The Black Swan: Mary Mary quite Contrary

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The good folks at Lo & Behold (responsible for the Loof, The White Rabbit, Tanjong Beach Club) have done it again... this time, launching a 1930s-style joint in the heart of the CBD. Hardly strangers with fact that the conceptual designs to these projects would be stellar, I was blown away by the decor at The Black Swan. Cool spherical lights draped from the ceilings, frosty and muted, creating a tone of nonchalance in the room. The fabulously narrow U-shaped bar staged in the middle, with its entirely granite counter tops and high shelves of old-fashioned liquors evoke a strong representation of the period.

Barely a month old, the Black Swan has garnered a lot of media attention to itself; seemingly so since the dining room was packed with reserved tables on a normally lackadaisical Tuesday evening. That being said, service was top notch, directions were provided to a rather flustered me over the phone; and a special mention goes out to a kind lady Mary who stood by the table patiently engaging in relevant conversation as I took on the mammoth task of waiting an hour for my companion to arrive sans the 'drinking myself silly' part. "So, this is the guy who's going to pay for the entire meal?", she teases as my friend finally made his way to the table. Hilarious.

For a whole hour, I nursed this drink. The Golden Parachute ($19), a smooth 15 year old single malt whisky stirred with fragrant vanilla bean,  pure maple syrup and livened with mandarin zest. This potent potion a perfect example of the cohesiveness of the cocktails list with the style of the establishment.

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The menu features mostly American classics with a contemporary twist, a concept fortified by the consultation of Chef Sebastian Ng of Restaurant Ember. We started of with the Char-Grilled Beef Tartare ($26), perfectly comforting stack of freshly chopped USDA 365 days grain fed beef seasoned to perfection resting on a bed of sweet sauteed nashi pears. The balance in the dish impeccable. moreish.

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The Black Swan Burger ($26) features a patty made of seasoned chuck with a slender slice of melted mature cheddar plastered overhead. The sunny side up egg was a tad overcooked for my liking, my hopes for a natural yolk sauce, dashed. The buns made in-house were rather good; could have used a tad more wrist work to develop a bit more elasticity in the dough, but then again, butter works its magic. What really stupefies me on this dish are the streaky bacon slices that are served on the side. WHY? as if totally redundant. On the whole, a pretty good burger based on the doneness and juiciness of the patty alone. The fries... meh... they should consider adopting the Parmesan and rosemary haystack fries from Overeasy.

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My partner's Duck Leg Confit ($36)- 36 hour sous-vide, bacon potatoes, fresh thyme,mustard sauce

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Nothing goes better with a burger than a beer, shy away from the chi-chi cocktail and wine driven crowds with a cool Poleeko Californian Pale Ale ($14), a dry medium bodied ale with a hint of grapefruit and citrus notes.

The Black Swan is definitely pulling out all the stops with its recent launch of its set lunch menu ($28++ for 2 courses and $34++ for 3 courses). I reckon with the sensibilities of the company at helm, the new chapter for the Black Swan is looking to be a very long and exciting one.

The Black Swan
19 Cecil Street, The Quadrant
Singapore 049704
Reservations: (SMS) +65 8181 3305


Unknown said...

HOw was the duck confit?

Sihan said...

Hi Gonzi66, the duck confit was actually quite good. But I prefer the version that I had at Balzac brasserie. More finesse.