1-Michelin Braci review: An Autumn menu of a delicious pigeon, gluten-free dessert, and seasonal greens
The thought of dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant might be intimidating especially if you're conscious about a bad posture or rocking up in a post-workout state. So stepping into Braci might be reassuring — it's casual in the best way possible. The intimate 16-seater resembles something like a private home kitchen furbished with whimsical pops of colour, and faces a sweeping view of the Singapore River replete with glittering buildings in the background. There's also a rooftop bar above for post-meal nightcaps.
The talented team behind Beppe de Vito, led by chef de cuisine Mirko Febbrile presents this year's Autumn menu. An à la carte option might also be enticing to gourmands who can't exactly commit or rather, stomach a full-course menu. A series of dishes backed up by smokey, robust flavours that pay tribute to produce from the ground.
Our amuse bouche came in the form of a Matryoshka doll — that concealed a waft of aromatic woody chips — as well as a petite tartlet of pigeon fillet and citrus bursts within. That wasn't all — a 100-year-old balsamic vinegar was rolled out to trickle down the finishing touches. An essential condiment that elevated the tiny bite on a sweet note, as compared to the usual vinegar. The second snack was equally delicious and set with finesse. A humble potato-cheese-ham dish brought to life with generous shavings of white truffle.
Following suit in the efferverscent premise, laid our first course. Finely chopped seasonal greens that vary everyday — we had a colourful medley of pumpkin, beetroot, radish, oyster leaves, shiso flowers, hibiscus leaves grounded in almound and quince cream. With each bite, we got a fresh dose of different earthy flavours, that paired well with fragrant drops of basil oil.
With the palette officially opened up, venison ravioli was up next. The venison was finely minced and embroiled with sheep and goat's cheese but what really came through was the balance of umami eschewing any elements of nauseating saltiness. Perhaps it was the midas touch of peppercorn hailing from Cambodia, but it was hard not to demolish every bit of the Italian dumpling. The pre-main was a humble sole fish, simply grilled and plated with a intricate bed of thinly sliced zucchini encasing potato puree. The salt and brine from the fish was pared down, thanks to the use of champagne and vinegar — integral fluids that went into the marinate of the zucchini.
Finally, the pigeon arrived. And it was almost a point where it also fed our curiousity — having seen the open kitchen churning smoke from the josper oven throughout our time here. What we tasted definitely surpassed what our senses have been teased with — a succulent bird grilled to a piquant climax and soothed wiith a semi-sticky dressing of persimmon, balsamic and whisky. When it comes to the leg, ditch your cutlery (and any remnants of table manners) and use your hands instead — it will taste better.
Say what you will about the gluten-free mantra, but Braci deftly brings out the best in a pumpkin. Or what they dub Pumpkin Pie. The orange circle is riddled with vanilla and cooked to a soft bite, then lavished with a passionfruit comsomme and a dollop of liquorice ice cream. For the base, pumpkin seeds mimick the usual biscuit crumble — adding its own part of texture and flavour to complete this delightful dessert. From start to finish, the Autumn season took us on a cleverly executed joyride, that certainly left us blissfully sated. It's hard to name the outlying standout dish, but in Braci's case — it's a good problem.
52 Boat Quay, Level 5/6, Tel: 6866 1933
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 6pm-10.30pm, (Tues-Fri) 12pm-2pm