So, my friends and I were discussing about affordable and decent places to have a meal back in Singapore. It’s funny, we’re all the way in Perth yet somehow or rather during our casual conversations, the topic of food in Singapore definitely springs up. If it is not about where to go about finding the best Char Kway Teow stall in Singapore, it’s the best place to go for squid ink pasta. I guess, we’re all true-blue Singaporeans and the constant search for better tasting food is forever ingrained in us.
Anyway, I digress. About that affordable and decent place – that accolade, in my humble opinion, falls on the shoulders of Chef Ratha of Black Sheep Cafe.
You know if a particular restaurant is a must-try if you have friends, who more occasion than once, remind you to visit the place, with nothing but compliments to boot. Let’s see, it’s been covered by by almost every other blogger thus far and besides the occasional grouse of an abysmal waiting time during dinner, the comments are generally positive. And by the way, I love my duck confit, which I have probably reiterated many times on this blog; And The Black Sheep Cafe’s duck confit definitely passes my taste test!
When I visited Black Sheep Cafe just before flying off to Perth (sometime in January 2011), Chef Ratha had just come up with his lunch set menus. I’m pretty sure they still exist, but it’s always best to give a call to check on the availability of the said menu. For S$19, you get a Soup of the Day and Main Course of the Day, S$25 you get to choose a Main Course from the ala carte menu (Duck Confit included) and for just S$38, you get a premium beef or seafood dish (e.g. Braised Beef Cheeks) from the ala carte menu. All of these menus come with your choice of tea or coffee and for just an additional S$6, you get to pick a dessert.
(Thanks Xinli, the4moose, for listing the set menu prices on your entry.)
Served with the really flavourful Prawn Bisque (which was the soup of the day) was a plate of garlic toast. I’m sorry, but the garlic toasts were rather addictive and somehow reminded me of Jack’s Place for some reason – in a good way, that is!
There was not much to fault in either the Prawn Bisque or the toast and pretty much set the lunch on the right note.
As part of set lunch that Xinli ordered, his main course was a Prawn and Leek Spaghetti. Frankly, I’m on the fence on this dish – the prawns and seafood were really fresh and the pasta was cooked perfectly. But, the light cream sauce did not really augur well with my taste buds. No, it wasn’t a bad dish, it just wasn’t memorable.
BUT, what was memorable was…………………….
the Duck Confit (S$22.50 NETT).
It was really good! I’ll have to admit – whenever my friends used to tell me, “You should go to Black Sheep Cafe to try their Duck Confit”, I was a bit skeptical.
But my skepticism was really, uncalled for. The Duck was really fork-tender and the skin was crisp yet you don’t get that feeling of grease often associated with duck confit.
The Mango Salsa on the side is not merely an afterthought of the chef, for it refreshes the taste buds – an excellent side to accompany the duck.
Last year, I crowned The French Kitchen‘s rendition of the Duck Confit to be the best that I’ve ever tasted – I wonder if that distinction remains so, but trust me, Black Sheep Cafe’s rendition, is no less of a contender.
In addition to my Duck Confit, I ordered the Daily Souffle (S$10). The soufflé was how you would expect one to be – light and airy with a moist (but not undercooked) interior. The hint of the coffee fragrance from the kahlua liquer livens up the dessert.
Xinli chose the Molten Lava Cake to end his meal.
Side note: I read on his blog that Chef Ratha has since changed his recipe for the flourless chocolate cake (as the dish is called).
An afternote: Black Sheep Cafe is helmed by Chef Ratha. Yes, an Indian chef cooking up French dishes. Some may think, he’s not French therefore, his dishes definitely won’t live up to any French dishes. But, that really is a misnomer. Case in point, many top restaurants have chefs and line cooks that probably aren’t French yet are able to whip up amazing dishes. Another restaurant in Singapore that immediately comes to mind is L’Ancora, where another Indian chef is helming up the cosy Italian restaurant.
I say, give Chef Ratha and his dishes a chance – you’ll be surprised. And while you’re there, don’t forget to have a chat with the ever-so-friendly Chef! Oh and Black Sheep Cafe charges neither GST nor the 10% service charge. If the food’s not motivation enough for you, that should be a clear winner.
A word of caution: Black Sheep Cafe, being a owner-chef run outfit, there may be occasions where Chef Ratha has catering events outside and may be required to close his restaurant for a particular service. Therefore, it is imperative that one gives them a call before going down, lest you get disappointed. (Trust me – I have committed this folly before.)
Black Sheep Cafe definitely has my thumbs up; I’m already looking forward to my next meal at Black Sheep Cafe.
Black Sheep Cafe
35 Mayo Street
(Opp Sim Lim Tower)
(65) 9272 1842
(65) 6292 5772
Monday to Saturday
Lunch : 11.30 – 03.00 pm
Dinner : 06.30 – 11.00 pm