On a beach in Bali.
With the last rays of dappled daylight gently caressing my small but shapely boobs. #lovelife #sponsoredpost
Unfortunately, I’m not. My manboobs are large but formless, and the most sophisticated gastronomical pairing I understand is cai png with curry.
However, if the influencer industry has taught me anything, it’s that total ignorance of the subject matter should never stop you from pursuing your dreams. And my dreams of becoming a model-slash-food-blogger, however misguided, have been given new life thanks to a mission from the folks who make NCF: to find food choices that pair well with their cognac.
So naturally, we ordered a GRC’s worth of food and drowned everything in a biblical deluge of NCF.
Pleasant surprise: Kopi C with a shot of NCF is pretty fucking delicious. I’ve always found Kopi to be a little too sweet but the cognac nicely tempers the saccharine sweetness of too much evaporated milk. You can even smell the cognac’s uh … cognac-y aromas, floating above the dark roast.
Rating: 11/10. Perfect for Monday mornings.
Hence, another shot of cognac can’t hurt.
Well, it just goes to show that I know nothing about either cooking or alcohol. The entire fish soup tasted like rancid pond scum after I spiked it. No flavor remains except a lingering taste of salty alcohol burn.
Rating: 1/10. Aquaman weeps.
If only the end result tasted like something … anything. Adding NCF seems to have just diluted my drink.
I think it was the straw that ruined it. Cognac thrives upon its rich aroma, but you can’t smell shit whilst sucking on a plastic tube. Too bad I only realise this as I’m typing, long after the drink has been finished.
Rating: ???? I fucked it up.
Cognac seems to impart an additional layer of flavour to my beancurd’s syrupy sweetness. It also blends incredibly well because soyabean is the blank canvas of dessert foods. A carte blanche for more strident notes of chocolate or in this case, cognac.
More importantly, there’s something very satisfying about stirring alcohol into a silky smooth bowl of tau huay. You will feel empowered by this simple act of low-effort culinary alchemy.
Rating: 7/10. Surprisingly good.
In reality, it was more like Desmond Quek plus SMRT.
In my excitement, I’ve forgotten how shaved ice works. The NCF immediately sank to the bottom, melting a big hole in my ice kachang whilst adding zero flavour to the outer slopes.
So unless you want to eat a normal ice kachang followed by a 90 per cent proof slushie, best give this a miss until someone invents an ice kachang with more structural integrity.
Rating: 2/10. Tastes fine but cannot recommend due to unresolved engineering issues.
Please seek professional help.
Rating: 3/10. Defies logic.
Idea: This would allow me to breathe more deeply NCF’s intoxicating fragrance.
Reality: This still tastes like watered down Milo Peng that has been left out in the sun.
My theory is that NCF is a little too light to survive the extensive icing of a kopitiam drink. Although coldness subdues strong flavours and makes drinks more chuggable at 3 AM in the club, it doesn’t quite work in a kopitiam, where you’re using the world’s most powerful mixer: condensed milk.
Rating: 4/10. Unless you’re just drinking to get drunk. In that case, 12/10.
Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome, or maybe I’m just drunk by now, but NCF goes rather well with the gravy. The drink dances hand in hand with anything creamy and laksa is pungent enough to cover any weird flavours that emerge as a byproduct of this unholy union.
The problem is the noodles. Alcohol-drenched noodles are terrible. Biting into a mouthful of NCF-infused noodles without the benefit of spicy gravy is an experience that truly builds character.
Rating: 5/10 without noodles. 1/10 with.
Herbal flavours usually compliment alcohol brilliantly and NCF is no exception. Stir it in properly and you’ll have something that tastes like a very invigorating chinese tonic, like something your grandmother would brew in the week before PSLE because she has no faith in your chemically un-enhanced intellect.
Rating: 6/10. Not half bad, if only it cured my fertility problems.
No joke. Cognac with cheng tng is good shit. Taste-wise, it’s not unlike a superior Asian version of hot mulled wine, twice as heartwarming but minus that sticky aftertaste. It’s perfect for those rainy afternoons when your body requires a warm beverage while your existential angst demands blood alcohol.
I seriously hope that Cognac Tng becomes a de rigueur cocktail for all Singaporean bars and clubs. Screw the Singapore Sling and other pseudo-orientalist libations invented for the benefit of tourists with delusional ‘tropical’ fantasies.
The only cocktail you’ll ever need is waiting for you at the kopitiam dessert stall. Available for $2 max.
Bankrolled by pups in over-sized hoodies. Follow @Martellsg NCF for more.
Photography by Me, myself and I.