Perched on the top floor, a 270-degree view of Singapore’s skyline from Zafferano.
A circular bar dominates the room with a stunning centerpiece of golden twigs, like a sole tree in an oasis.
Walking into Zafferano is like walking into The Great Gatsby, everything bathed in gold, decadent, luxurious, beautiful, easy. The menu is created by Executive Chef Roberto De Franco who has worked in Shanghai and Michelin starred restaurants in Italy. The menu is, by no means, extensive, encompassing a classic Italian menu: antipasti (appetizers); soups; pastas and risotto; meat and fish; and desserts.
Capesante (Hokkaido Scallops Carpaccio, $26)
Degustrazione di Prosciutto ($45)
The appetizers were dazzling, one better than the next. If you’re in a group, order the three levels of tasting ham ($45): Parma ham, Sam Daniele and Pata Negra, the difference being the number of months they are cured: the earlier ham is placed on the top level. Not one for cold cuts, these prosciutto won me over with undertones of cheese and would go excellently with wine.
Uovo (Poached Organic Egg in Cream, $23)
The Hokkaido scallops were sliced thinly to a translucence, arranged like petals, and topped with mint, orange and “Bronte” pistachios (usually used in Sicilian desserts), adding a tangy, nutty tingle to Capesante ($26), a light appetizer. If you prefer something denser, go for Uovo, a poached organic egg, flanked by asparagus, swimming in Parmesan cream and a pressingly fragrant black truffle. Egg, cheese, mushroom and asparagus are age-old companions of each other. What can go wrong? On the whole, the appetizers weren’t revolutionary but the flavors played off each other stunningly.
Agnello (Welsh Lamb Rack, 300g, $68)
Filetto (US Beef Tenderloin and Foie Gras, $50)
Huccalily and I eschewed the pastas, which are rather reasonably priced, starting from $22. Filetto ($50) is a combination of steak and foie gras. While the steak was competent, the foie gras was cooked too well, losing that melt-in-the-mouth buttery texture. The unique sauce, Masala sauce, for Filetto needed to be bolder, spicier.
Huccalily, on a diet, chose Merluzzo ($42), an oven-baked black cod crusted with an extremely thin layer of herby breadcrumb, so thin you’d think it was the skin of the fish. On the plate, the tomato-y sauce was dominant but don’t neglect a smidgeon of green sauce made from caperberries, often used in Sicilian food. The caperberry sauce tasted a little sourish like lemon, pungent like mustard and piquant. But, as Huccalily said it, Merluzzo is a dish that must be eaten hot. When the fish cooled, it lost its appeal and was limp.
Selection of Desserts ($24)
Our top three desserts were cream of Lime ($18 for individual portion), a tart perk-me-up; Creme Brulee ($18), which, though a tad stodgy, was made from vanilla pods–instead of vanilla essence–and was caramelized heavily to give a burnt, charred contrast to the custard, a dessert that possessed character; and a fun Sigari di cioccolato ($18) shaped like a cigar with a chocolate cover filled with Amedei black chocolate 70% mousse and at the end of the cigar was edible “ashes”.
Overall, the food was good but safe- or perhaps it was us who chose too conservatively? If we return, we want to try the most exciting items on the menu: spaghetti with sea urchin, bottarga fish roe–also known as a poor man’s cavier–with a hint of chilli ($45) and Maialino in Porchetta ($48), roasted suckling pig with aged balsamic vinegar. The large and dazzling space makes the restaurant-bar a suitable place for after-work large groups and romantic dates. Prompt and polite service.
Directions to Zafferano Singapore
No carpark at Ocean Financial Center, only valet parking available from Tue to Sat from 7pm at $12. If not, park nearby at Republic Plaza or Golden Shoe.
Mon: 11.45am till 11.00pm
Tue – Wed: 11.45am till 12.00am
Thu – Fri: 11.45am till late
Sat: 5.00pm to late
PS: Thanks to Tripti and Zafferano for their hospitality.