Private Affairs

UPDATE (6th July 2012): Private Affairs has since moved to a new location. 25 Boon Tat Street Singapore 069622
Tel. no. (65) 6220 2005

Mention the words, “Restaurant” and “Joo Chiat” and I’ll look at you with inquisitive eyes and ask you in return whether you actually meant another road? The whole Joo Chiat area would not be a place you would expect to find a fine dining restaurant. But oh boy oh boy, you are so, so wrong! Therein lies a fine dining restaurant, “Private Affairs”. But that, unfortunately, is not the end of the surprise. The food is amazing! The effort that you see the chefs put into plating each and every dish, is magical – something only one with the passion for food would create.

Private Affairs is a 40-seater restaurant situated along Joo Chiat Place serving Modern European cuisine with a touch of Asian flavours.  The kitchen is helmed by 32 year old Chef de Cuisine Paul Ng, who has, in his 15 years of working experience, honed his skills in the kitchens of Les Amis, Saint Julien, Pierside Kitchen and in 2 kitchens of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. As mentioned earlier, the effort that Chef Ng put into plating the dishes, shows the sort of passion that only one who loves cooking can bring.

Private Affairs is really an intimate restaurant. Where decor is concerned, think along the lines of Sage and Garibaldi. The dark wood-grained floors, black glossy walls, along with recessed ambient lighting gives the restaurant this very cosy homely feel.

Sidenote: Admittedly while the dishes are plated to perfection visually, his unique plating makes it somewhat difficult for us, food photographers. I apologise if my photographs do not fully bring out the stellar presentation of the dishes. I suppose, all I can say, is that you really have to personally try the food to fully capture the intended beauty of the dishes.

Disclaimer: This dinner was a “by-invitation” only session courtesy of Veronica. Although an invited session, I have written my true thoughts about the dishes. Taste is subjective, so I’ll love to hear your comments.

Joined by my fellow food blogger friends, myfoodsirens, thefoodchapter, thesimplestaprodisiac and divine essentials, we set out to explore what Private Affairs had to offer. The dishes that we tried were all from the Chef’s Signatures (S$138++ for 6 courses) menu.

Without further ado, I shall let the food do the rest of the talking now.

The Focaccia and Hazelnut Bread were served hot fresh from the oven. I love my bread served warm and with that, quarter of the battle is won. At Private Affairs, you are literally spoiled for choice with the dips.

I liked the appetizer of Vine Ripened Tomatoes with Horseradish Meringue and Ginger Flower Vinaigrette so much that I literally wiped my plate clean. The horseradish (wasabi) gave this otherwise ordinary sounding dish a refreshing start to the dinner. An appetizer’s role is to whet your appetite and, whet it did!

I’ve had Beef Carpaccio many times but this was the first time that I’ve ever heard of Duck Carpaccio being  served. Accompanying the Thinly Sliced Duck Carpaccio were slices of Granny Smith apples and cubes of scallion gel. Unlike other restaurants, Private Affairs cure their own duck and they do so in brine for 3 days before being air-dried. Eaten alone, it was somewhat boring to be frank. But when rolled up, the refreshing green apple slices and sweet scallion gel complimented the duck slices in perfect harmony.

Seeing that Kaelyn does not take meat, Chef Paul specially made her a Beetroot jelly with cucumber and green chili sorbet. Kaelyn commented that she really liked the sorbet as it was very creative to combine the ‘heat’ of chili and the ‘cold’ that the cucumber brings to the palate.

The White Lobster Bisque with Salmon and Lobster Cannelloni, Capsicum and Lemongrass Crumbs is really a piece of art! When served, you will notice lemongrass infused breadcrumbs and capsicums sitting at the base of the plate, while at the other end, a tri-coloured Cannelloni wraps around a mixture of salmon and lobster. I do have to admit, the tri-coloured Cannelloni (with Egg, Squid Ink and Spinach pastas) is no easy dish to make. The Cannelloni pasta, which was hand made in Private Affairs, came in 1 seamless piece.

The server would then bring a container full of creamy and rich bisque to your plate and slowly pouring it in, to ensure that the brother is of the right temperature when served.

Drank together with the Cannelloni, the Lobster Bisque was nice on the palate, alone, it felt one-dimensional. A word of caution, for those who prefer more hearty, more seafood-tasting brother, like those served at French bistros, you may find this white lobster bisque too creamy and mild for your liking.

The Hokkaido Scallops served with corn noodles, on a bed of corn, topped with smoked miso powder and bonito flakes was perhaps the only letdown to the evening. Served on a hot plate, the scallops were a tad over-seared, resulting in a somewhat rubbery texture. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt as, we spent quite a while taking photos of this dish. (Considering how it was one of the hardest of dishes to frame).

Agreeing with the other food bloggers at our table, we found that the dish was a tad too salty. This could have been the result of the smoked miso powder. Additionally, we felt that the overall dish was on the dry side. A sauce to accompany the dish, might have been the better option, instead of the smoked miso powder.

My main course of the Wagyu Beef Cheeks with Potatos, Chinese kale royale, Curry leaf cous cous and Tomato Chutney and port wine grapes reduction was excellent. Although nothing beats the grand ole’ dame of serving beef – grilled beef tenderloin, this comes very close. This tender cut of beef cheek is cut into a cube, braised in aged port wine sauce, finished off with a grape juice reduction is somewhat soft. A tad sweet, it was undeniably tender and literally melted in your mouth.

Now now, I hear you – What is the Chinese Kale Royale? It is baby kai lan blended with cream, butter. Spinach is also added to the mix to give it the bright green colour. The Kale Royale was oooohhhh so good! Decadent, it definitely is, but who cares about the added calories when you can go running to your mother telling her, “i love my greens”.

The two ladies at our table who couldn’t take beef, had this Monkfish cheek in fermented garlic & Oyster glazed, purple carrot, white asparagus, fired up specially for them. We hear, that this was the first time Chef Paul Ng, was cooking this dish at the restaurant. A real treat for them! Chef Paul explained that monkfish is one fish that needs some getting used to. Firmer than other fishes, timing is of the essence when it comes to cooking monkfish as it only gets tougher, the longer you cook it.

(Not part of the Chef’s Signatures menu) Grilled Lobster: served with Espelette jam, sauteed blue foot mushroom, lardon, purple carrot paint, Alaskan crab & Cauliflower foam.

A prelude to dessert is a Mangosteen Lime Granita. Served on a bed of crushed ice, it was revealed that a whole carton (10kg) of mangosteens only provides for 400g of mangosteen puree.  A joy to eat, it was an excellent palate cleanser, especially after a full bodied main dish like the braised wagyu beef.

The Pistachio Tuile and cheese sandwich served with Passion fruit coulis, strawberry and basil gel was decent. Admittedly, I am not a fan of cheesecakes, but I felt that the mixture of sweet and sour flavours blended well. Taste aside, doesn’t this dish remind you of the old-school wafer ice-cream sandwiches that you purchase from the uncles at the mobile ice-cream carts peddling along Orchard Road?

The grand finale to the meal was a simple petit fours. I simply adored the creative presentation of serving otherwise plain old chocolate. Then again, who can say no, to 55% Dark Valrhona Chocolate?

Thank you Veronica for inviting us and to the team at Private Affairs for hosting us.

Private Affairs

 

45 Joo Chiat Place
Singapore 427769

Tel: (65) 6440 0601

 

25 Boon Tat Street Singapore 069622
Tel: (65) 6220 2005

http://www.privateaffairs.com.sg/
For menus, please click here.

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11 Comments

  1. best pic: the duck carpaccio. really something not easy to take! good post too, not as long-winded as mine haha 😉

  2. @Harris: Long winded entries are good too, for they (hopefully), try to paint the most complete picture to our readers.

  3. whyyy everyone so quick!

  4. @Elaine: It’s not that we’re fast, it’s your slow! 😛
    Looking forward to your TFK, Private Affairs, Nogawa reviews soooon!

  5. Roberto

    Of course everything is good to you…..its FREE!

    • Sharon

      回一下歐巴桑 1. 對不起我沒有講清楚, 我所說的脈絡並不是 任何脈絡 , 我主要是指, 怎麼說 語用上 , 的脈絡 比如說同樣是 雖然 , 今天的用法和古時候的用法就不大相同 但是今天的用法是古時候的用法演變而來的, 古時候用法的 雖然 今天也還是可以使用, 也就是說今天 雖然 的意義被拓展了 但由於一般人對 雖然 的意義了解可能多是從現代文獻或是日常生活中學到, 所以對 雖然 更廣義的意義就不了解 我所說的, 就是這一方面的脈絡 2. 我們對 精煉 一詞的理解不同 我前面說了, 文學的精煉並不是像科學詞語一樣盡量對每一個最小單位意義的詞語做 one to one correspondence 的連結, 然後再根據這些小積木推砌出你想表達的東西, 而是用最少的字來準確的傳達最多意義 像 環滁皆山也 這樣 環滁皆山也 不等於 環滁皆山 , 也不等於 滁縣的四周都是山 雖然他們意義很相近, 但是有些微妙的不同 要用白話文 滁縣的四周都是山 來表達 環滁皆山也 , 可能別的脈絡在上下文來輔助, 但是這很明顯就不如 環滁皆山也 五字來的 精煉 3. 若如你所言, 那也許那個作品就不是個好的文學作品

  6. @Roberto: While I admit that free food always tastes better and sometimes, one’s thoughts may be swayed positively without one’s self-realization, when I do food reviews, I try to be as objective as I can.

  7. Zephyr

    I think this is what chinese said:”一沉百踩”. Those bloggers who tried to grab attention kept shooting out poisonous arrows. Horrible act!!!! I super pissed with this post: http://myfoodsirens.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/stop-asking-for-free-food/#comments

    Well, I hope all those wanna-be-famous’s foodbloggers can really grow up to be a matured one. Dont sound like you never bring frens for a free meal tasting. Is fucking annoyed to sound like a God to lecture people but actually not. Puiiiiiiiii….

  8. ophoeng

    No comment.

  9. Marcel

    Hey Glenn,
    The phone number given up here is incorrect. I called it and ended up disturbing some kind lady. The number provided on their website is 6220 2005.

    Otherwise your reviews are great. You manage to put a lot more value into a meal, than just nourishment.

    • Fab

      Yeah Bissage, you are kinda right. I made the first cnmoemt, cuz it was the first cnmoemt and I thought I would be a smart ass.Everyone who was raised in an environment where an “all you can eat buffet” was something of an “out to dinner treat” knows BASIC all you can eat buffet ettiquette. If it is a new place, you take one of everything you MIGHT like. you take a bite of everything, if everything sucks, you throw it away, and give another try, only the second time, you take NOTHING that you took before, you have to hunt and peck for the right “all you can eat” combo. Throwing away food at an all you can eat buffet is not a bad thing, but throwing away more than ONE of a certain kind of thing is, and every ONE of those things had better have at least one bite taken from it.As a child food was too precious to waste so casually as this customer did, and it almost looks like a logistical sabotage of a competitor, since, everyone who hasn’t had good chinese food always RACES too the egg rolls, and this broad threw away 4 rolls, of prolly the most popular food.I see that, I was just trying to be a semi-humorous jerk.

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