Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Zafferano - Finally a Risotto That Hits The High Marks

Risotto has been a bane of many restaurants and cafes in Singapore, and this is largely due to the fact that most risottos served here are pre-cooked and end up being mushy and broken riced on the plate.

I have always longed for a simple plate of risotto cooked to perfection with the right technique and cooked all the way through from start to end. I have found just that establishment.

Sitting atop one of the tallest buildings in the central district, and boasting a panoramic view that will blow your socks away, Zafferano has equal amounts of Italian charm and classy fine dining elegance to make this your next culinary destination.

There are indoor seating and outdoor alfresco area, and both have access to the aforementioned gorgeous views on offer. Service is exemplary with friendly staff accompanied by even more engaging smiles, a rarity indeed.

Recently, they have just launched a superb brunch menu that is only available on the first and last weekends of the month. Filled to the brim with a host of items, risotto is the hidden gem among all the other equally delectable offerings. But, let's start with the appetisers.

Burrata and Other Appetisers

The cold cuts are beautifully selected and thus, quality is not compromised. As is the gorgeous burrata cheese paired with some herbs and tomato. That Italian flag coloured combination is just spectacular. Luxurious and creamy cheese, sharpness of the tomatoes and the perfume of the herbs make this quintessential Italian flavour profile sing high above the clouds.

Pasta Selection

A trio of pastas are also on offer, and despite the misstep of using truffle oil, everything else works. The freshness of the ingredients is the key to making great pasta dishes, and the housemade gnocchi with a marinara sauce is just exceptional.

Not to be outdone, the lasagne here may be part of a brunch menu, but let's just say it is one of the best lasagne that I have come across here. Beautifully balanced b├ęchamel and tomato meaty sauce are folded neatly into the textured fat pasta sheets in perfect harmony. Yes, I am still singing at this point.

Saffron Risotto

The risotto seen above looks simple enough, but here they are cooked on order and served directly on the plate as is the Italian style. The risotto grains are cooked to the exact perfection of doneness.

The mantecare is done exquisitely well with the right amount of creamy buttery and cheesy sauciness without being too watery nor dry. You can almost see how relaxed the grains are as they flow like a lava as it is being served on the plate. All risotto should be cooked this way as far as I am concerned.

Roast Chicken

The mains, however, do not live up to the starters and the staple dishes, but the roast chicken is still a pretty good choice. Nicely done with a moist interior and a tasty, tangy sauce to accompany, it will be perfect for a family outing.

Elsewhere, the pork belly was a tad dry and so too was the fish. Though consistency needs to be worked on a bit as some of the other diners had perfectly cooked sea bass and pork from what I gathered.

Affogato

There are a host of classic Italian sweets on offer ala buffet style, but the one that takes the cake for me is this hand-poured-in-front-of-your-eyes affogato. Using very good coffee beans, the resultant espresso used for this dessert has just the right amount of bitterness to counter the sweetness of the gelato ice cream.

As a brunch offering, this new menu from Zafferano has mostly positives that will justify the price of admission here. For pasta lovers, the pastas on offer will leave you more than satisfied. The burrata appetiser is another highlight.

But for me, a risotto lover, the saffron risotto is the clear star and winner here. I would gladly come here just to have this dish on its own, no truffles or premium ingredients required.

It takes a very skilled chef to give this dish justice and I am happy to announce that risotto nirvana has been achieved.

Zafferano
10 Collyer Quay
43rd Level, Ocean Financial Centre

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