I went for the 4-Course Festive Set Lunch ($46++), which included 2 appetizers, a main, dessert and a glass of Astoria Prosecco, an Italian sparkling white wine to add to the festive cheer. Their usual set lunches are priced at $36++/$40++ for 3 or 4 course set lunches, which comes without the prosecco.
The setting of the restaurant is chic, catering mainly to the corporate crowd around the Raffles Place area.
Appetizers were the stars of the show. The Bamboo Clams with Mantako Sauce were extremely tender compared to the ones I have had at Chinese restaurants, tasting very much like sweet tender squid bathed in a briny sauce made from pollock roe.
One of the anchor dishes that hardly goes wrong at Private Affairs is their Pan Seared Foie Gras, Caramelized Cinnamon Apple with Calvado Sauce (Calvados is a type of Apple Brandy). The foie gras was seared well, leaving a gorgeous thin crisp outer shell. The sweet salty combination doesn’t get old either.
The Hokkaido Scallop & Baby Octopus, Coco Bean with Truffle Ponzu Emulsion was well executed too, much to the delight of the scallop lover in me. The Truffle Ponzu emulsion was a savory cream-based sauce that enhanced the sweetness of the scallops further. I found the side of coco beans unnecessary though, as upon chewing, its powdery rough texture didn’t complement the smoothness of the scallop.
Feeling a little heaty, I ordered the Atlantic Cod Fish, Fennel & Zucchini with Saffron Porridge as my main. While most of us might be more familiar with Black Cod, which goes by the name of 鳕鱼 in Chinese restaurants or Gindara in Japanese restaurants, the Atlantic Cod is slightly different, whose texture is more lean and less buttery, though still a relatively fatty fish. The flavours of this dish were rather subtle, with the porridge tasting of lobster bisque with fragrant seafood flavours, and not masking the refreshing nature of the fish.
I was rather impressed by the Crispy Duck Leg Confit, Honey Onion Marmalade, Bacon & Poached Egg, mainly because of the consistency in the moistness of the duck. The duck was also not overly salty, which is an issue frequently encountered at numerous restaurants. The poached egg felt a little out of place though.
For desserts, R and myself both had the Baileys Banana Trifle, made using Vanilla Ice Cream, Raisins and Chocolate Cake. Awfully delicious.
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