Hill Top Dining at Alkaff Mansion

The majestic house on the hill Alkaff Mansion has been restored to its former glory and the restaurant launches a new Italian menu

Once upon a time, the Alkaff Mansion used to be the ‘it’ place for parties where the socialites would get all dressed up and mingle.

Originally built in 1918, Alkaff Mansion was owned by an illustrious Yemeni family of spice traders. Now, the kitchen in the mansion is helmed by Sardinian chef, Simone Depalmas, and the menu reflects his heritage accordingly.

From Sardinia with Love

Seafood Fregola

Seafood Fregola

My favourite antipasto was the Fresh Octopus Carpaccio ($24). It comprises slivers of steamed Sardinian octopus atop frisee salad, San Marzano cherry tomatoes, and orange wedges with aged balsamic reduction dressing.

The octopus was tender, not hard and chewy like I expected it to be. Thus it was an unexpected surprise. Typical of Italian menus, the primo, or starter plates, are the carb-heavy ones. For that I suggest the Sardinian Pasta with Assorted Seafood ($28).

It is a fregola, which is something like a Sardinian couscous. The little balls of fregola have a nutty scent from the toasting that helps bring out the flavour in the tomato-base sauce. Also try the Homemade Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($32). The chef makes the pasta himself!

Meaty Mains

Salt Baked Sea Bass 1

Oven-Baked Sea Bass in Sea Salt

The secondi, or mains, are heavy on the meat and fish. I highly recommend the Oven-Baked Sea Bass in Sea Salt ($48-$64). It is served tableside with a lot of fanfare, and the salt crust is set on fire before it is cracked open and deboned. The resulting fish is drizzled with olive oil, black pepper, tomatoes, and a squeeze of lemon.

The desserts are not to be missed as well. I loved the Fresh Mint Vanilla Panna Cotta ($14). It’s a twist on the traditional vanilla panna cotta with a touch of mint and berry sauce for a tartness that cuts through the cream.

Perhaps it’s time to breathe more life into the house on the hill?

Alkaff Mansion, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178, Tel: 6510 3068

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