August 17, 2015
You’ll be a fool (albeit, a beautiful little fool) to give this restaurant a miss. Sure, ‘The Great Gatsby’ as a party theme may have already gone out of style, but we still have an irrational love for the 1920s. And that magical era seems to be something that The Black Swan holds dear too.
Set right in the heart of the CBD, Lo & Behold, the group behind The White Rabbit and OverEasy, couldn’t bear to see the heritage building go to waste. Instead, they’ve nicely restored the space with art deco flourishes, over the pillars, windows and other decor, which stands out when compared to the dreary, concrete buildings that surround it. The high ceilings add to its old-school grandeur, and, perhaps more importantly, echoes the conversations of the patrons so the restaurant feels like it’s buzzing with activity.
Plus, they have a smashing afternoon tea menu too.
The Black Swan invites you to skive off with them on weekday afternoons, where instead of being cooped up in your office, you’re free to schedule a casual meeting over some tea and cakes. Treat it like a secret hideout, or, bring your date on your day off, whatever suits you. We’ll take you through some of the good stuff:
Homemade Scones, $20
Everything’s better homemade, and no doubt, the scones are extra fluffy while still retaining the nice crust when you bite into them. There’s a neat selection of different flavours, the plain scone, cranberry walnut scone and raisin scone, served warm, fresh and buttery. Dash on some preserve and a dollop of clotted cream too.
Assorted Tea Sandwiches, $20
Served with chips and a salad, we’re mostly surprised that these bite-sized sandwiches were light yet tasty. Corned beef and smoked salmon are safe bets, and these were packed in between thin, toasted bread. What’s interesting was the japanese cucumber sandwich, which offered a refreshing flavour that stood out among the sweet treats we tried.
Assorted French Pastries, $25
You’ll need to head to the restaurant to marvel at how good this looks in real life. And then, Instagram it, of course. Here’s what’s on the pretty plate: a fruit tartlet, lemon tartlet, strawberry vanilla choux puff, brandied cherries chocolate eclair, citrus jelly spiced panna cotta, pistachio cake, hazelnut cream chocolate mousse. In particular, we enjoyed the mini tartlets, with a crust that’s baked to perfection, while the brandied cherries added a strong, delightful punch of flavour to what would otherwise be just a sweet chocolate eclair. Don’t be deceived by how small each treat is, they fill you up quite quickly, making this a great sharing plate.
Have a cocktail while you’re there too. The Powder Room sits just above the restaurant, and there’s a stunning bar in the middle of the place, so you’re guaranteed fresh drinks, both ways. We tried Good Night & Good Luck ($19), and other than being drawn to its name, based off a George Clooney-directed movie, the list of ingredients is equally enticing. Concocted with a Peruvian twist, the cocktail’s made up of Chamomile Pisco, citrus, fluffed with a generous whiff of lavender, and it went down light and fragrant.
The Black Swan Afternoon Tea, available on weekdays, from 2pm – 5pm. At 19 Cecil St, Singapore 049704. theblackswan.com.sg