Before I’m going to start the new year by eating ridiculous amount of food, it’s time I reflected back on the best meals I had all year. From a weekly brunch affair to al fresco rooftop dining, nothing beats having tasted the better things in life.
Well, I feel like I’m not allowed to announce that this is the best meal of my life, because that would be the biggest statement I could possibly make. Perhaps by saying I have had the most memorable meal and experience make the right statement. And so, it all began with The Black Swan.
I was privileged to have had the opportunity to get the look at the old world beauty of The Black Swan, an all-day European dining establishment housed in The Quadrant at Cecil Street, formerly the regional headquarter of Kwangtung Provincial Bank Building before the Second World War.
I have to admit that I was enchanted by its beauty and significance, I can’t stop taking pictures of the interiors. This is one of the few articles that I’m posting more pictures of the restaurant interiors than food – someone please take my camera away from me!
The Black Swan changes the mood in different spaces of the restaurant and bar throughout the day and night. The restaurant and bar seats are up to 130 person and the mezzanine lounge “The Powder Room” offers a closed-door alternative for up to 80 person. For a more intimate setting, The Black Swan features a carefully hidden underground private dining room that sits no more than 12 person.
Private Dining Room Information:
- Booking fee: Free of charge
- Non-peak days minimum spend:
- Mon to Tue $1,200++
- Wed to Thur $1,500++
- Fri to Sat $2,000++
- Peak-days minimum spend:
- Christmas Eve and New Year Eve: $2,000++
Europe has given the world hundreds of classic dishes. Think how much fun it would be to savour some of the time-honoured classics in an old world glamour setting that dates back to the 1930s. That’s a trip to The Black Swan.
At the helm of the kitchen is head chef Benjamin Tan, where he introduced a refreshed menu featuring two sides of European cuisine – traditional and labour intensive. Find numerous gastronomic creations by chef Tan, which are the reminiscent of the glory day’s cuisine in the old world.
Small plates like the Chicken Velouté ($18++) features a comforting soup of poached chicken that perfectly showcases the luscious, velvety mother sauce of classical French cuisine, and Steak Tartare ($26++), an updated mainstay that can be found at most bistros and steakhouses, prepared in its truest form here – with coarsely chopped beef from USDA 365-day grain-fed cows and served with a mouth-watering tang. The Black Swan elevates the texture of this classical dish with sunchoke crisps and a raw egg topping for that extra ‘oomph’.
If you love your bowl of greens, then you will love the flavors of this Alaskan Snow Crab Salad ($24++) comprising cool slices of avocado, mango, orange, grapefruit and citrus vinaigrette bring a refreshing burst of flavors to tender, cooked Alaskan snow crab.
All the above dishes are available on the Small Plates section of The Black Swan menu.
A juicy new addition is the stunning Lobster Thermidor ($65++), a luxurious combination of cooked Maine lobster meat and claw with lavish creamy béchamel sauce, egg yolk and irresistible gruyere cheese stuffed into the lobster shell, served with petite salad.
What is now quite a retro seafood dish will make a showstopper entrée that delivers big on flavor and presentation. The Lobster Thermidor dish is available every Thursday on the Daily Specials menu.
The classic Tournedos Rossini dish ($50++), originated by French master chef Marie-Antoine Carême is composed with tender filet mignon (150gm tenderloin), seared foie gras, sautéed vegetables and truffle sauce.
Available every Monday on the Daily Specials menu, this steak dish is decadent, rich and truly satisfying.
On the sweet note, The Black Swan Fireball ($22++) is a four-inch sphere of thin chocolate filled with berries compote, crunchy pearls and vanilla ice cream.
It gets more interesting as you witness the hot grand mariner melts the chocolate sphere, and the dome collapses into a warm chocolate-berries confection that will transport you into sweet lumps of happiness.
Imagine having a private bar at your table. There is no need to hit the bar for their selection of premium spirits, beer, wine and signature cocktails either – table service is offered here and should be made the most of. You don’t have to be a celebrity to get a taste of VIP treatment at The Black Swan.
Some of the signature cocktails include Powder My Nose ($19++) a chic concoction of salted caramel vodka and apple juice infused with mint and passionfruit. If you are looking for something a little different to pair with your food, try the Black Cow ($20++) vodka made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows. Exceptionally smooth with a unique creamy taste, best enjoyed with the English cheddar cheese which is produced with the same milk as the vodka.
Or for something more clean and crisp, go for the slightly sweet Beluga ($20++) vodka infused with Mancino dry vermouth, served with a spoonful of the highly prized smoked caviar.
The current Happy Hour Menu is available from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm from Mondays to Fridays, with the offer of $21++ for a glass of champagne and a pair of freshly-shucked oysters.
Coming up in January 2016, the Happy Hour Menu will be replaced with a $2++ menu for oysters, and $11++ for selected beer, wine and house-pours.
The Black Swan
Address: 19 Cecil Street Singapore 049704 (Nearest MRT Raffles Place)
Telephone: +65 8181 3305
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11:30am to 2:30pm (Lunch), Monday to Friday 2pm to 5pm (Afternoon Tea), Monday to Saturday 5pm to 10:30pm (Dinner), Closed on Sundays