Header photo: 404 Plant’s honey mustard TiNDLE chicken bagel
The Singapore food-tech game is strong. A few months back, we brought you news of the debut of Singapore-based KARANA, a whole plant-based meat made of jackfruit that’s already popping up loads around town, receiving very positive reviews.
The meaning behind the unique name “TiNDLE” – no, it has nothing to do with Tinder! – is twofold. First, it’s inspired by John Tyndall, the Irish physicist who first discovered the greenhouse-gas effect in 1859. It’s also similar in sound to the word “kindle”, inspiring an idea to come to life.
TiNDLE ingredients: texturised protein (soy, wheat gluten, wheat starch), Lipi™ (sunflower oil, natural flavouring), coconut oil, methylcellulose, oat fibre
In the ingredient list above, it’s the Lipi™ that is the secret component. This trademarked sauce contains plant-based ingredients that provide a boost of flavour; these include sea salt and plants in the allium family such as garlic and onion. The only ingredient on the list that is likely unknown to most is methylcellulose, but we learned that this is a harmless culinary binder derived from cellulose, which is found in plant cells – akin to egg white or cornflour.
TiNDLE nutritional profile (per 100g): 120 calories, 5g total fat (0g trans fat), 0mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 17g protein
Comparing TiNDLE’s nutritional profile to a 100-gram piece of cooked skinless and boneless chicken breast is much of a muchness. It has slightly fewer calories – 120, in comparison to chicken breast’s 165 – but the protein component is less, at 17g vs 31g, and the sodium content of TiNDLE is almost double, at 180g vs 74mg.
TiNDLE may not be any healthier than chicken, but it is better for the planet. According to the brand, TiNDLE requires 74% less land and 82% less water, while also producing 88% less greenhouse-gas emissions compared to traditional chicken.
Put to the taste
We tried a sampling of TiNDLE dishes at Brazilian-Japanese eatery Uma Nota in SoHo, and we found the dishes in which the TiNDLE was disguised fared better. The pastéis de frango – deep-fried Brazilian pastries filled with shredded TiNDLE – and chicken skewers – here, in the form of kushiage-like skewers coated in panko – were delicious, well seasoned and fried and served with punchy sauces. We weren’t as enamoured with the TiNDLE chicken burger, where it was all about the plump patty. The texture and flavour here were on the processed side.
Chef Gustavo Vargas of Uma Nota explains his reason for adding TiNDLE dishes to the menu, saying, “Working with TiNDLE has been a creative challenge for us.
Brazilian cuisine is known for an abundance of meat options, and we’re now able to recreate traditional street snacks like pastéis and Japanese-style kushiage, offering new dishes to our customers looking for non-meat dishes.”
We recommend trying TiNDLE dishes that are fried in some fashion – perhaps nuggets or popcorn chicken – to make up for the spongy texture of the plant-based meat.
Where to find TiNDLE in Hong Kong
Alvy’s “My TiNDLE Chick” Pizza
TiNDLE is already being featured on the menus of 16 popular restaurants around town, from pizza at Alvy’s in Kennedy Town to a Sichuan-inspired taco at two-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation, in partnership with Classic Fine Foods, a leading gourmet food and ingredient distributor:
- Balsamic TiNDLE chicken and mushroom salad
- Honey mustard TiNDLE chicken bagel
- My “TiNDLE Chick” Pizza
- “Yes, I’m a Vego” Burger
- TiNDLE chicken and waffles
- Smoked TiNDLE Sichuan taco
- Orange TiNDLE chicken
- Pineapple bun TiNDLE sandwich
- TiNDLE chicken and porcini risotto
- TiNDLE chicken larb tort
DOUBLESHOT by Cupping Room
- TiNDLE sando
- Pan-fried TiNDLE chicken with garlic mushroom fried rice and corn tofu
- TiNDLE chicken croquettes with sauteéd asparagus and mushrooms and date-honey sauce
Katsumoto Sando Bar
- TiNDLE “KFT” fried karaage
- TiNDLE tsukune
- Cheesy spicy TINDLE chicken balls with honey mustard sauce
- Market spinach and TINDLE chicken salad
- Kare merah
Potato Head Hong Kong
- TiNDLE Kiev
- TiNDLE Hustle
- The TiNDLE Sandwich
- Pastéis de frango
Brazilian-style deep-fried wontons filled with TiNDLE chicken, served with avocado vinaigrette
- TiNDLE chicken skewers
Crispy TiNDLE chicken, vegan herb mayo, togarashi
W Hong Kong
- W Nachos TiNDLE Fiesta
Big Birdy’s “Yes, I’m a Vego” Burger
To celebrate the launch of TiNDLE in the 852, the brand is planning a series of giveaways from 5–7 July, with 100 TiNDLE dishes given away for free each day at DOUBLESHOT by Cupping Room (5 July at 1pm), 404 Plant (6 July at 1pm) and Big Birdy’s Wanchai shop (7 July at 1pm). That’s a total of 300 in sandos, bagels and burgers on the house, folks! This is a great way to dip your toes into the plant-based meat world if you’re a newbie or to continue on your sustainable eating journey.
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