The glamorous Art Deco-style restaurant we all know and love is now offering a revamped menu, and it’s about time. Known for its glorious high ceilings and lavish chevron-pattern brass windows just as much as its delectable Modern European cuisine, The Black Swan has long been the setting for many romantic dates and after-work catch ups. Now, the return of award-winning chef Daniel Sia as The Lo & Behold Group‘s Culinary Director takes things to an invigorating new direction.
Paying homage to New York’s canonised chophouses, the restaurant – situated in the Central Business District – continues to serve up the same time-honoured classics, showcasing an inspiring range of premium steaks spanning different taste profiles. And in case you’re wondering, the cuts are all carefully selected from farms that practice sustainable breeding and are free of antibiotics or other harmful additives.
Some notable sources include the century-old Brandt Beef ($60 for approximately 237 grams of prized USDA Choice Tenderloin), a family that produces boutique cattle in California; Stockyard from Australia ($134 for 795 grams of 200-day grain-fed Angus Porterhouse); and most particularly, the beefy Aomori prefecture, who cows ($78 for 312 grams) release a delicious dose of umami with eat bite thanks to their diet of whole rice plants and fresh spring water.
Another option, the Pure Black Angus Prime Rib Steak ($158 for 879 grams), deserves special mention for being dry-aged for 60 days, resulting in an intense beefiness, deep colour, and nutty aroma that’s a joy to consume. How Chef Daniel does his steaks is to fire up apple wood to 300° celsius for the perfect crust and maximum retention of the meat’s natural juiciness; the smoky flavour is absolutely splendid. To add on to the experience, customers can choose from a curated selection of unique vintage steak knives sourced from across the globe.
A chophouse isn’t complete without wine either, which brings us to The Black Swan’s new Head Sommelier Yeo Xi Yang, previously from French fine-dining establishment Les Amis. Needless to say, he’s refreshed the wine list, which now comprises 120 labels from unexpected locations such as the Canary Islands, Lebanon, Syria, and Greece. Take, for example, the La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Rioja Reserva 2010 that hails from Rioja – made with 100% Tempranillo grapes and aged in American oak for 24 months to take on flavours like vanillin, mocha, and smoke. Pair that with the aforementioned 60-day dry aged steak and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
Putting meats aside for a minute, the extensive menu features other exquisite Modern European dishes such as the Vidalia Onion Broth ($26) with black truffle and a rich bone marrow flan, served with light camembert toast as a recreation of the iconic French staple. This, along with the Blue Swimmer Crab Salad (baby spinach, kohlrabi, and crab bearnaise, $24) and hand-chopped US beef Steak Tartare ($26) makes for quite the impressive starter.
In fact, vegetarians can go totally meatless with a locally-sourced Roasted Cauliflower Steak ($26) that rests on a bed of cauliflower purée, maitake mushrooms, and puffed grains – though do note that there’s a slow-cooked egg added in as well. Meanwhile, the Razor Clam & Periwinkle Pasta ($32) is a stunner, impressing us with a savoury (albeit slightly briny) medley from the sea.
Come dessert, forget the hallmark chophouse standard of knickerbocker glories and turn to the reimagined grown-up version of Cookies & Cream ($16) – white chocolate ganache sandwiched between dark chocolate shortbreads and paired with a small Baileys-spiked vanilla milkshake. Alternatively, Chef Daniel’s rendition of another well-loved classic, the Frozen S’mores , hides a homemade ice-cream centre studded with blueberries and spiced cookies inside a case of icy marshmallow.
If nothing else, The Black Swan – with its mature food and beverage programme and 1930s mood – successfully injects a fresh glamour and life into an otherwise rigid and mechanical district. Will we be back? For sure.
The Black Swan is located at 19 Cecil St, Singapore 049704, p. +65 6438 3757. Open Mon 11.30am – 11pm, Tue-Thu 11.30am – 12am, Fri 11.30am – 1am, Sat 5pm – 12am. Closed Sun.