Located on the 43rd floor of the Ocean Financial Center with a breathtaking view of Marina Bay Skyline, Zafferano is the highest rooftop Italian Restaurant and Bar in Singapore. This was taken just as the sun was setting, a beautiful view of the city from the terrace.
The outdoor area is a great spot for friends to get together to chill and unwind from the busy week, while sipping on cocktails and taking in this breathtaking view.
The name of the restaurant is inspired by the prized value of saffron and the flower contains 3 stigmas called threads, which inspired the restaurant's three foundation blocks -- Food, Service and Ambiance.
The dining areas comprise the main dining room, the terrace lounge, the wine room and a private dining room.
Zafferano has brought in a new Head Chef Emanuele Faggi, a Tuscan native who brings to the table his passion and love affair with food. Chef Faggi interprets Italian cuisine as produce driven, and applies a zero wastage concept in his kitchen.
For the antipasti course, we started off with the Raw Hokkaido Scallops ($32) sprinkled with dried capers powder, topped with Avruga caviar and served with sautéed monk caper and saffron sauce. The scallops had a smooth buttery texture with a clean natural taste. What made this dish complete was the exquisite saffron sauce. This dish set a very high expectation for the rest of the dishes to come for the night.
Next, we moved on to the Marinated Salmon in Beetroot Juice ($28) with beetroot lime salsa, salsa verde and quinoa chips. We appreciated the freshness of the beetroot that did not overpower the taste of the salmon. The salsa verde and the lime salsa gave the dish a slight tangy punch, but overall, I thought this dish was slightly on the salty side with a strong flavor.
The last antipasti course we had was the ‘Mazara’ ($32) served with raw red prawns, warm ricotta, tomato confit, cocktail espuma sauce and drizzled with basil oil. We were extremely impressed with this dish and the hint of spiciness from the cocktail espuma sauce was certainly mouthwatering. And not forgetting the blend of flavours with the warm ricotta. Hands down, this was our favourite antipasti.
And on to the primi courses! We started with the ricotta and spinach ‘Gnudo’ ($26) with baby squid in butter and sage. This is simply a dumpling that resembles a gnocchi but without the pasta. The consistency of this dish leans towards the starchy side and the baby squid was super fresh. It was overall a good dish.
We ended our primi course with the ‘super-fino Carnaroli Acquerello’ risotto ($32) that features ‘Vercelli’ with saffron, bone marrow and a 24 karat gold leaf. This is a famed dish that Chef Faggi learnt from his mentor Chef Gualtiero Marchesi. This is simplicity at its best and depicts fine elegance and restraint. Every mouthful of this risotto was simply heavenly, and was not heavy like other risottos we have tried before. The flavours kept surprising us with every mouthful and it felt as if we were in an Italian haven. Truly the best risotto we have tasted in our lifetime.
We moved on to the main courses of the night. First up was the oven-baked black cod ‘Merluzzo’ ($58) plated with vanilla scented green asparagus and roasted potato puree. This dish took us by surprise as we did not expect this simple dish to be one of the most amazing cod’s we’ve ever had. The fish was fresh and the vanilla butter did not overpower the dish. It just melted in our mouths with the very fine mash on the side. We were truly mesmerised with the honesty of each element on the plate.
We had the sous-vide and pan- fried Queensland farm rack of lamb ($55) served with roasted eggplant puree, sautéed bok-choy and coffee powder. This was very gamey with a strong and bold aromatic flavor that melted in our mouths.
Moving on, we tasted the 150 days grain fed black Angus beef tenderloin ($58) gratinated with licorice, capers, celery root puree and leeks. This was cooked medium rare and the jus has a strong umami flavour profile. Delicious and every mouthful was just simply divine.
The final main course of the night was roasted ‘Bresse’ pigeon ($68) plated on top of mixed-berries and rosemary smoked turnips and a side dish of the breast resting on top of a bed of rosemary. The interpretation of this dish was simply maginificent and the plating of the food was a masterpiece, art on a plate.
We ended the night with two desserts. The one that impressed us the most was the chocolate ‘cremino’ ($16) white sable, yoghurt sponge and watermelon sorbet. It was certainly the best way to end the night.
The mascarpone cloud, Iranian saffron and sponge ($16), unfortunately didn’t hit the mark for us, but it was overall still a good dessert.
To bring the night to a close, Kumar, one of the most respected bartenders in Singapore, whipped us up with a special cocktail ‘Chocolate Bunny’ to end the night. It comprises milk, baileys, vodka and cocoa powder.
We were truly impressed with the whole dining experience that was gradual in flavours and came to a crescendo. Restaurant Manager Paolo Colzani possess one of the most well trained front of house staff that was extremely attentive to detail and everyone was honoured to serve all their guest with dignity and confidence. Coming from a fine dining restaurant background, we were more than impressed with the standard of service that flowed in sync with the back of house and truly observed how every staff carried themselves with such honesty and sincerity.
The high level of service matched Chef Faggi’s new menu and certainly a great addition to the team elevating the establishment to greater heights. We are curious to see how Chef Faggi and the front of house team will continue to expand in creativity and bring the true meaning of hospitality to a new level in the future as one of Singapore’s leading Italian restaurants.