The mention of Alkaff Mansion at Telok Blangah Hill never failed to conjure up lovely images of leisure outdoor brunches, romantic dinners and lavish weddings. Reality is, the charming two-storey heritage bungalow and its beautiful garden grounds has indeed seen many of such memorable occasions taking place. Built in 1918 and painstakingly restored a few years ago to its glorious splendor, Alkaff Mansion is undoubtedly one of the best destination dining and event venues in Singapore.
Thanks to my friend who drove me over for dinner, I was spared the 10 minutes walk uphill (in high heels) from the nearest bus stop. It can be considered a tad inaccessible without a car or taxi, but once you reached the beautiful premises of Alkaff Mansion, the lush greenery and serenity would probably have you forgetting this minor inconvenience in no time.
To do justice to the beautiful location, Alkaff Mansion has recently spruced up their Italian menu. Leading its culinary team is newly-appointed Executive Chef, Simone Depalmas, who hails from Sardinia in Italy and has 20 years of experience behind the apron. A strong proponent of quality fresh produce, he believes in making all his sauces from scratch and creating dishes that are inventive, while retaining the natural flavors of authentic Italian cuisine.
The use of quality fresh produce was certainly apparent in our antipasti of Fresh Octopus Carpaccio ($24) and Seafood Platter ($68 for 2pax). Though the delicate slivers of lightly-steamed octopus cannot be labelled as "carpaccio" in strictest sense, its natural sweetness enhanced with a light drizzle of tangy balsamic reduction was nonetheless enjoyable.
Resting equally refreshingly on our palates was the great-for-sharing platter of tuna tartare, plump tiger prawns, lobster chunks, sea bass carpaccio and octopus salad. These are two very delightfully starters which I'd recommend.
Chef Simone also brought us a taste of his hometown, a truly Sardinian Fregola with Assorted Seafood ($28). The mini pasta spheres steeped in medley of clams, prawns, squid scallops and tomato-based sauce was certainly a pretty sight to behold and had a most appetizingly taste to match.
The Porcini Mushroom Risotto ($28) was another major love of the evening. Using Superfino Acquerello grain which yielded a perfectly al dente texture even after well-absorbing the cooking broth, its lip-smacking creaminess and robustness of truffle-accentuated mushroomy flavors was a heady indulgence in every mouthful. This is a must-order!
The main dishes made quite an entrance with the delicate tasting Oven Baked Sea Bass In Salt ($48/600g, $56/700g, $64/800g), theatrically flambéed before being skilfully deboned and portioned at our table.
Slow Cooked Sardinian Style Suckling Pig with Roasted Potatoes ($46) was another highlight! Its skin was so crackling crisp and meat so moist and tender. We later learnt that the pork was roasted for several hours at a precise 70°C to ensure that desirous texture is obtained. No wonder! Even though the pork was paired with homemade mixed berry compote to cut though the richness, I thought it was fine enough on its own. Certainly a tasty suckling pig we had here!
I would love to try the signature Alkaff Mansion Tiramisu ($14) but Fresh Mint Vanilla Panna Cotta ($14) made a surprisingly nice end to dinner too. An interesting twist to the classic Italian dessert with the addition of mint, it was lusciously soft, wobbly and thoroughly enjoyable.
Pampering ourselves with Weekend Brunch or Sunday Prosecco Brunch that features a buffet spread of free flow Prosecco and seasonal oysters sounds like something we should do soon. Delectable food, attentive service, colonial architectural charm, Alkaff Mansion definitely has all that alluring factors to draw us back.
Address: 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178
Contact: +65 6510 3068
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun 6pm-10.30pm
Afternoon Tea: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3.30pm
Weekend Terrace Brunch: Sat, Sun & PH 10am-3.30pm
Sunday Prosecco Brunch: Sun & PH 11.30am-3.30pm
Bar 1918: Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm / Mon-Sun 6pm till late