Bird’s nest has long been lauded for its health benefits (the high concentrations of glycoproteins and amino acids boost immunity and improves the complexion), but the nourishing delicacy is also known for its tedious preparation process. First, the bird’s nest has to be soaked in water to soften the strands, cleaned, then double-boiled for four to six hours with other nourishing ingredients like American ginseng and red dates.
Branching out from his family business Yan Yuan Bird’s Nest, Cieyou Lim created NestBloom, a modern collection of designer bird’s nest that can be prepared in a flash. All you have to do is add hot water and wait for five minutes. We have instant Milo, instant noodles—and now, thanks to NestBloom, we have instant bird’s nest.
NestBloom uses NASA-inspired methods of freeze-drying to prepare their bird’s nest. In this way, none of the nutrients of bird’s nest are lost in the process. No preservatives, additives or chemicals are added, and each delicate ‘bloom’ is hand-shaped in moulds that are specially commissioned from a sculptor.
There are three blooms to choose from: the original Almond Cream (chrysanthemum-shaped), Rose Almond Cream (rose-shaped), and the Matcha Almond Cream (shaped like Japanese camellia).
SALT put NestBloom’s bird nest to test. As promised, it only took hot water for the bloom to dissolve into a bowl of fragrant bird’s nest. The Rose Almond Cream’s pastel pink colour is achieved with beetroot extract, and the subtle rose flavour comes from rose oil imported from the U.S. It tastes like a bandung (rose-flavoured syrup with condensed milk drink) version of bird’s nest, without the saccharine quality. Although the recommended water volume is 100ml, add less if you prefer a thicker consistency and stronger flavour.
The Matcha Almond Cream derives most of its flavour from matcha powder imported from Japan. Its taste is stronger than the rose, and also more fragrant. For a crowd-pleasing favourite, the Almond Cream works best. Each blooms costs $21 from now till 5 November, and $27 thereafter.
NestBloom’s products come in stylish packaged boxes, and make fantastic gifts for your family members. Or if you’re looking to indulge—purchase them for yourselves, prep them in advance and refrigerate them to enjoy a bowl of bird’s nest before bed. They make wonderful travelling companions as well—it’s always good to have bird’s nest to counter that jet-lag, and you can pack it in with your instant noodles!
The NestBloom pop-up store at 13 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199434, is open till 5 November 2017. Shop their website at www.nestbloom.com for gift packages and more.