There is a friend who loved, loved, loved every restaurant under Chef Beppe De Vito, from &SONS,
Osteria Art, Amò, Aura to ilLido. I will sometimes ask skeptically, “Really?” There is another who happens to be the reverse.
I fall somewhere in the middle, and decided to head for Braci anyway after it was awarded one star in the
Singapore Michelin Guide 2017.
Braci is a rooftop bar and restaurant by Chef Beppe De Vito, perched on the rooftop of a restored heritage shophouse at 52 Boat Quay, along the Singapore River.
Finding the restaurant may not be as easy as it seemed, so look out for a Korean Fried Chicken shop called Chicken & Beer, and head upstairs via the elevator.
The casual-luxe 20 seater open concept restaurant and the 30-seater bar features progressive Italian cuisine made using modern techniques.
The open concept kitchen also allows diners to interact with the chef and have a full view of their meal being prepared in front of them.
I was surprised to see Chef Beppe De Vito, THE MAN himself behind the kitchen, and he said he would be there almost every day.
Braci is Italian for “embers”, and highlights the main cooking method at the restaurant. inspired by the ‘primitive’ cooking methods of using wood, it attempts to uplift classic Italian cuisine through the use of the Josper oven and the shichirin grill.
On the flipside, the restaurant also feels warmer than usual, with another dining partner feeling the heat. Another friend texted me during during dinner time, ”Why Braci so hot” She meant it quite literally.
Degustation menus are available (only for the whole table) – 4 course Surprise for 100++, 5 course Epicurean at 150++, and 6-course Gourmand at 200++.
Some of the signatures include the Hand Dived Scallop ($28++), Beef Tartare ($28++), Risotto ($48++), Pork Cheek ($78++ for two), Seabass ($48++), Roasted Pigeon ($58++), and Pumpkin Pie ($18++).
Signature drinks at the bar include the G&T ($25++), Gin Marconi ($17++), Bombay Sapphire ($18++), and Boulevardier ($24++).
I had the Lunch Menu, priced at $48++, and I thought it provided quality food at good value for a starred restaurant.
The bread was already impressive, as Chef quipped, ”It is so good it is protected by law.”
What he meant was that the bread of Pane Toscano is given a status by the EU law which guarantees the authenticity of speciality foods from a specific geographic origin.
It was crusty and rustic, downright delicious on its own. No butter needed.
Though I am not typically a Tartare person, the Tuna Tartare with a subtle aroma of truffle was fresh-tasting and delectable, best spread on the bite-sized crostini on the side.
The Tagliolini topped with red prawn tasted like it was cooked in some bisque, so every strand was flavourful with a good bite. (The pasta was more al dente and firm than usual, which I liked.)
In contrast, another pasta dish I ordered – Japanese Sea Urchin Tagliolini ($58++) tasted more predictable and lacked of a remarkable element.
The Beef Tenderloin cooked with borettane (Italian onions) and chanterelles (orange-yellow fungus) had this added element of smokiness on the outside, contrasted with the pinkish tender inside. A not-bad rendition.
While I read in another review that desserts are not its strength, the Strawberry Cheese Cake with elderflower and berries was kind of a highlight of the meal to me.
The dessert was pillow-soft (you could already see it from its appearance) and Japanese-cake-type light, balanced with tangy strawberry jam.
Braci serves up respectable Italian food in an imitate setting, and it is not difficult to understand why it was awarded the Michelin star.
However, I have not fallen head over heels with it yet, and personally preferred Amò under the same umbrella with more colourful choices and energetic vibes.
Address: 52 Boat Quay, #05-01/ #06-01, 049841 (8-10 min walk from Raffles Place MRT)
Tel: +65 6866 1933
Opening Hours: Restaurant 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat), 12:00pm – 2:00pm (Tues – Fri)
Bar 5:00pm – 12:00am (Mon – Sat) Closed on Sun