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The former head chef of Cut by Wolfgang Puck NYC helms new restaurant in Singapore

Nicole-Marie Ng
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Nicole-Marie Ng

Set to be one of the most exciting F&B openings of the year, Caffe Fernet officially ushers in its first guest on March 7. The Italian restaurant and bar is the Jigger & Pony Group's largest and most ambitious venture yet – it's a 130 seater that puts equal emphasis both food and drinks. Don't believe us? Just look at who it's got in the kitchen.

Chef David Tang has spent a decade working in several of Wolfgang Puck's kitchens around the world and was most recently the Chef de Cuisine at Cut by Wolfgang Puck in New York City. He's also cooked at the likes of Spago in Beverly Hills and Wolfgang Puck in Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles before trading in the United States for the sunny shores of Singapore. We catch up with the chef to find out more about what he has planned for Caffe Fernet.

Hi David, tell us more about the menu at Caffe Fernet...

Caffe Fernet is a modern Italian restaurant and bar so for the menu, we pay careful attention to understanding the discerning palates of the well-travelled Singaporean customer and are constantly working to tweak our recipes to tease out the maximum flavour of each ingredient. Expect lighter and brighter flavour profile with nuances of a cosmopolitan touch, rather than quaint ‘grandmas’s kitchen’ fare.

You were previously from Cut by Wolfgang Puck, a New York-style steakhouse known for its hearty plates and bold flavours, how will the dishes at Caffe Fernet differ?

In order to keep things light, fresh and modern, there's a greater emphasis on vegetables. What I am able to bring to the table is not specifically what I used to cook at Cut, but my approach to food. I want to create is an amazing dining experience at Caffe Fernet, where I put our heart and soul into the food we serve.

How does Caffe Fernet stand out from the other Italian restaurants in Singapore?

Caffe Fernet is a blank canvas where we can showcase our exciting ideas. It's an enjoyable space with equal emphasis on both the drinking and dining experience. Caffe Fernet also carries the core of Jigger & Pony Family’s DNA - a showcase of craftsmanship combined with warm convivial hospitality. Together with our personable and friendly service, we aim to produce a jovial and vibrant dining experience. With regards to our food, expect a Caffe Fernet twist in our offerings. For example, instead of using rum, our tiramisu is made by using just the right amount Fernet Branca, to give the dish another dimension of flavour. Also, for our braised leek dish, we want to let our guests know that blue cheese can be approachable through the use of a blue cheese sauce. The dish is also special because leek is not commonly found in Italian cuisine but we chose to include it to showcase the great flavour and versatility of this humble vegetable.

Will you be bringing any New York flavour to Caffe Fernet?

Singapore has some of the best food I have ever tasted. I am looking forward to pushing boundaries and exploring new flavour possibilities by incorporating my experiences from the creative and diverse dining culture of New York to the dishes I create at Caffe Fernet. We feel that Singapore’s dining scene is open to embracing something new and I can’t wait to show Singapore what we have to offer!

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