Dinner at Zafferano
Located on the 43rd floor of Ocean Financial Centre, Zafferano (Italian for Saffron) offers an amazing view.
I first had dinner at Zafferano after a SSO concert in mid August 2012. The dishes were either too bland or excessively salty. We figured it was due to teething problems as the restaurant was relatively new at that time. Michele, the Director of Experience was a most persuasive and attentive individual so our dissatisfaction was appeased by his service recovery.
When I was invited for a tasting, I thought it might be worth another shot. We started the evening with a glass of Prosecco. A nice bubbly start to the meal. I wondered how the food would taste.
The Amuse Bouche (a bite-sized appetizer served compliments of the Chef) was a mousseline of salmon paste and eggplant with a lemon mustard dressing. It didn't hit any high notes for me as I'm not a fan of cooked salmon.Degustazione di Prosciutto @ S$45 Vertical Tasting of Ham: Parma Ham, San Daniele & Pata Negra
We started with the Degustazione di Prosciutto, which was quite interestingly described as a vertical tasting of ham. I usually associate 'vertical tasting' with wine where different vintages of the same wine varietal by the same producer are tasted in a single session to appreciate the difference in flavour. I guess it was the simplest way to describe Zafferano's ham tasting platter which consists of a trio of ham (from different regions) arranged according to their age.
Like cheese tasting, I started with the milder tasting ham before ending with the strongest tasting and oldest ham. The lightest coloured and youngest ham (at the top of the stand) was Prosciutto di Parma aka Parma Ham from Italy that had been aged for 24 months. It was delicately sweet with a slightly salty and nutty flavour. Next, I had the slightly darker coloured San Daniele (also from Italy) that had been aged for 32 months. It was slightly less salty than the Parma Ham. My favourite was the Spanish Pata Negra Bellota that had been aged for 36 months. Also referred to as Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, the black Iberian free-range pigs roamed oak forests and fed on acorns thus yielding a particularly rich and nutty tasting flesh that's well marbled. Each slice practically melts on your warm tongue that in turn lubricates the savoury and tender meat. This is definitely a Must-Try!Uovo @ S$23 Poached organic egg, Parmesan cream, Asparagus & Black Truffle shavings
My appetizer was named Uovo, which means "egg" in Italian. It comprised a perfectly poached organic egg nestled in a warm bath of Parmesan cream sauce, topped with asparagus spears, black truffle shavings and drops of truffle oil. I loved this appetizer because of the savoury creaminess of the sauce, the richness of the yolk as well as the aroma and flavour of truffles. This is a Must-Try if you like poached eggs, cheese, cream and truffles.Filetto @ S$55 Pan-fried US Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras, Mashed Potato, Vegetable & Marsala Sauce
The Filetto was highly recommended by our host, Tripti Kumar. I enjoyed the beef tenderloin as it was well-grilled and adequately seasoned. The foie gras was only slightly overdone but had a lovely browned crust that I enjoyed despite having reduced foie gras consumption over the past few years. I loved the smooth mashed potato especially when mixed with some Marsala sauce. This is a worth a try if you love beef and foie gras.Agnello @ S$68 (300 grams) Oven-baked Welsh Lamb Rack with Aromatic Herbs & Braised Artichoke
Next, we sampled some oven-roasted Welsh Lamb Rack. Done medium rare, the tender lamb was well-seasoned with a crisp crust that added a smoky flavour to the meat. I love artichokes so I loved the braised artichoke on the side. This is worth a try if you love lamb.Risotto Zafferano @ S$30 Saffron Risotto, Goose Liver, Quail Leg Confit & Black Truffle
To fulfill the "mandatory" Italian risotto/pasta requirement, we tried the Risotto Zafferano (Italian for Saffron Risotto), which was served with a succulent quail leg confit and shavings of black truffle. Small chunks of foie gras had been added to the risotto while cooking, thus upping the decadent factor for this dish. As I love risotto, truffle and saffron, I enjoyed the dish immensely though I would have preferred not to have foie gras in the risotto so I can better savour the unique flavour of saffron.Dolci Assortiti @ S$24 Zafferano's selection of desserts in a sharing portion (From bottom: Crème Brûlée, Tiramisu, Pineapple Ice Cream, Peach Cake, Sigari di Cioccolato & Panna Cotta)
We ended the substantial meal with a platter of assorted desserts, that was thankfully shared amongst 3 of us. I love Crème Brûlée so I enjoyed the caramelized sugar crust on top of the Prune Armagnac Crème Brûlée, the creamy custard and earthy flavour of the prune that had been soaked in Armagnac (a type of brandy). The Tiramisu and Panna Cotta were decently executed but unspectacular. The Pineapple Ice Cream and Peach Cake were disappointingly bland. My favourite dessert was the Sigari di Cioccolato, a cocoa cigar that had been filled with Amedei Toscano Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Mousse served with edible ashes at one end of the cigar. I loved how the crisp and crunchy cigar shell gave way to a rich chocolate filling. The chocolate cigar has my vote as a dessert worth trying when dining at Zafferano.
The food was generally better executed this time so I guess I will return but will skip desserts on my next visit.Zafferano Level 43 Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049315 Telephone: +65 6509-1488 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.zafferano.sg
PS: Thank you, Zafferano & Chrysler Communications, for the hospitality.