Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ben Fatto 95 @ Paya Lebar Crescent - A Pasta Discovery Private Dining Experience

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So far the private dining places I have visited are mostly serving Peranakan dishes. For a change, we decided to check out Ben Fatto 95, a new player in the scene focus on homemade pasta. Ben Fatto 95 is helmed by Chef Yum Hwa, who showcases a variety of freshly made pastas to his guests coupled with his story in discovering the different pastas around the world.

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Sottaceti 3/5

Our dinner started with some homemade pickles to whet up the appetite.

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Sushi de Chianti 4.2/5

The Steak Tartare is hand chopped using the the skirt cut instead of the usual filet mignon or tenderloin. The effort can be tasted in the tenderness. The seasoning was also spot on with the used of Italian fish sauce and olive oil.

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Tortelli 4.2/5

First up is the Tortelli is the pasta sheet is made using soft wheat flour and shaped by mattarello (rolling pin). The parcels are filled with garlic ricotta and sealed by hand. The addition of garlic helps to cut through the creaminess with a soft innard. This is complemented by the fresh tomato sauce and finished with parmegiano reggiano. This is really good but the portion is a little small after all the anticipation.

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Cappellacci 4.5/5

I love the shape of the Cappellacci. Though it is said to be shaped like a nun's habit, I thought it looks more like golden ingot. The prized ingredient is the culatello, one of the most prized salumi in Italy that is stuffed inside the cappellacci. Chef Yum Hwa has hand carried this back from Italy. This is paired with a cheesy cream based sauce which smartly balanced the intensity of the salumi.

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What makes Ben Fatto 95 private dining experience different from the rest is the hands on experience. Besides the education on the different forms of pasta, guest will get a chance to roll their own pasta too.

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Cresc' Tajat 4.2/5

The next pasta is named and inspired by Pastaio David. Shaped like a leaf is the Cresc' Tajat pasta. It is a form of short pasta from Le Marche made with polenta and wheat flour, cut using a bicicletta and folded by hand. It is then cooked with clams and legumes. Finished with a pancetta gremolata and garlic oil. I like how the pasta catches the sauce, allowing everything to come together in one bite on top of its al dente texture.

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Tagliolini all' Uovo 4.5/5

The last pasta dish is Tagliolini all' Uovo. The long egg pasta is cut using a chitarra (traditional cutting utensil). It is then cooked with snapper and zucchini in a shellfish broth. The bite of the pasta and its flavour are more familiar to the Asian's palate which we can find an association with. It is like have a plate of stir fried egg noodles.

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Torta della Nonna 3/5

Wrapping up our dinner is the Torta della Nonna, a classic lemon and custard filling encased in a homemade pastry crust. It is then topped with pine nuts and dusted with powdered sugar. I personally thought the lemon tart can be more sour.

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We pay $90 per pax for 7 courses. It is definitely a different form of private dining I have attended so far. It is an educational journey into the world of pasta. I really appreciate the experience. However I think the flow and portion of the dishes can be fine tuned, as some of us find the waiting time in between courses are a bit long and most of us left the place feeling not full.


Ben Fatto 95
Paya Lebar Crescent
Website
Nearest station: Tai Seng (CC Line)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Madame Fan @ The NCO Club - Launches Its Inaugural Lunar New Year Menu

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Step into Madame Fan at The NCO Club this Lunar New Year - be invited to an ambiance that will set your celebration apart from the rest. Instead of singing to the oh-so-common, catchy tunes of CNY songs while tucking into your feast, how about a DJ in the house? Conceptualised by acclaimed restaurateur Alan Yau, Madame Fan launches its inaugural Lunar New Year menus this year to celebrate the festive season with you. Designed by Chef Mike Tan, the LNY Set Lunch and Set Dinner menus will be available from 16 January to 19 February 2019.

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Prosperity Yu Sheng

Starting off the meal was a healthier version of Prosperity Yu Sheng. By that I meant less of the sugary and vinegary condiments messing with the greens. Chef Mike plays with the colors of different ingredients to attain that desired vibrancy, such as purple cabbage, tomatoes, mandarin orange, green mango, pomelo etc. A special yuzu sauce is concocted as well, which is a lot less sweet, and what I really like is that it doesn't stick and coat the crunchy greens like what a regular plum sauce will do. Other than golden pillows, we also had crispy silver fish and fried fish skin showering our Yu Sheng. It tasted really fresh on our palate, and the plate left our table well polished.

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Bird's nest, Crabmeat and Crab Roe with Supreme Stock

The second course is really a dish that pampers your soul - Bird's nest, Crabmeat and Crab Roe with Supreme Stock. The Bird's nest is more for the texture and the nutrition if you believe in it, otherwise, it tastes similar to a shark fin soup. The beansprouts added to the crunch but some of mine were slightly raw.

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South Africa Abalone and Tofu

Next up was South Africa Abalone and Tofu with seasonal vegetables. Nothing to fault about the abalone but the humble tofu managed to steal the limelight with its silky texture.

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Steamed Red Spot Garoupa

Presented in a traditional flavour is the Steamed Red Spot Garoupa with Hong Kong Pat Chun Premium Soy, ginger and spring onion. The meat was firm under the collagen-rich skin, and I bet many would eye for its head.

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Charcoal Grilled Wagyu with Foie Gras

No Pen Cai but what's even better is this Charcoal Grilled Wagyu with Foie Gras. From Kagoshima, the meat was well flavoured with fats, and it was so tender that we needed no knife to portion it. I appreciate that the foie gras was sliced and seared well at all edges for that extra texture and flavour.

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Braised King Prawn, Ginger and Spring Onion with Ee Fu Noodle

Capping the feast was Braised King Prawn, Ginger and Spring Onion with Ee Fu Noodle. You may notice that the noodle is actually secondary. The prawn was fresh, evident from the ease of removing the meat from the shell. I would prefer the noodles to be drier though.

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Chocolate Cremeux with Mandarin Orange

But what makes this meal memorable is the dessert - Chocolate Cremeux with Mandarin Orange. The 'orange' is made with white chocolate, cream and cheese, embedding a orange sorbet core. Knowing that it was a white chocolate dessert made me skeptical about it at first, as I am really concern about its sweetness, but it proves to be one of the finer artisan desserts I had. The white chocolate cream melted in my mouth effortlessly, leaving a hint of vanilla at times. The orange sorbet and the base syrup imparted most of the sweetness to the dessert, along with a tartness that brought the flavours to a balance. As I savoured deeper into the centre, my tastebuds were surprised by a sweet and airy almond souffle. It wasn't a dedicated dessert chef who crafted this by the way. Yes, we asked.

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Festive set lunch menus are priced from $78++ per person for a minimum of two persons. The Set Menu which I had is priced at $238 for parties of 4 and more.

Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.


Madame Fan
The NCO Club
32 Beach Road
Singapore 189764
Tel: +65 68181921
Facebook
Website
Nearest MRT: Esplanade (CC Line)

Opening hours:
Daily: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Esplanade MRT station. Take Exit F. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]



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