Wine & Dine - - RESTAURANTS -

A 60-seater res­tau­rant-bar lo­cated in an old shop­house on Amoy Street, Black­wat­tle is the lat­est mod­ern Aus­tralian es­tab­lish­ment to land on our shores. It is ex­ec­u­tive chef Clay­ton Wells’ first res­tau­rant in Sin­ga­pore with the Un­listed Col­lec­tion, but not his first as­so­ci­a­tion with the group, hav­ing opened the now-de­funct Vi­a­jante in Lon­don, and Au­tomata at The Old Clare Ho­tel in Sydney with them.

Black­wat­tle is named af­ter a na­tive Aus­tralian tree, and re­minds Wells of Sydney in Spring. Save for a brassy air­craft pro­pel­ler chan­de­lier, the decor is sub­tly stylish, from the table­ware made by lo­cal brand Mud Rock ce­ram­ics, to black-and-white menus de­signed by Mel­bourne-based M.Geisser. Bot­tle green ac­cents run across leather ban­quettes, staff aprons and the big green egg ce­ramic grill in the open kitchen.

Black­wat­tle of­fers a full-fledged a la carte menu, on top of three- and five­course tast­ing menus ($48 and $115). Jo­eri Tim­mer­mans, former sous chef at Au­tomata, will be sta­tioned here while Wells com­mutes back and forth. At the bar up­stairs, en­joy a mul­ti­tude of drinks in­clud­ing sake, mez­cals, cock­tails and mock­tails, along with bar snacks. But you can or­der from the main a la carte menu too if you’re very hun­gry.

We had a taste of the five-course menu and were wowed by the flavour com­bi­na­tions we en­coun­tered. For snacks, the stormshell clam from Cloudy Bay, New Zealand had all its briny, sweet and creamy notes am­pli­fied with an ethe­real splash of rose­mary dashi and aer­ated cream. The starter of steamed green bone, also known as but­ter­fish, had its clean taste con­trasted with a pi­quant green sauce made with pars­ley, mint, basil, grape­seed oil, and light gar­nishes of roasted let­tuce, lardo and herbs.

For mains, we loved the beef tri­tip grilled to just the right ten­der­ness and bite, mar­ried with a car­rot and kelp purée, smoky burnt car­rots, wood ear mush­rooms and a dab of umami tamari sauce. The best was saved for last. The dessert of pump­kin seed sor­bet, bit­ters meringue and dried man­darin was a melange of creamy, bit­ter­sweet, nutty, tangy el­e­ments that made for a tan­ta­lis­ing end to the meal. —CC

97 Amoy Street. Tel: 62242232. Black­wat­

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