The Place Where Braci restaurant received One-Michelin Star for the first time in 2017, I was bewildered as I have not heard of the restaurant prior to this. Finally, I managed to find time to check out the Italian restaurant along the touristy stretch of Boat Quay and I am sure glad I did. Braci is managed by the ilLido Group,which also runs restaurants like Amo at Hong Kong Street and Aura at National Gallery. The restaurant is not visible from street level as it takes up the top two floors of a narrow shophouse, where you need to access via a lift to level 5. The first level of the restaurant is the main dining area of Braci, an extremely cosy 20-seater open-kitchen concept which makes me feel like I am a guest at someone’s house. It is a warm ambience to say the least, where I can easily spot Marina Bay Sands from the window.
I also went up to level 6, which is where the 30-seater bar space is. There is an alfresco deck which boasts sweeping views of the Singapore River and the city’s skyline, though I will still recommend the main dining at level 5 for a full dining experience.
The Food For a start, I learnt that Braci is Italian for ’embers’, hence the way the food is prepared in the kitchen is largely inspired by wood. There is a huge Josper oven in the open kitchen and I managed to catch the chefs cooking over the shichirin grill. The menu for dinner is a concise one pager, where you can opt for the Degustation Menus (4-courses from S$100++ per person) if you prefer to leave it to the chef to decide.
We decided to take things into our own hands and go for what we fancy. For a start, the bread served is from Pulia in Southern Italy and is specially flown in weekly. Served with olive oil from the chef’s village in Italy, the bread is fresh and good where I have to remind myself to save space for my food proper.
Next up are the amuse-bouche which include the likes of sun-dried tomatoes and bottarga fish purée.
From the starters menu, the Foie Gras Semifreddo with kumquats and fig vincotto (S$28) is one dish I zoomed in right from the start. I have had many versions of Foie Gras but a semifreddo one? That was a first. This dish is served in a huge rectangular box where the toast bread is hidden beneath. The foie gras semifreddo here has elements of white chocolate, which sounds contradictory but the taste is so well blended.
Another starter I tried is the Beef Tartare with smoked marrow and baby gem (S$28). The first thing which strikes me is the presentation. The grass fed beef tartare is served in the bone marrow, along with cabbage at the side. There are bits of white dots which is the bone marrow element here. When eaten with the cabbage, it takes away the greasiness of the beef tartare.
A pasta dish is a must have at Braci. The last starter I had is the Fettuccine with razor clams, tarragon and salmon roe (S$38). I ordered this to share, and it is such small gesture like separating our single order into two plates for easy sharing which differentiates a good service restaurant from the rest. The fresh razor clams and bursts of salmon roe add much oomph to the fettuccine.
For mains, we went along with the Pork Cheek with smoked apple, blue foot and chard (S$78 for 2). This dish is only available in limited portions daily, and we managed to snag up the last serving portion for the day. The serving size is very substantial even for 2 persons. The interesting bit is that you get both the cheek and jowl here, where the pork is marinated for 5 days and cooked for a few hours. The flavours are very tender and fatty, though it may be a little too heavy after a few slices of it.
The meats were rather succulent, and it is not often you get to savour both the pork cheek and jowl cuts here.
We were too filled for desserts, and concluded our meal with the petit four.
Rants The space may be too small for comfort, with gaps between the tables slightly tight. You may overhear your fellow diners’ conversations unintentionally.
Will I Return Again? It’s a shame that we didn’t discover Braci earlier. The food is delicious, service is polished and the restaurant exudes this understated charm. I told the Rantee that I am already sure this is one of our best dining experiences in Singapore this year already. A revisit is obligatory.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
52 Boat Quay, #05-01/ #06-01
Tel: +65 6866 1933
Monday: 5pm to 12am
Tuesday to Friday: 12pm to 2pm; 5pm to 12am
Saturday: 5pm to 12am
Closed on Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter