You must be wondering… Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt, what’s the meaning behind the name for this restaurant? Well, Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt, is the name of Sir Stamford Raffles’ first wife, who was mentioned as “My first wife…gave me no connexions, no wealth but on the contrary a load of debt…but it gave me domestic enjoyment and thus contributed to my happiness”. Perhaps the owners of the restaurant were inspired by the Sir Stanford Raffles’ statue just a stone’s throw away. Or perhaps they are taken in by the concept of Sir Stanford Raffles’ first love and similarly want others to be able to experience their “first love” for modern french cuisine.
The restaurant is located at The Arts House, formerly the Old Parliament House which was constructed in the 19th century so its exterior exudes an old colonial charm that befits the name of Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt. Diners will not be disappointed by the interior which is modern and chic, which also reflects the modernity and relevance of the cuisine which changes seasonally.
OCF is managed by A Thousand Tales, a lifestyle brand of adventurous F&B & retail concepts. They started with White House, a home furnishing brand offering Scandinavian bespoke pieces, before venturing in the F&B scene with Bar Stories, a no menu speciality cocktail bar, followed by Table Manners & The Crostini Bar.
At OCF, diners have the option for Carte Blanche menu, which means blank card in french so you won’t know what will be serving up for the 5 course dinner. That was what my sister and I opted for, also informing the kitchen of my prawn allergy so I can avoid that in the menu. Alternatively you can also request for the menu of the night and make changes. However the menu is subject to the chef’s selection of the seasonal produce. So one can always expect a surprise each season! 😉 Executive Chef Jonathan Koh says it best, “Spontaneous cuisine working with Nature’s freshest…a new surprise every day.”
Enough of the introductions, here’s the menu & photos of my dinner for the night!
Mushroom vol-au-vents with truffle oil; pork sausage with mustard emulsion and mini tart.
Salt baked beetroot, gruyere cheese, mustard emulsion and an aged balsamic dressing
My tastebuds were very entertained for this entree, it was in my opinion a very unique mix of different flavors. I liked the bitterness of the beetroot, the tartness of the cheese and the sourness of the balsamic vinegar.
First wine with entree:
Pessac-leognan le prelat du pape Clement 2008
This wine is on the heavier side and well bodied, recommended by the staff.
Veloute of pumpkin with a parmesan emulsion.
I’m not a fan of pumpkin, so I didn’t quite enjoy this dish. However I did enjoy tasting the dish together with the Parmesan emulsion, and I thought that the flavor of the cheese blended well with the sweetness of the pumpkin.
My sister’s dish: seafood capellini (squid, prawn and mussels)
I’m allergic to prawn, so I couldn’t have my sister’s dish. But I did try a little bit of the noodles which was delicious and I could taste the mussels in the sauce.
My dish: sea bass with zucchini coulis
The fish was very well cooked and I enjoyed the baked potatoes and mushrooms.
Guinea fowl with yellow chanterelle mushrooms, black radish and roasting jus
The main course for the evening. I found the dish to be very intriguing. There was a piece of breast meat and thigh meat. The thigh meat was cooked slightly so it was still dark, though not bloody and it oddly reminded me of medium rare beef, even though I was eating a chicken thigh. However the more I ate it, the more I enjoyed it and now I want to go back and have it again!
Apple tart with salted caramel and Apple sorbet
Late harvest – sauvignon blanc – D.O. Maule Valley – Chile – 2009
I am not a big fan of sour apple, so this dessert didn’t cut it for me. Bieber what I did like was the sweet crunchy bits below the apple sorbet which evened out the sour and tartness of the apple sorbet nicely. The dessert wine is very sweet and is medium in consistency, it also goes very well paired with this dessert. My sister who enjoys sour food, liked this dish and wine pairing a lot.
Hazelnut creme with chocolate ice cream
You can check out my chocolate dessert video on instagram here.
This is a dish and sight to behold. The experience of watching the hot chocolate sauce melting away the chocolate lid and then cracking it apart to dig into the chocolate icecream with brownie is so satisfying and indulgent. It’s a dish I could eat over and over again even if I needed to run an hour long just to burn the calories away! >u<
The OCF also has a private room that can host up to 14 guest for exclusive luncheon and dinners. They are popular for corporate meal meetings and I personally think also ideal for a cosy gathering over great food and drinks.
On Fridays and Saturdays, dinners can expect soulful jazz live music performed at the alcove in the restaurant.
OCF’s an ideal place for celebrating birthdays with the family or friends and you can head over to Timbre @ Arts House just next door for more drinks!
Thank you OCF for the great dinner and hospitality!
The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Lane
CALL 65 6333 9312
Online Reservation on their site here.