Saturday, March 24, 2018

Caffe Fernet, Customs House

The Internet finds us places as much as we do the finding ourselves. It found me Caffe Fernet (Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, #01-05, tel : +65 9178 1105) which has just opened but a fortnight ago. Apparently Italian inspired - opened by the people behind Jigger & Pony and Humpback.

It's a nice spot by the waterfront facing MBS. Air conditioning indoors is a challenge because of how the space is setup. Also, the longer we ate, the darker (and orangey-ier) the place became. Not so much because of the disappearing sunlight but from the adjustment of the restaurant lighting for "ambience".

We had smoked leeks with Gorgonzola and pecans. I'm sure there's more to the ingredients than wasn't mentioned in the menu. Like a bit of black pepper that made a difference and the shavings of the Parmigiano Reggiano on top. Outstanding dish of creamy Gorgonzola coated soft sweet leeks. We would come back just for this. For $19, portions were a little too small.

This was Hokkaido smelt. Which according to my limited knowledge would be wagasaki but it felt more like shishamo. Solid crisp batter clad on small white fish. Who could resist? Needs a little more salt though.

The menu described these as caramelized cauliflowers. Obviously these were way beyond caramelized. They have transcended into being charred. Damn these were good. I've never had cauliflowers with such a smoky flavour profile before and we liked it. But we saw a neighbouring table with the same dish with less char so maybe ours was an accident.

Another delicious vegetable dish in the form of charred gem lettuce. One that was topped with raisins, capers and anchovy vinaigrette. And some crumbled cheese that might have been Parmigiano Reggiano. Umami, savoury, sour and a bit of sweetness from the raisins. Nice.

That's the sheep's ricotta agnolotti with a saffron, honey and thyme sauce. Pretty good. Flavour was curated with a light sweetness in the saffron. Portions a little small though.

We made room for desserts because there's bomboloni stuffed with lemon curd. Eggy lemony curd in a crusty sugary shell. The texture was old school.

And olive cake with mascarpone and olive oil. Their olive oil was very good. The first thing after the smooth finish that struck was the fruitiness. We asked for more because the serving portion was a little too little and we were obliged. Pretty much doused the cake which together with the mascarpone rocked. In case it wasn't apparent (obviously so from the dark photo), there's rosemary with the cake. We mopped the leftover olive oil with the bomboloni even. Still good.

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