Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Restaurant Review: Alkaff Mansion

By Friday, May 25, 2012 , ,

Finally visited Alkaff Mansion for dinner with a couple of friends. I have read several restaurant reviews on this charming place and have been meaning to explore the southern part of Singapore for good eats. Most of the bloggers visited Alkaff Mansion for brunch or lunch but I haven't really seen how the place looks like at night. So this was a great opportunity to check out the restaurant tucked away on Telok Blangah Hill.
During the day, the place is a chic white tower that is majestic and grand with the vast canopy of greenery surrounding it. It's a summer palace fit for the royalty. At night however, she reveals the sensual and intimate side which draws couples in for romantic first dates. The versatility of the place also makes it a romantic place for wedding events, and a dramatic place to hold private events.

Much work has been painstakingly put into retaining the heritage and design of the 2 storey building; Retro furnishing and flooring reflects the rich past of place. The interior is cosy and somewhat dim with yellow lights. We were quite surprised when our private room lights were suddenly dimmed by a significant bit after our orders were taken. 
First up was the Crispy Duck Foie Gras with caramelized onion, beer and cherry relish ($28). There is an interesting crust on the exterior of the liver which was actually a crisp layer of polenta flour. Call me traditional but i prefer my Foie Gras pan seared. The texture was not the buttery and melt in your mouth sort. Quite unacceptable for something that costs this much? I've had better ones even at little cafes like La Petite, Le Cuisson or Saveur. The chunky slice of artery clogging liver barely makes up for the disappointment in flavor.
The Smoked Sturgeon with avocado and crab served with citrus fruit emulsion ($30) looked promising when it was served. Extremely pleasing to the eye, this dish is a mixture of the land, the sea and the garden. The flavors complement each other wonderfully. I didn't even taste the fishiness of the sturgeon, in fact, i didn't even noticed it! I could taste the ocean sweetness of the crab which was coated with the creamy and buttery avocado. Each mouthful was a surprise.
The hype that surrounded the Veal Ravioli with porcini mushroom cream sauce scented with white truffle (S$26) had Jess set on ordering it. However, the dish was served lukewarm! I was appalled by the coldness of the dish. It was as though it had been sitting there for a good 10mins before the rest of the mains were ready. Cold food is always a bad thing, no matter how they taste. Could hardly taste any veal because it was almost non existent? Did i mention how pathetic the portion is as well? Jess was considering ordering another main because there were only a few pieces of ravioli. Tsktsk. Would i pay $26 for synthetic truffle oil? Never.
The Pappardelle with wild boar ragout (S$26) was another crowd pleaser. The wild boar is marinated for 7 days in red wine sauce to give it the tender texture. Is the dish good? I would say it's a good lasagna but then again, how can you go wrong with lasagna? I would be expecting a WOW lasagna at this price and this was NOT. 
The Black Squid ink Fettuccine served with assorted seafood in a fresh tomato sauce (S$24) was nice but not outstanding. The chewy al-dente fettuccine was kinda missing the smoky ink taste and was just bland. 
I was charmed by the promise of black truffle sauce in the Grilled beef tenderloin served with Kenya beans($38). Turns out that i was sorely disappointed and then annoyed. Firstly, my medium rare order was served medium well. I would expect a fine dining establishment to do better than this. Again, the steak was luke warm. How is that possible? So food was sent back and the 2nd steak didn't turn out to be much better (once again luke warm). Do they flash freeze the food before serving? The pan-seared mashed potato was dry and powdery. That was flour. Or powdered mash. Or something synthetic and unknown. And what black truffle sauce? I didn't even taste any.

S had the Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin served with hand peeled broad bean and Herbs Sauce ($26). Boy was too hungry to even let me take a picture of that pathetic portion. The meat was flavorful enough but again not spectacular.
You would think that the evening couldn't get worse but it hit rock bottom with the desserts. We ordered 5 desserts for sharing. From the top and clockwise- Tiramisu, Chocolate Lava, Lavender Creme Bruelee, Semifreddo and Panna Cotta.

Alkaff Signature Tiramisu ($14) was average. Da Paolo has better and i would get a TUB at a lower price. Enough said. Creme Brulee garnished with Anice Tuile ($12)=boring. Caramelized almond Semifreddo with coffee sauce ($14) is a two layered dessert with frozen cream and ice cream. Really icy. Coffee Club's Mudpie is better. The Eggless custard Panna Cotta with fresh raspberry compote ($12) is simply a wobbly cream jelly which is bland and boring. There is a slight hint of anise in the panna cotta which is a weird combination. It's almost medicinal. The best dessert was the Cioccolato dark Chocolate Lava eruption with pistachio gelato ($16).

Verdict- Will not be back. 
Food: 3/5 Mediocre. Overpriced.
Service: 3/5 Slow. Inattentive service. Clumsy wait-staff.
Ambience: 4/5 Great atmosphere. Perhaps just stick to a good wine and cheese platter. Could hardly go wrong with those.

Alkaff Mansion Restaurant
10 Telok Blangah Green
Singapore 109178
Tel: +65 6510 3068
Daily: 11.30am–2.30pm, 6pm–10.30pm

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  1. The veal ravioli looks quite disgusting! :(

  2. I just dined there tonight. Agree with you on the desserts but I found the veal ravioli to be filling and yummy! I believe they may have changed the portion, I had a big plate of it. I would still come back here as I really enjoyed the ambience.