Alkaff Mansion Ristorante Tasting Session

August 14, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Alkaff Mansion Ristorante Tasting Session
10 Telok Blangah Green

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday: 11.30am - 2:30pm (Lunch), 6pm - 10.15pm (Dinner)
Saturday - Sunday: 11.30am - 3.30pm (Lunch), 6pm - 10.15pm (Dinner)


http://www.alkaff.com.sg/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, and The Hungry Bunny.



Authentic, Fine Italian Dining With An Old World Charm

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 9
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 9
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $50 ++ per person.


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Set amidst the serene and picturesque Telok Blangah Hill Park, the restored colonial facade of the Alkaff family mansion now houses the Alkaff Mansion Ristorante. With its panoramic views of the park, impeccable service and authentic Italian food, Alkaff Mansion Ristorante is an excellent choice for romantic dates, special celebrations, and business dining, provided you're willing to spend.

Ambience at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante exudes an old world colonial charm. With its classic European-style architecture, beautiful fountains, romantic gazebo, and quirky giant rocking chairs (What?), Alkaff Mansion Ristorante is not surprisingly used for wedding solemnisations. The interior has an elegant, rustic charm, with its high ceiling, wooden panelling and solid furniture. Alkaff Mansion Ristorante has a rather spacious layout, and the second floor can been booked for functions.

I find the service at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante to be hospitable and impeccable. The excellent service at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante stems from staff's attention to little details, such as plating design, choice of words when speaking, body language, and more. Staff at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante have good product knowledge, able to explain the various intricacies of each dish, such as preparation and type of ingredients used. They are also able to cater to specific dietary requirements to a certain extent.

Food at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante is authentic Italian, focusing on cuisine from the Tucany region of Italy. Tuscan cuisine is characterised by freshness of ingredients, simplicity in preparation, rustic and hearty dishes and wide variety of game protein. Executive chef Marco Guccio heads up the kitchen, and his upbringing in the agricultural industry means he insists on hand-making dishes using quality imported ingredients. Such high quality of ambience, food and service means a high price as well, and a typical 3 course meal at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante will cost about SGD $50 - $70 per person. Average price per dish is about SGD $30. Personally, I feel that prices at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante are reasonable.

Bread begins the meal, and there are a variety of options to choose from. A dipping plate of olive oil and vinegar is provided along with the Bread.

Bread



The Marinated Scottish Salmon ‘Carpaccio’ with Yellow Frisee Salad & Salmon Roe is an excellent antipasti to begin with. The salmon is house-marinated in herbs, sugar and salt, and sliced with a medium thickenss, which results in a nice, satisfying bite to the flesh. The briny salmon roe contrasted well with the sweetness of the salad.

Carpaccio di Salmone Marinato, Insalata Riccia e le sue Uova / Marinated Scottish Salmon ‘Carpaccio’ with Yellow Frisee Salad & Salmon Roe


Carpaccio di Salmone Marinato, Insalata Riccia e le sue Uova / Marinated Scottish Salmon ‘Carpaccio’ with Yellow Frisee Salad & Salmon Roe



The Handclosed Pumpkin ‘Casoncelli’ with ‘Taleggio’ Cheese Fondue & Veal Jus is a unique pasta dish, only available here. A house speciality hand-made by executive chef Marco Guccio based on a family recipe, this pasta dish has a delicate touch of savoury and sweet, and well balanced with no flavours overpowering the others, yet still distinct enough that you can taste each one.

Casoncelli di Zucca, Fonduta di Taleggio e Ristretto di Vitello / Handclosed Pumpkin ‘Casoncelli’ with ‘Taleggio’ Cheese Fondue & Veal Jus


Casoncelli di Zucca, Fonduta di Taleggio e Ristretto di Vitello / Handclosed Pumpkin ‘Casoncelli’ with ‘Taleggio’ Cheese Fondue & Veal Jus



The US Prime Beef Short Rib with Potatoes ‘Charlotte’ & Chestnuts Fondant features fork tender slow cooked beef, braised for over 8 hours. The meat just falls apart when cut. The sticky, savoury chestnuts were well cooked till soft, as were the potatoes. I did feel the sauce was a little too salty though.

Punta di Manzo a Cottura Lenta, Patate Charlotte e Castagne / US Prime Beef Short Rib with Potatoes ‘Charlotte’ & Chestnuts Fondant


Punta di Manzo a Cottura Lenta, Patate Charlotte e Castagne / US Prime Beef Short Rib with Potatoes ‘Charlotte’ & Chestnuts Fondant



The Slow Cooked Suckling Pig with Celery Root & Wild Berries Sauce has a nice layer of fat, which can be easily removed if you're not inclined to eating it. The skin is beautifully crisp, but executive chef Marco Guccio has gone beyond to also ensure that a nice, firm cut of pork meat comes with each piece. The meat is juicy, not dry, and quite fragrant. The wild berries sauce (mainly blueberries) pairs well with the meat, although I felt the asparagus did little to enhance to overall dish beyond making it look pretty.

Maialino a Bassa Temperatura, Sedano Rapa e Frutti di Bosco / Slow Cooked Suckling Pig with Celery Root & Wild Berries Sauce


Maialino a Bassa Temperatura, Sedano Rapa e Frutti di Bosco / Slow Cooked Suckling Pig with Celery Root & Wild Berries Sauce



Gamey taste is quite a common problem with lamb, but fortunately, the Oven Baked Lamb Rack from England with Glazed Pearl Onions & Grain Mustard Sauce here doesn't have that strong and overwhelming gamey taste. I like the well portioned cut of meat on the bone, which was tasty enough to eat on its own, even without any sauce.

Carre’ d’Agnello al Forno, Cipolline Glassate al Balsamico e Mostarda in Grani / Oven Baked Lamb Rack from England with Glazed Pearl Onions & Grain Mustard Sauce


Carre’ d’Agnello al Forno, Cipolline Glassate al Balsamico e Mostarda in Grani / Oven Baked Lamb Rack from England with Glazed Pearl Onions & Grain Mustard Sauce



The classic Italian dessert of Semifreddo is interpreted here as a White Chocolate & Coffee ‘Parfait’ with Espresso Sauce & Hazelnut Meringue. Beautiful artistic plating that demands the diner to be playful and whimsical in consuming it. Should I eat it alone, combine it with the sauce, or pair it with the raspberries? Decisions, decisions!

Semifreddo al Cioccolato Bianco e Caffe / White Chocolate & Coffee ‘Parfait’ with Espresso Sauce & Hazelnut Meringue


Semifreddo al Cioccolato Bianco e Caffe / White Chocolate & Coffee ‘Parfait’ with Espresso Sauce & Hazelnut Meringue



The rich, thick, dark chocolate within the Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce prevents it from flowing out when cut. But it's absolutely lovely, the soft, moist cake and the warm gooey chocolate heightened by the sweet caramel sauce and cold vanilla ice cream.

Tortino al Cioccolato, Gelato alla Vaniglia e Caramello / Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce


Tortino al Cioccolato, Gelato alla Vaniglia e Caramello / Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce



The Homemade Tiramisu' with 'Savoiardi & Mascarpone' Cream comes plated with a beautiful design that looks suitable for a stained glass window. The Tiramisu itself is authentic, using Savoiardi Ladyfinger biscuits soaked in espresso, as well as a rich mascarpone and eggs mixture. Excellent dessert!

Alkaff Mansion Ristorante Tiramisu / Homemade Tiramisu' with 'Savoiardi & Mascarpone' Cream


Alkaff Mansion Ristorante Tiramisu / Homemade Tiramisu' with 'Savoiardi & Mascarpone' Cream



Executive Chef Marco Guccio regales us with tales of growing up on his family farm, and helping his parents and grandparents to cook / prepare everything from scratch because they were poor as a result of World War II. Looking on is marketing manager of LHN Culinary Concepts and our host for the tasting session, Jasmine.

Executive Chef Marco Guccio






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