No sooner had we posted the news about brand new Blackwattle on our Facebook Food & Coffee Lovers Group than a fellow food lover texted me saying, let’s try it out! Absolutely, said I. You know me, I’m a sucker for anything that looks delicious. I definitely had high expectations of Blackwattle because of the story by delicious. that sang the praises of Sydney’s Automata and Chef Clayton Wells. Here in Singapore, Joeri Timmermans, former head sous chef at Automata will lead the team with Chef Clayton flying back and forth regularly. Based on our meal, I can assure you, the kitchen is in good hands.
A stellar past
Chef Clayton’s distinguished career includes A-list restaurants such as Tetsuya’s (Sydney) and Noma (Copenhagen). It also goes without saying that Blackwattle is part of the Unlisted Collection, a group that rarely takes a step wrong with its dining enterprises. This being the case, we entered Blackwattle hungry for a feast. And feast we did.
I usually don’t like to give everything away with a review because I believe that no matter what I say about a venue, you should head over there and find out for yourself. It also stands to reason that because everyone has differing opinions on flavour, no one should ever take my word as gospel. However, I won’t feel too guilty about sharing their five-course menu ($115++) because Blackwattle promises an ever-changing line up of dishes. This is a fact that both breaks my heart and keeps me intrigued at the same time. I’ll share the full five courses with you because I know, the next time I return or when you dine there, there will probably be something there to surprise.
A cool and soothing arena
We started at the bar on level two having arrived a bit early (in order to escape our little munchkins). Their location on foodie hotspot, Amoy Street, is right next to popular Korean bbq Wang Dae Bak. It was a refreshing relief to enter Blackwattle’s glass doors, walk under their amazing light fixture, an actual propeller that has been refurbished and looks stunning.
Upstairs was quiet and we were the only ones there at that time but it gave us a chance to chat with members of the Blackwattle team. By the end of the evening, the upstairs bar area was also full and you can both grab a drink and enjoy your dinner there. Unfortunately, two of us were having a dry night so we had beers and water, albeit Nordaq Fresh, the choice of discerning and sustainably minded restaurants. Check out our water taste test from earlier this year. Their bar menu is still rather impressive, by the way.
We went back downstairs to dine. The men sunk into their sumptuous leather sofas, perhaps a bit too low for the tables, but, as the sitters said, it was only because they were SO comfortable that they immediately relaxed into them. On one end, the gleaming kitchen, on the other, the door to Amoy Street.
Five courses… challenging, delicious, delightful
Already decided on the Prix Fixe of five courses recommended by the staff upstairs who impressed with their affability and knowledge, we had only to wait for the dishes to arrive. I love not having to make hard decisions on what to eat.
The dish that challenged me in a good way was their gooseberries in ginger flower broth. My friends know me as being fruit averse and anything fruity in a main dish turns me off. I was wondering how this would turn out. Pretty as it was, I was sceptical about the flavours but it totally wowed me. Tangy gooseberries, slightly sweet with a bit of bite and a smooth texture when coupled with the salty ginger flower broth, kelp oil and pops of ocean flavoured tonbori. It was absolutely delicious and something I would order again.
Here I have to comment on their steak knives.
The 9.47 Perceval knives used at Blackwattle are beautifully made and so easy to use. I perhaps should have known about this famous brand, however, I was also impressed when, being the curious soul that I am, I asked one of the staff what the 9.47 meant. She immediately told me the story of chef/knife maker who put the 9.47 on there as the alcohol content of his favourite drink.
And that was it… A brilliant five courses that everyone enjoyed wholeheartedly. Even The Vegetarian who got his own veggie version of the tasting menu. A dining experience like this is the kind that I most enjoy having because there was talk… chatter… banter. The food gave us an opportunity to look at, taste, feel and share what we thought about each dish. Not all views were the same. Not all dishes were favourites and yes everyone enjoyed some dishes more than the other in different ways. This is the beauty and enjoyment of dining out.
Go visit Blackwattle. I know there will be something to delight.
For more information visit blackwattle.com.sg
97 Amoy Street, Singapore 069917
Phone: +65 4224 2232
We booked and paid for our own meals and it was worth every penny. Images were taken by Angela Manners, and apologies about them! It’s so hard to take pics in low light however, I do have to say how amazing it is that Blackwattle has no direct downward lighting at the tables so it was SO much easier to get a better shot without having to deal with shadows. Hooray for Instagrammers!