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Italian Cuisine

Italian Cuisine

Featuring Ah Bong's Italian (Tan Quee Lan), Plentyfull, Wine & Chef
Cheryl Teo
Cheryl Teo

The mascarpone cheese is creamy and rich, and generously infused with a sweet and bitter alcoholic finish from a shot of Grand Marnier. The lady finger biscuits that are packed at the bottom of the cup contain the fragrance and tea-like bitterness of Earl Grey tea. Each bite is a mouthfeel of creamy decadent heaven with a divine aroma.

The beef cheek imparts a slightly sticky and viscous texture to the light tomato salsa that has been incorporated into the pasta along with sauteed mushrooms. This pasta is abundant with the gelatinous and dulcified beef that falls apart with the slightest touch, sweet and savory, and hearty and homely.

This cold scallop capellini is a refreshing perk-me-up for the tastebuds on any hot and humid day in Singapore. The cold pasta is tossed in soy truffle dressing which coats every strand in an umami, salty, musky and earthy combination of flavors before it is crowned with slices of the sweetest scallop sashimi and three varieties of caviar that give rise to a myriad of different textures – buttery, crunchy and melty salty pops of omega-3 oils in the mouth.

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This hefty 300 grams, 100 day, grain-fed Angus ribeye steak is grilled to your preferred doneness, with a pinch of salt for that salty pop and a sprinkling of garlic chips for a fragrant crunch. Black pepper sauce is served in a little jar by its side, thick and peppery. This premium cut of beef is extremely tender and juicy, with the fine marbling of fats within giving the meat a creamy consistency with huge explosions of flavor and juices.

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Two lightly spiced spring chicken thighs are grilled to a beautiful brown and nicely charred. The skin is savory, spicy and sweet from being brushed with gochujang prior to grilling, and the meat is tender and so succulent within that its own natural delectable secretions will ooze all over the plate and thoroughly imbue the mashed potatoes underneath with a burst of fatty juices.

This pan roasted Iberico pork shoulder is heavily rimmed in thick globs of luscious fat and bursting with savory juices. There is a nice springy bite to the meat, which transforms into a melt-in-the-mouth texture after several chews, thanks to the high content of fat that abundantly courses through the flesh. The apple and thyme brandy compote served on the side gives the meat a sweet and fragrant aroma.

A raw slab of Wagyu beef is chopped up into chunks, coated with egg yolk and incorporated with truffle, shallots, gherkins before it is topped with parmesan shavings and caviar. The creamy egg yolk intensifies the texture of the buttery soft minced beef and the confetti of briny capers and sharp shallots provide a nice crunch. The truffle and parmesan shavings imbue the dish with an earthy and musky essence while the caviar gives the creamy dish a burst of saltiness.

Creamy and melt-in-the-mouth smoked salmon is chopped up and marinated with shallots, capers, callions, dill and honey dijon vinaigrette. The resulting amalgamation is a refreshing, savory, smoky and velvety pile that beautifully contrasts with the crunchy toasted ciabatta.

These scallops are imported from Hokkaido, pan seared with konbu butter, served on a bed of potato puree and garnished with crispy parmasan bits, chives and caviar. At $18 for two morsels of scallops, we have to regretfully say that the pricetag cannot be justified. The buttery umami flavors that konbu butter promises cannot be detected in the dish. The scallops are also rather rubbery and waterlogged, instead of being springy and succulent. The potato puree only further takes away the natural oceanic flavors of the scallops, rendering the dish almost tasteless. The only saving grace to this appetizer is the caviar that adds a pop of saltiness to the blandness.

Foie gras is simply divine by nature with a 90% fat content that has this amazing key feature of melting at the average body temperature. Foie gras goes into your mouth in a highly viscous, semi-solid state and slowly melts away like butter, enveloping your mouth with the most heavenly taste and texture. Wine & Chef's pan-seared foie gras is rich and buttery with a creamy mouth-feel. Cooked medium-rare, this sublime piece of decadence melts like butter and releases all its lovely succulent juices when it touches your tongue. It is sprinkled with sea salt to amplify its wonderfully decadent flavor and dusted with crushed pistachio for an evergreen nuttiness. Pair your foie gras with the sweet and fragrant apple and thyme brandy compote, toasted ciabatta to create the perfect balance of sweet, salty, savory, creamy, fruity and earthy when eaten together, with the crunchiness of the ciabatta complementing the viscous texture of the foie gras.

Wine & Chef is one of the many hole-in-the-wall F&B establishments located along the overpopulated stretch of stores on Keong Saik Road. With a plethora of restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from, Wine & Chef attempts to differentiate itself from the rest of its neighbors with its very own wine cellar and an European menu tweaked with subtle elements of Hokkien cuisine to appeal to the local tastebuds.

The small cafe stocks a rotation of carefully curated craft beers that will go down great with any of its dishes. We had the Lervig Lucky Jack, Hofbräu München Original, Matso's Lychee Beer, and Matso's Hit the Toad. Lervig Lucky Jack is the perfect beer to combat the sweltering heat of Singapore with the revitalizing flavors of grapefruit and citrus fruits. Hofbräu München Original is a classic German lager with refreshing, bright and bitter flavors that make it really easy to drink. Matso's Lychee Beer carries a syrupy sweet fragrance of lychees with a sticky mouthfeel with an aftertaste of canned lychee syrup that lingers. Matso's Hit the Toad is rather malty with a delicately sweet taste of corn.

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My two passions are writing and eating so I combine them for my fellow SG foodies. IG: @Cherubimbo

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