Dinner @ FOO’D by Davide Oldani

January 18, 2017 in Italian by thywhaleliciousfay

Chef-owner Davide Oldani of 1 Michelin-starred Ristorante D’O in Italy has opened his second international restaurant. Yes, here in Singapore! However, with not much publicity done, I only got wind of FOO’D through instagram surfing. Instagram. Definitely my best source of information. Haha. And with that, reservation was made for 2 through Chope.

However, with FOO’D located at Victoria Theatre, parking wasn’t as straight forward. We made a turn into Empress Place from Connaught Drive to the back of Victoria Theatre only to realise there wasn’t any car park. The nearest parking was at Parliament House via Parliament Place or Fullerton Hotel via Fullerton Square. So we had to use the valet service instead. Which we later learnt was complimentary with a minimum spending of $100. Yeah! And restaurant’s entrance was on the building side with Sir Stamford Raffles bronze statue. If one used the valet service, FOO’D would be on the other side of Victoria Theatre.

With only 2 options on the dinner menu (pages 1, 2), my small-eater friend went with 5-courses ($138) while greedy me ordered the 7 courses ($168):-

1) Starter with options of:

(A) Caramelised onion tart (above) – With 20 months aged Grana Padano. And it was no surprise chef Davide’s signature creation was the highlight of our dinner. The crispy tart with an onion within was served with aged Grana Padano cheese ice cream and warm Grana Padano cheese sauce. We were impressed at how brilliant the tart was in terms of texture and flavour. A must order. Although I have to add I was disappointed to see the ice cream melting fast by the time the dish reached us. There goes my chance of taking a nice picture. Ha.

(B) 65° soft foie-gras (above) – Salted biscuit, roasted williams pear, grapefuit sorbet. Didn’t enjoy this. Couldn’t grasp how the ingredients complemented one another; Grapefruit sorbet and lettuce. Hmm? And it certainly didn’t help that this was served at the same time as the outstanding onion tart.

2) Soup with options of:

(A) French pea soup (above) – With almonds and lemongrass.

(B) Potato cream (above) – With scent of thyme, boston mussels, roasted cantaloupe.

3) Primi with options of:

(A) Risotto (above) – With homemade sourdough breadcrumbs, peppercorn, marasala, umbrian truffle. This was pretty good though a little salty.

(B) Sardinian fregola (above) – With uni, mango, roasted cashews. And I couldn’t stop eating my pasta. Not because it was good. But rather, because I was not familiar with a sour, tangy-tasting pasta dish. Trying to figure out the taste but ended up finishing the dish instead. Keke. But this was interesting. Worth a try.

4) Seafood with options of:-

(A) Lobster (+ $15, supplement) (above) – With coconut sauce, roasted celeriac. This was disappointing. The lobster lacked that… Juicy, bouncy bite. My friend and I doubted it’s the ingredient that’s not fresh since we were after all at a fine-dining establishment. So we concluded it was the lobster that could have used with a longer cooking time.

(B) Sea bass (above) – With lettuce veloute, vegetable and squid ink caviar.

5) Bread platter, Complimentary (above) – This was served at the same time with our seafood dishes which I thought was a little weird. Bread is normally served at the beginning of the meal. No? So we guessed the bread was for us to eat with the remaining gravy on our dishes.

6) Meat with options of:-

(A) Confit duck leg (above) – With house apicius blend, honey. And this was surprisingly good. Skin was crispy, and meat was tender and flavourful. Although it came across more as an Asian dish than Italian.

7) Cheese with options of:-

(A) Seedas, filo wafer of special FOO’D species (above)

8) Dessert with options of:-

(A) Faux green apple (above) – Of cinnamon, mascarpona. This was amazing! And I was surprised to see apple-flavoured liquid oozing out from the centre. Nice.

(B) Valrhona araguani dark chocolate (above) – With mou ice-cream, sea salt.

9) Coffee, $6

Chef Davide’s dining concept is cucina pop; Focus on high quality and accessible food where everyone can enjoy. And as taken from his website, cucina pop came from chef Davide’s desire to blend the essential with the well-made to create something good that is accessible and to combine tradition with innovation. He believed the greatness of Italian cuisine lie not only in the variety and flavours, but also to continuous re-interpretation. Which is done with simplicity, giving importance to each ingredient and having seasonal products and quality as the foundation.

Unfortunately, we failed to receive chef Davide’s philosophy through the food we had that night. And I couldn’t help but feel the restaurant was a learning ground too. I could still manage being asked by the staff for feedback after every dish. But my friend and I lost confidence when the chefs came out (of the kitchen) the second time to seek our opinion. I mean… It’s nice to know the chefs are listening. But when one sees the chef too many times, it makes one wonder if the chef knew what they were doing. A confident chef wouldn’t need to seek acknowledgement that often. Right?

Will I recommend FOO’D? Definitely not at this moment. I would give them some time to settle down before considering to head back.

That said, I was automatically put on FOO’D’s mailing list since I made my reservation through Chope. I received FOO’D’s email recently to learn that their grand opening is on 19 and 20 January 2017. And yes, chef Davide will be gracing the event. So if one anxiously wish to visit FOO’D, probably do so when chef Davide is in the house?

11 Empress Place, Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, #01-01, Singapore
6385 5588, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun