Private Affairs II – Falling for Foie Gras

5 04 2011

Barely 4 months ago marked my first visit to Private Affairs, where I had one of my most memorable meals of 2010. Since then, I was on a constant lookout for another opportunity to revisit, and then came Restaurant Week.

I was rather surprised when the maitre d’ remembered my friends Raina and myself (and even where we sat at), since our last visit was really quite some time ago. Probably because they don’t see too many young folks patronizing them, or maybe because it’s hard to forget a handsome face. I do hope it’s the latter.

The Restaurant Week 4-Course Set Lunch was priced at $40++, no different from their current 4-Course Set Lunch prices ($30++ for the 3-Course Set Lunch) which is available Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Unlike most restaurants, I like Private Affairs’ complimentary bread because it’s toasted only after a customer is seated down and is thus always served crisp and warm.

Our first course was the Grilled Cauliflower Royale with Smoke Trout Roe, Puffed Quinoa and Watercress & Walnut Salad. The Cauliflower Mousse was creamy and I liked it much, reminding me of a tofu cheesecake somehow. Quinoa (the crispy sprinkle atop the Cauliflower Mousse) is a grain-like crop with edible seeds which tasted much like cereal.

The second course was a lovely Foie Gras with Compressed Apple Salsa and Raisin Sauce. Slightly crisp on the outside and decadently unctuous on the inside, I loved how the sweet raisin sauce helped strike a balance between the savoury, sweet and oily.

For Mains, we had the Sous Vide Roasted Snapper with Hokkaido Scallop, Grilled Wood Ear Mushroom and Seaweed Risotto. I should bear in mind to avoid snappers in future, they are just too lean for my liking, despite cooking it in a sous vide style which supposedly tenderizes poultry, fish, eggs and what-not. The seaweed risotto was alright, a little slimy though and void of any cheesiness.

Although there was supposedly only one choice of main in the set menu, the staff allowed us to change one of our mains to a Sous Vide Chicken instead. While this fared better than the Snapper, it definitely wasn’t mind-blowing either. I have noticed that sous vide style cooking has been steadily gaining popularity in local restaurants, and it’s done by placing poultry, seafood, meat or even eggs in a vacuum pack at a low temperature of around 70 degrees celsius over an extended period of time up to 72 hours. This allows the meat to retain it’s protein and fat integrity, allowing for a better texture and flavour.

For Desserts, we had the Caramel Malt Parfait with Malt Crumble and Malt Tuile. Tuile means a light, dry cookie, which in this case was embedded within the core of the Malt Parfait. It might look and sound good, but this dessert really was pretty disappointing.

Again, we opted to switch one of our desserts to a Chocolate Fondant with a supplement of $5. A wise decision on hindsight given the lackluster Malt Parfait. The chocolate fondant here was well above average, but given the commonality of it, it won’t get you off your chair.

Some of my friends who visited Private Affairs for Restaurant Week weren’t very impressed by the food. I guess their opinions are pretty justified, though I feel this was more a matter of poor menu planning than poor execution. If only they had replaced the snapper with a cod or their crispy pork belly, things would have been much different.

Still, I wouldn’t say this was a wasted trip, since their Foie Gras never fails to leave me falling head over heels.

Bon Appetit!

PRIVATE AFFAIRS

45 JOO CHIAT PLACE

TEL: +65 6440 0601

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