>$60

Italo-Japanese Cuisine Part I: Caffe B, Marina Bay Sands Singapore

The boss of Caffe B is Japanese and loves all things Italian. The restaurant started off with a Japanese team cooking Italian food using Japanese ingredients, such as sea urchin, sake and yuzu.

Caffe B is a misnomer because this is not a cafe; it is fine dining as you can tell from the decor, dim lighting, lavished setting that showcases an extensive collection of wines. The No-Child policy makes the restaurant a quiet and romantic place, good for romantic dates and special occasions. Very dim, can cover all flaws. Hah.

Antipasti (Appetizers) 

Fish Carpaccio ($26) including red snapper, salmon and tuna

Eggplant slices ($23), layered with crab meat chucks and avocado cream with orange and basil flavoured Piccadilly Sicilian Tomatos

Burrata ($28)

Besides the three antipasti as shown above, we also had the classic Italian dish, beef carpaccio ($28) and a soup, porcini mushroom soup with truffle oil and foie gras ($18).  While they are all admirably done, I’d rather free up the money and spend on another pasta because the pastas are good.

Pastas and Risottos 

Squid ink tonnarelli with sea urchin and eggplant in cream sauce ($38)

Pappardelle with Wagyu beef bolognese ($28)

Crab linguine with tomato with extra virgin olive oil ($32)

Seafood spaghetti with scampi, mussels, clams, prawns, squid and octopus in tomato sauce (min. of 2 people, $45 per person)

Porcini risotto with 24-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese ($28)

Squid Ink Risotto with prawn, scallops in saffron sauce ($35)

Although pastas and risottos are called Primi Piatti (or First Course), they are theoretically speaking the third course, after the appetizer (antipasto) and soup (zuppa). Besides the dishes mentioned above, we also tried Boston lobster tagliolini in saffron tomato sauce (not pictured, $44).

In general, the pastas are cooked slightly over al dente, making them softer, a texture that I prefer. While the seafood pastas are accomplished (but a tad too complicated for me), it is the simple Pappardelle with Wagyu beef bolognese that shines. Despite the thickness of pappardelle, a pasta type that I don’t like and is difficult to cook, the dish is delicate and subtle.

For the risotto, I’d recommend the simple Porcini mushroom over the complicated but colorful ink squid. While Daniel Food Diary took some time to get used to the mushroom risotto, I liked it instantly. The strong cheese blends well with the musky mushroom. The grain of rice used (carnaroli) is also eaten by the Prime Minister of Italy. Don’t play play! I attacked this dish with so much gusto that I finished it even before the rest of the pasta dishes arrived.

Meat & Seafood

Grilled sea bass with spinach and purple mashed potatos with fennel and orange scent, drizzled with rosemary citrus butter sauce ($43)

Grilled wagyu sirloin steak (180g, $65)

Boston Lobster with yuzu butter sauce ($72)

Known as secondi piatti (second course), I try never to order a fish because fish in European dishes is generally bland. The lobster, wagyu and lamb rack (not pictured, $43) are perfect but somehow, for that price (especially the price of lobster), I expected the elusive wow factor. Not pictured and also the best meat dish is the grilled Kurobuta black pork loin ($43). The tangy green apple dices ameliorate the fattiness of the pork, and complements the meat. In general, the meats don’t appear to be value-for-money but given the exorbitant rent at MBS, the pricing is understandable.

Desserts

Hazelnut Tart with custard cream flavoured in Tahiti vanilla and Japanese sake ($18)

Tiramisu ($18)

Yuzu panna cotta with three sauces ($16)

Been looking forward to the citrus-fragrant yuzu panna cotta but it turns out to be less than ideal. The bottle makes it difficult to scoop the panna cotta and while, taste-wise, it is satisfactory, the small size makes it hard for one to be excited. The fight for the best dessert is between the deconstructed tiramisu that has coffee-essence-soaked ladyfingers arranged like a tic-tac-toe game and a simple and refreshing lemon sorbet in a wine glass (not pictured, $18).

Overall, the food is satisfactory without any major hiccups. And if you feel that the restaurant at basement 1 may be a tad expensive, you can also visit the bar at the first floor, facing Avalon, which serves bar grub and pizzas. See bar menu here. Recommended pizzas: Margherita ($24) and I am Crazy in Singapore. Recommended cocktails: the cocktails that have names from cards, like Spade, Heart, Diamond, etc.

The ambience at the bar is completely different. Very relaxed. A DJ spins on Fridays and Saturdays, playing lounge music.

Caffe B
2 Bayfront Ave
B1-15 & #01-83
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 018972
Restaurant: 6887 3311
Bar: 6222 2329
Website
chope-reservations

Opening hours:
Restaurant
12-3pm
6-11pm

Bar
S-W: 11am-11pm
Th-Sat & PH: 11am till late

Rating: 3.012/ 5 stars

PS: Thank you, Jamie and Serene, for the invited tasting and hosting us for four hours!

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