The closing of Blackwattle wasn’t such a bad thing after all, when you think about the new restaurant which has replaced it—Basque Kitchen by Aitor, under hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng's Unlisted Collection.
It’s spearheaded by head chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive, the former chef de cuisine of Iggy’s who helped the restaurant earn its Michelin star. A culinary star in his own right, he has also cut his teeth working at lauded restaurants such as Mugaritz and The Fat Duck.
He plans to use the restaurant as a platform to serve contemporary Basque fare. “Dishes served here are not traditional Basque but an interpretation that will showcase a more refined and modern version of your typical Basque dishes,” shares Orive. He adds that this will allow him to showcase a slice of his heritage in Singapore.
On his Instagram post, Peng admits that this restaurant “has been an eye opener and a journey of discovery” for him, especially since Basque cuisine isn’t common in Singapore.
Basque Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner. A midday meal here gives you a choice between the a la carte and business set lunch, while the three-, five- or seven-course tasting menu will end the day on a delicious note.
Orive’s expertise in letting the ingredients’ delicious flavours shine is evident in the Marmitako, a hearty composition of tuna and potato stew, and oxtail “Bomba” rice, inspired by the Japanese gyudon. His own take uses Spanish bomba rice (instead of sushi rice) that he braises with Angus oxtail and onions to release the umami goodness. The most ubiquitous dish of all, the Txuleta is made by grilling the Angus prime rib on charcoal until its charred and crisp on the outside, yet soft and succulent inside.
Complementing the stellar menu is the Spanish wine programme crafted by group wine and beverage manager Amir Solay. The list has over 100 Spanish offerings, including iconic superstars like the Peter Sisseck and Vega Sicilia.
Scroll through the gallery for more delicious photos: