Assuming the role of head chef, Andrea De Paola revives the Italian establishment known for its fantastic view of the city.
Perched on the 43rd floor of the Ocean Financial Centre, Zafferano is a favourite for business meetings and five o’clock drinks at the Central Business District. A restaurant and lounge, it seemed, for a while, to have lost its shine but was still reliable for classy Italian food. Things could be on the mend, however, with their new head chef.
From the kitchens of the ilLido Group, Andrea De Paola brings his know-how of Sicilian cuisine coupled with an eye for artful plating to the table. The Scampi, a charcoal-grilled langoustine from Mozambique is covered in multi-coloured sesame seeds, is a play on the visual and textural. Paired with a white miso sauce and bagna càuda (a garlic and anchovies dipping sauce from Piedmont), the succulent shellfish tastes as fun as advertised.
Another dish that stuns the moment it arrives is the Carciofo, a deep orange smoked Yamanashi egg yolk in a cloud of caciocavallo cheese foam. Inspired by Carciofi alla Romana (artichoke done Roman-style), his rendition pairs the poached then grilled artichoke with the smoky flavours of yolk and aged cheese as well as a pickled pesto with Piedmont hazelnuts.
Not to be overshadowed are the mains of Branzino, a perfectly roasted seabass filet, and Manzo, Sanchoku wagyu striploin. Both evidence of De Paola’s culinary prowess, they’re respectively paired with a refreshing mint zucchini cream and black garlic puree.
We recommend ending the meal with the vegan-friendly Cioccolato, oval pebbles of Itajuka dark chocolate that is twice fermented accompanied with an assortment of chocolate done in different ways.
Zafferano Italian Restaurant and Lounge is located at 10 Collyer Quay, Level 43 Ocean Financial Centre, Singapore 049315. Opening hours are from 11.30am to 3pm and 5.30pm till late from Monday to Friday, and 12pm to 3pm on Saturday. Takeaways are available on their website.