Zafferano, Una Parte (i.e. Part 1)

I'd heard good things about Zafferano, the new-ish Italian ristorante perched atop the equally new-ish Ocean Financial Centre. The expansive view of the CBD and Marina Bay waterfront were purportedly splendid (for the record, it is!). And the Semi-Buffet Lunch was a steal at $38++ per person. So that was where we had our December L.A. Lunch. Despite a substantial number of us being on holiday leave, the troops rallied, resulting in a fairly large turnout for the lunch.

As it turns out, the food was pretty alright. No major grouses but no sparkling reviews either. The mains were pleasantly generous and I found them hearty and rustic. As for the buffet, the appetizers generally fared better than the desserts. We favoured and went back for seconds (and thirds!) of the appetizers, rather than the sweets.

Service, though polite, was noticeably choppy and flustered. It was more than an hour before our mains arrived. The service pace totally needs to be kicked up a notch. While it may not be a memorably excellent dining experience, I'd say that Zafferano is definitely worth a visit for their value-for-money semi-buffet lunch.

By the way, there's no ala carte option for lunch. But come dinnertime, there's a choice between the semi-buffet dinner and ala carte menu. 

Because of the sheer number of photos (yes, I took photos of every dish!), I'm breaking up the posts, and deal with the cooked-to-order main courses first.

Shortly after we were ushered to our seats, the complimentary Bread Box arrived. These were freshly baked, served warm, and still soft and fluffy. Despite the buffet spread and generous mains, these were actually finished.

Most of the mains were served in pre-heated pans so be careful not to touch them. The Risotto with porcini mushrooms was commendable, albeit boring and pedestrian. Al dente grains, not too cloying despite the large portion, and with plentiful diced porcini mushrooms.

The Homemade Tagliatelle with vongole and prawns in an aglio olio sauce was light and fresh.

The Homemade Tagliatelle with seafood and zucchini in a tomato-based sauce was tangy and sweet. I liked that the seafood in general was fresh, and ingredients plentiful.

This was the aglio olio-treated Homemade Tagliatelle with seafood and zucchini. I liked the unique addition of zucchini to this.

The Tacchino, a stuffed turkey roulade with figs was tender, but a little tasteless and dry. A drizzling of rich red wine sauce and sweet caramelized red onions provided the requisite flavour and moisture.

The Salmone, with a fillet of pan-seared salmon, braised vegetable "caponata" and basil pesto sauce was pretty average. That said, the fish was fresh and flaky. The vegetable braise lent sweetness.

The Astice (supplement $20), homemade tagliolini tossed with boston lobster, cherry tomatoes and a lone broccoli, was commendable. We were pleasantly surprised by how many lobster chunks were in this.However, taking into consideration the top-up of 20 bucks, I can totally see how it would be a given that they would be generous with the lobster.

The Filetto (supplement $20), a medley of oven-baked Australian beef tenderloin, seared foie gras, mashed potato and vegetables was also another so-so dish. The meat was a tad overcooked, but admittedly still moist and tender, and the foie gras was lacking in that rich creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture. This wasn't quite worth the additional 20 buckaroos.

Stay tuned for the antipasti and dolci buffet posts!

Ocean Financial Centre Level 43
10 Collyer Quay
Tel: 6509 1488

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