Alkaff Mansion: Italian BBQ Nights

A good 2 years later and here I am back at Alkaff Mansion, a lofty colonial manor nestled on top of a verdant knoll filled with luscious foliage and leafy pastures. No doubt, things have changed since my last 2 visits (the first being my cousin's wedding, and the next being a HGW tasting; you can read about it here), with speedy progressions in the marriage and a blessed baby girl born; however, things have hardly changed at Alkaff - it's pish-posh mannerisms and restrained grandeur prevail, the infrastructure still spick and span, as if it hadn't aged a day.

Well, as much as I wasn't there to inspect for the natural degradation of the establishment, one can't help but feel like a jealous schoolmate during a class reunion, positively green eyed from the lack of ageing signs, especially with my tragic loss of vitality over the last two years, attributed to my love for alcohol and the wretched night life. I digress. The rising smoke from the BBQ beckons.

Every Thursday and Sunday night, the cosy Al-fresco settings on the patio sees a hive of activity as the Italian BBQ Night takes place. Classic Italian romantic style music serenaded by the live band definitely puts things into perspective, pushing the entire dining experience into surrealism.

After making your rounds at the antipasti and cold salads buffet table, return back to your seat to get your hands on the free-flow ala-carte BBQ items. For the meat lovers, my money's on that 36-hour Marinated Beef Striploin and the Lamb Rack with Sardinian Vermentino; the lamb rack receiving splashier treatment on the grill lending to it excellent texture, its streaks of fat imbued in wisps of smoke. The Grilled Pork Belly and French Baby Chicken with rosemary, thyme and lime add to the grandeur of the initial meat orders; but as good as they were, they did not hold a candle to the heavenly lamb ribs. So go ahead, heed my advice and go for thirds. 

An Italian BBQ with a well thought out menu, the seafood section impresses, clearly invoking the same sensations as dining by the Sicilian coasts. Since most of their produce is freshly imported, a quick sear on the grill and a good splash of lemon is all that is required to showcase its provenance. Take for example the Sardinian Octopus, its charred tentacles in stark contrast to its deliciously meaty flesh; caramelisation further enhancing its characteristic sweetness. Likewise, the Grilled Tiger Prawns and Italian Squid served with extra virgin oil, garlic & Italian parsley are truly remarkable offerings, the ala-carte ordering service ensuring that you receive your goodies piping hot straight from the grill to maximise pleasure. To complete the extensive seafood offerings, there are the Tagliata style Grilled Sea Bass and Fresh Mediterranean Tuna to vie for your attention.

Alkaff Mansion being the kind of romantic place where you'd hunker down with your lover, polish off a couple glasses of wine and fork your way through a plate of lamb ribs (or get down and dirty with grilled prawns) - the passionate hues of red skies splashed above head, certainly advantageous in promoting amorous intent. And in the case you're worried of the heat or bugs, I can assure you that these concerns would be shoved to the back of your mind when dealing with such dreamy circumstances as this establishment.

Don't forget desserts too! The Panna Cotta alla Mentuccia ($14) is one I'll tell friends about - it snagged a spot in my brain where my most memorable desserts live on. Fresh Mint Panna cotta served with a slurry of mixed berries and a raspberry sauce on the side, this pitch perfect dessert would jiggle its way into your heart. On the other hand, Alkaff's Homemade Tiramisu ($14) may not the best tasting tiramisu,  bit it definitely scores full marks for presentation. It's immaculate manifestation with twists of tempered chocolate bark amidst spots of seasonal berries, tickled my fancy but fell short in the coffee intensity and liquor department.

While there is certainly plenty to sip and savour at Alkaff Mansion, the question is whether I would foot $68++ for an Italian BBQ night. The answer is, Yes. Let me take you there.

Italian BBQ Night (every Thurs and Sunday 6pm)
$68++ per adult
$34++ per child (aged 5 -12)
Last Order: 9pm

Alkaff Mansion Ristorante
10 Telok Blangah Green
t: 6510 3068

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