Last Updated: September 17, 2015
This duplex café while tastefully decorated, looks nothing like an Italian restaurant and this is exactly how your dining experience will begin.
Brought to you by the team behind Supply and Demand, Chef Samdy Kan intends to tantalize your taste buds visually and evoke all senses involved for truly modern Italian dining experience. As the name suggest, Equilibrium aims to strike a balance with traditional Venetian cuisine using modern techniques.
Definitely ambitious for this young setup but then again, if you do not tip the balance, how can you find the equilibrium?
The cocktails, small and delicate can be visually deceiving. So be careful as it masked the generous serving of alcohol. Once paired with the food, it gets drowned in the rich flavours of the dishes.
Best to drink them before the food arrives if you truly want to appreciate their creatively handcrafted cocktails.
The Imperial Seal ($17). Chamomile tea syrup, tequila bianco, cointreau, dehydrated chrysanthemum, lemon, fresh chrysanthemum flower.
Smokey Nectar ($18). Bulleit bourbon, muddled raspberries, spiced pear liqueur, raspberry nectar tea with smoked hickory wood.
The Earl ($8). A good option for the non-alcoholic, an earl grey tea with yuzu and rosemary that is light, citrusy and refreshing.
So we begin with the Cicchettis which is the Italian version of the Spanish tapas. The Costini Al Fegato E Proscuitto ($15) is too garlicky and it seems too greedy to pair foie gras pate, parma ham, garlic, herb tomato concasse, shaved grana padano and sun dried tomato all on a slice of toast. Talk about overkill.
I do enjoy the Calamari Alla Griglia ($15) even though it’s a little over-cooked and chewy. The saving grace is the butter infused with fennel, chilli and mint.
I was expecting the La Bombette ($9.50), a skewer of pork wrapped around parmesan cheese, minced meat, oregano and chilli flakes to be cloying. The parmesan cheese gave it a powdery texture but complements the grilled thin slices of pork belly.
The fried capers and pickled onions even out the richness although it is still too salty for my liking. Still, a dish worth ordering as long as everyone takes a smaller portion and not an entire skewer.
The Panelle ($12), a traditional Sicilian crunchy fried fritters is another interesting small plate to share. The fritters made from gram flour tasted very different in the 3 dips.
From tangy sweetness with the mango chutney to a refreshing crunch with the cucumber salad and a spicy punch with the garlic aioli dip.
For the mains, they have a good variety to suit different preferences. The Lostata Di Manzo ($39), a beef ribeye from New Zealand dry aged for 28 days, done medium rare, is succulent and flavourful.
Drizzled with a sauce of the day, seasonal vegetables and sides. Ours came with a brown mushroom sauce. What I really loved are the baby potatoes, seasoned with turmeric and grilled to a light golden brown. Soft and aromatic. Surprisingly yummy and complemented the steak.
Sull’Imbrunire At Dusk ($27) and their other customized pizzas (12 inches) are hand-pulled upon each order and are served thin and crispy. Won’t recommend as a main but good for sharing.
The Pork and Mushroom Aglio Olio ($19) is inspired by our local bak chor mee and tested the marriage of a traditional Italian dish with a Singapore favourite.
The farfalle pasta is springy and al dente. As an aglio olio, it is light and not over powering with olive oil. I am not quite sure how to appreciate this in the beginning as your palate gets introduced with a acidic taste that you don’t quite expect from a pasta dish. It was initially too salty but as it cools down, all the ingredients somehow come together and it was delightfully delicious, when cold.
As I have heard so much about their desserts, coming to an end of the night got me really excited. We heard Pastry Chef Belinda wants her creation to be fun and interactive and engages modernist technique to create appealing desserts that aims to tease the sights and tantalize the buds.
The Deli Dolce ($21) is served in the image of a platter of cold cuts which is really raspberry and green apple prosciutto, chocolate salami with caramelized onion pate with whiskey caramel jelly and bacon jam.
I was a little apprehensive to try the onion pate and bacon jam. With no expectations, I was quite surprised how well it tasted since the savory bits strikes a good balance to the sweets.
A range of 50 tea offerings at $9.90 per pot is a great alternative to end the meal on a sweet note for the less adventurous.
Overall, Equilibrium did achieve its aim of creating a sensory dining experience. From conversation starters dishes to new Venetian sides never seen in Singapore to almost savoury desserts.
The extensive menu may be the reason why Equilibirum has yet to strike a balance between offering a wide selection and perfecting a few good signature items. Similarly, bespoke customized cocktails are redundant if the dishes over-power the delicate notes of each concoction, so perhaps don’t pair the drinks with the food.
Expected damage :$60 – $80 per pax
Equilibrium Modern Italian Bacano & Ristorante: 15 Stamford Road, #01-86, Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178906 | Tel: 63844069 | Website