn and vanilla, and the foam on top had those old school candy - you know the ones that fizz and crackle when you eat it? Quite fun! It was tasty too but drinking the whip cream without getting a moustache was KINDA unglam, though I generally am not a very glamorous person anyway so it was fine because Justin already knows this :(

Then it was time to check out what upcoming launches there were! The purpose of this event is to showcase special Christmas sets that some of the brands Escentials carries has to offer this year. Couldn't resist swatching all the colours from Lipstick Queen by Poppy King, which are split into two categories of 10 different shades - the "Sinners" in the black tube which are more pigmented, and their complimentary shades in "Saints" which are more sheer.

Usual favourites like Diptyque and Byredo. Byredo's is a little special this year because this Christmas they actually have a blank perfume label which you can fill in yourself, essentially naming your own perfume! So cool?? WOULD NOT MIND RECEIVING THIS *Hint hint*

Maison Francis Kurkdjian was another outstanding set to me because it comes in an array of pretty colours for both boys and girls, and the slim gold case in the right side picture is like a little holder to "keep" your perfume vial when going out, and is suitable for both Him and Her! So classy and I think anyone (i.e. myself) would be happy to get this for Christmas k, hahaha. Feeling quite shameless today, don't mind me.

Let's talk about food. After checking all the Christmas sets, we settled down for another couple of cocktails (this one is called the "Corn + Oil" - very strong and for brave people only!) and ordered our food.

The bar bites at Operation Dagger are by far the best bar bites I've ever had in Singapore. When I normally think of bar bites I think buffalo wings, or maybe nachos, but Operation Dagger is classy AF, so they just knocked everything out of the park. Above is the "Bacon and Eggs" (S$14.00), but it's more of an egg foam infused with bacon flavour and sprinkled with my personal favourite, Jamon De Bellota. The toast was like a brioche, crispy outside but light, airy and soaked with butter inside. They sold out of this dish - we know because, yes, we asked for seconds.

The "Cauliflower" (S$12.00) had cauliflower (of course) prepared 3 different ways but presented very charmingly. There was the puree, raw and oven roasted with hints of truffle and almond flavouring. I loved coating the oven baked cauli's in their pureed friends - so tasty and perfectly seasoned.

The kitchen at Operation Dagger is really small, so I'm really impressed by the level of dishes they churn out. I am especially pleased with how warm they are. You know how when you go to cafes and ask them to heat up your food and it's like, meh? Well here the food and plate came out piping hot and hence extra shiok. The "Asparagus" ($12.00) is another outstanding dish. Crispy and generously sized, they were sprinkled in cured egg yolk and charred so that they had that burnt "wok hei" taste. If all vegetables were cooked like this I could possibly be vegetarian.

NAH, I love my meat. But yes, best asparagus ever!

FAVOURITEST DISH (ok I liked them all, but really). If you guys have been reading, you know how much I love mushrooms. These "Mushrooms" ($12.00) came on a bed of "soil" - how cute is the presentation??? The cacao soil is edible and, surprisingly, sweet. It perfectly balanced the saltiness of the pickled Shimeji porcini mushrooms, and once again the slightly charred and perfectly heated temperature at which they were served makes me really want to come back here. Yes, just for mushrooms.

Anyway, a really enjoyable afternoon having a full sensory experience of all kinds of smells from the exciting upcoming Christmas collections available at Escentials, to the delicious food and creative cocktails at Operation Dagger. Thank you Rennie and Karen once again for the invite!

These Christmas gift sets are available at Escentials from the end of October 2016!

Escentials Paragon
290 Orchard Road
Singapore 238859

Escentials Tangs
310 & 320 Orchard Road
Tangs Beauty Level 1
Singapore 238864