Pardon me, I have not heard of Zafferano prior to this tasting. With a spectacular view located at the top floor of the Ocean Financial Centre, 240 metres above the ground, the restaurant did not seem to get as much buzz as the other high attitude restaurants – Equinox, Jaan, Ku De Ta and Stellar at 1-Attitude.
After I made my way up to Level 43, I was awestruck by the view presented, a 270 degree view overlooking Singapore’s skyscrapers in the CBD and Marina Bay areas. The interior, in golden hues and deep orange lighting, was appropriately stylish and elegant at the same.
Zafferano also has a new Executive Chef Fabio Cucchelli, who apprenticed at Thomas Keller’s 3-Michelin-starred French Laundry and subsequently became Executive Chef of La Siriola of Hotel Ciasa Salares in the Italian Dolomites, which earned one Michelin star.
Chef Cucchelli focuses on creating dishes using the high quality fresh ingredients, observing the style of traditional Italian cuisine he was familiar with while incorporating a modern touch. The presentation is generally simple and natural, and with the emphasis placed on ingredients and flavours.
The Fiorentina alla brace ($168 for 3-5 persons), a charcoal grilled 900g black Angus t-bone steak with oyster mushrooms, shallots and bone marrow was the dish that left the deepest impression, and it is likely to be the most pricey in the entire menu.
We can taste why. It was presented already sliced up (good for lazy eaters, bad for slab-lovers), in a tenderness and doneness that the table could identify with – balanced, quite lean with a touch of fattiness, in between lean and fatty, easily flavoursome without the need for much sauce.
The Pappardelle al ragu d’anatra ($27) which had home-made pappardelle pasta with duck ragout was a competent pasta dish, but felt it lacked the extra ‘wow’ factor to distinguish it enough to make me want to come back again.
Both desserts – their signature Nocciole di canelli ($19) and Ricordando Amalf ($15) may be the factors for me returning. The former is canneli hazelnuts done four ways; crumble, ice-cream, caramel and sauce. The ingredients are quite intricately used. And I know it may sound slightly selfish. Do not share the dessert as you may want to experience this in its entirely.
Citrusy desserts seldom resonate with me, but the Italian amalfi lemon crème with forest berries was a pleasure to look at, with a zesty taste that sends bolts of springs into your taste buds.
Some of the other dishes were not-impressionable, unfortunately. I am a little divided on this one. If friends need an Italian restaurant for corporate meetings, or a spectacular view for a dinner date, Zafferano would make the cut. But I am just too spoilt for choices when it comes to exquisite Italian cuisine around here.
Ocean Financial Centre Level 43, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049315. Tel: +65 65091488
Opening Hours: 1130am – 3pm (Mon-Fri), 530pm – 1145pm (Mon-Wed), 530pm – 1am (Thu-Sat), Closed Sun
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