Bacchanalia has moved to 39 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059678
Forget AWARE, Christian groups should takeover this decadent restaurant. Bacchus is the Greek god of wine and madness; and Bacchanalia were the cults that worshipped the God, and its rituals included sexual orgies and human sacrifices. And the restaurant’s ambience is just that–dark, sexy, mysterious, full of sin, and Eric Khoo was eating at the table beside us. The lighting was balls; the plush seats were red orifices that swallowed us. Need we say more? We loved it! Ideal for dates, and large groups.
In addition to the bread platter ($10), the five of us started with the truffle tasting menu ($300 for 2). We planned to order more after we finished the tasting menu but we were full by then, and didn’t. “How is the menu for two? It’s so much,” a friend said.
Huccalily replied, “For two fat men.”
The truffle tasting menu was actually the same dishes from the normal menu, but with truffles added. (The price listed in this review in the brackets are prices without truffles.) Since the kitchen is helmed by Ivan Brehm, formerly from Fat Duck, the best restaurant in the world, the food had better be good— and in truth, it didn’t disappoint.
MUST-ORDERS: One of our favorite dishes, the cauliflower gratin ($17) was a smooth broth-like puree with bits of deep-fried cauliflower florets, and cheese-and-white-truffle foam. There was a zesty refreshing aftertaste from the oremolata, a chopped herb mixture. The prawn risotto ($28, pictured above) was fantastic too: the rice–a tad hard for me–was very complex and flavorful. The third must-order was the steak tartar (pictured below) topped with egg. The grounded raw beef was so fresh it wasn’t at all icky, unlike some of the tartar we had in the past. It came with a hard bread, and when you spread the beef on it, with a bit of black truffle, the taste was amazing. It also came with a side of very salty and very crispy fries—but it was so salty that it was so good!
Average: Save a piece of bread to dip into the tangy sauce of the 48 hour pork belly ($30, above). Skin was crackling, meat was tender, this was a very good dish but I wondered if “very good” was worth the calories (ok, I am on a diet so I’m concerned about it). The citrus-cured hamachi carmabola ($26, below) was sashimi or ceviche lor, nothing very special.
Skip: Zesty and innovative was the apple ribbon ($18, below), an apple salad with chestnut veloute and fennel ice cream. It was actually one of my favorite dishes but my pocket was burning a hole, singing, no, no, no. $18 can buy me a barrel of apples.
Desserts: We had three out of five desserts on the menu and a dispute over them. My favorite was indubitably the avocado and lime ($15). The avocado was coated with black Hokkaido sugar and stuffed with goat cheese. It was paired with lime sorbet and there was a spice that tasted like Maggi Mee’s MSG–I thought the combination was intelligent, with heavy and light tones. But the ladies disliked it. They preferred the Japanese Momo Peach ($24) because the jasmine ice cream, which accompanied it, was fragrant. Poor pineapple tatin ($18, below) with cardmon-vanilla ice cream was the neglected middle child, nobody’s favorite. All three desserts were too tiny for the price.
In the middle of our meal, our bread platter hadn’t arrived yet and I asked a server to check. He returned with a perfectly reasonable reply: the kitchen burnt the first batch so they were baking another. It showed two things: firstly, standards were maintained in the kitchen, and secondly, the good service. This restaurant had very well-trained servers. Huccalily found it amusing that the waiters spoke immaculate English and had ju-hu hairstyles. A young, lean and tall Singaporean boy waited on us for the night and he was polite, poised and approachable. I asked him, “If these plates are meant for sharing, then why are the portions so small?”
He replied, “Because we want you to have a taste of everything.”
I laughed and said, “I’m kidding. I’m just trying to make things difficult for you.” He showed composure in his response. I wanted to tip him but he left early.
Including a bottle of moet imperial ($148), we paid $585 for 5 people. This restaurant is an all-rounder: great service, great ambience, great food but costly and small portions. The only complaint we had was that it was our friend’s birthday and the restaurant couldn’t even provide a complimentary slice of cake. More generosity would be appreciated, thank you.
Free valet parking available at the historical building, Masonic Club, but please tip uncle lah.
23A Coleman St, Masonic Club, Singapore 179806
T: 6509 1454
Rating: 3.786/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.