Four years after its inception, The Black Swan gets a new Culinary Director, Daniel Sia. The former chef-owner of The Disgruntled Chef now oversees all food & beverage outlets – except Odette – under the Lo & Behold group and for this Art Deco bistro and bar at Cecil Street, Sia has given the menu a mini facelift with new added dishes, minor tweaks to existing dishes and a whole new focus on responsible steak sourcing from farms (i.e. farms that do not use antibiotics and who support sustainable breeding methods).
The chop house menu now features the Butcher’s Selection, a rotating menu of limited time-only steak cuts available at the restaurant seasonally, like the 600-day grain-fed Japanese black wagyu striploin (S$78++), a medium thickness, highly marbled hunk that cuts like butter and that imparts a sweet and mild buttery flavour on the palate.
If you prefer a more “beefy” hunk, consider the returning favourite of 400-day grain-fed Stockyard wagyu ribeye ($64, 11oz) from Australia. More fibrous and less marbled than the Japanese striploin, this cut has a more robust flavour, all the better for meat eaters who like their cut leaner than the Japanese cuts yet adequately rich in flavour.
Sia has also inserted several new additions throughout the a la carte menu.
The blue swimmer crab salad ($24) brings an interesting medley of flavours to the table – sweet, almost salted caramel-like flavours paired with a hint of acidity from the mound of cider vinegar-washed baby spinach served with crab bernaise, kani miso and elderflower liquor marinated red apple slices.
Also a newcomer, the clear Vidalia onion broth ($26) with blobs of pureed bone marrow-flecked flan served with a Camembert and black truffle sandwich is a highlight. The sweetness of the Georgia onion broth envelops the palate before the flan tames the sweetness into a mild savoury submission.
If you don’t have meats in mind for mains, Sia also has that covered with newbie meat-free dishes.
Roasted cauliflower steak ($26) with toasted quinoa, black truffle floss, maitake mushroom and a slow-cooked egg is a deliciously savoury vegetarian option. You may, however, do a double take from inhaling the meaty aroma of the steak.
But if you like it briny, pick the chilli flakes-flecked razor clam and periwinkle maccheroni pasta with fresh basil. You may be hard pressed to find the razor clams and periwinkle as they have been well chopped-up but the flavours are clearly redolent of the sea.
For desserts, you simply can’t go wrong with frozen s’more (S$14++), a stick of torched frozen marshmallow embedded with chocolate fudge, blueberries and spiced cookies, a fond reminder of everyone’s favourite pick at Dominique Ansel Bakery New York and Tokyo.
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.