Hands up if you’re as clueless as we were about Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt (OCF). Thanks to private equity firm Big Bang Capital – it's also behind Olivia & Co Bistro and the upcoming Ola Beach Club – we’re finally acquainted with Sir Stamford Raffles’ little-known first wife. But while the lady herself was born in India and raised in Ireland, OCF the restaurant, nestled within the historic surroundings of the former Empress Place Building by the Singapore River, dabbles in elegant, refined French cuisine.
Besides the original colonial-era façade, the dignified space takes on an intimate old-world charm with a grand piano (there are live jazz and pop performances on Fridays and Saturdays) and subdued black furniture at one end, while the other half is occupied by a sleek bar counter and a l’atelier-style open kitchen.
OCF offers an omakase-style seasonal lunch set ($68/pax) and the menu changes daily, depending on the fresh produce chef Jonathan Koh (formerly from The Boathouse) manages to get his hands on. Another lunch option ($38/pax) gives you more choice: pick one from three starters and three mains, and dessert is decided by the kitchen.
Starters include the large Hokkaido scallops with a thin sheen of lardo and poultry jus, and roasted beets with onion confit and Saint-Maure cheese. There's also the Foie Gras Opera with pickled dates and citrus jelly, served like a French Opera cake – so don't be shocked if a 'dessert' is presented at the beginning of the meal. For the mains, choose from fork-tender salon confit with summer radishes, corn-fed chicken with crispy potatoes, and US prime striploin with potato and leek millefeuille. This season's dessert is OCF's interpretation of a black forest cake with whipped ganache, served with stewed cherries and vanilla ice cream.
Oenophiles will appreciate OCF’s extensive list of European wines, accompanied by a couple of Bar Stories’ signature cocktails, including the pisco passion ($23) and strawberry shortcake ($25). If you can't decide, just ask general manager Nova D, the in-house wine expert, for recommendations.
|Venue name:||Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt|
#02-02 The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Ln
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri noon-2pm, 6-10.30pm; Sat 6-10.30pm|
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