“Seasonal French cuisine with amazing ambiance”
Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt (OCF) is the name of Sir Stamford Raffles’ first wife. Yea, ex-wife, ahem. Located at the Old Parliament House, OCF is strategically positioned behind Sir Stamford Raffles statue, a symbolic meaning of the woman behind the success of a great man and a bittersweet sorrow of a lost love.
The unique concept about OCF is that they change their menu daily according to the freshness of the season. There is no fixed menu except the newly launched executive lunch menu which we will be trying today.
The Old parliament house is a sight to behold as you walk to OCF for a meal.
Within, you find a charming facade of grey and white against the sleek marbled bar table portrays a marriage between the past and present.
OCF holds live performances by artistes from the Timbre Group on Fridays and Saturday evenings. One of the many notable guest artiste being vocal powerhouse Alemay Fernandez.
There is also a private dining room hidden at the back that fits a dozen guests.
OCF has launched a new 3 course Executive Lunch Set at $38++ per person which is what this review will cover. This lunch menu changes every six weeks, in which guest can choose one item from Les Entrees, Les Plats and Les Desserts, or in Singaporean terms, 1 appetizer, 1 main and 1 dessert lah.
Only serving set lunches in the afternoon, OCF serves a 5 course carte blanche (translated from French meant ‘blank card’) at $88++. Similar to the idea of Japanese omakase, carte blanche serves the Chef’s selection of seasonal produce.
Guests are served a plate of French salted butter, and sour dough bread to pair with.
Kakubin Highball ($20). Carbonated Whisky from one part Kakubin Whisky and four parts soda water using the Suntory Whisky highball machine; an elegant subtly sweet, sparkling drink to whet the appetite. OCF has an amazing whisky list which is definitely an eye-opener for whisky lovers.
Au Bon Climate Pinot Noir Isabelle 2009. Now, if you can stop ogling at the beautiful marketing lady in the background, I can explain the wine. Good complex flavours of dark berries and cherries with a hint of oak. Goes well with the beef or duck.
There is again, no fixed house wine served at OCF, but rather, a recommended wine according to what the kitchen serves in order to truly compliment the food.
Gazpacho, chilled tomato purée with garnishing. A cold palate cleanser to start the meal, but might not sit well with traditional Chinese soup drinkers who like hot soups.
Les Jardinière (Summer Vegetables, Herb Salad, Capsicum Coulis). A variety of vegetables drizzled with sweet capsicum puree, a fruity and floral combination – the epitome of a breath of summer.
Le Foie Gras de Canard (Foie Gras Shavings, Ratte Potato, Kenya Beans, Mustard Emulsion). The foie gras provided a creamy luscious texture which gave a contrast to the toasted bread and boiled potatoes. Délicieux.
L’Asperge Verte (Green Asparagus, Hokkaido Scallops, Tomato Vinaigrette). Supplement of $10 required. The use of premium Hokkaido scallops pan seared to perfection with the unexpected tangy burst of flavors from the tomato dressing, gives this dish a bright summer sensation.
Le Maquereau (Lightly Cooked Mackerel from Brittany, Olive Rice, Lemon Vinaigrette). I was pre-warned that the mackerel might be too greasy for my liking but that was not the case at all. The slight grease from the mackerel is balanced by olive brown rice cooked in lemon vinaigrette. I absolutely adore contrasting flavors of savory and zest.
L’Onglet de bœuf (Australian Hanger Steak, Cévennes Onion, Roasting Jus). Executive Chef Jonathon has a knack of making vegetables stand out in a dish. The Cévennes onions are surprisingly sweet and fragrant.
The hanger steak is derived from the diaphragm of a steer or heifer, which is extremely flavorful but lacks in fats. Covered in roasted jus and as flavorful as it is, is a pity the outer meat was slightly tough and overdone. It was almost the perfect steak dish.
Le Canard d’Origine Française (Duck from Challan, Poached Summer Fruits, Rose Perfumed Jus)- Supplement $15 required. This dish is all about subtleness. The braised meat – though a little tough to chew – had a savory juicy surge with a delicate waft of rose fragrance. The poached summer fruits not only was it sweet but with a trace of bitter dark chocolate.
Le Chocolat (Valrhôna Bahibe Chocolate, Raspberry Compote, Chocolate Sable). A lovely rendition of a berry-chocolate combination slathered in luscious dark chocolate mousse that isn’t overly sweet.
La Brioche (Warm French Toast, Salted Caramel, Coconut Sorbet). Warm toast paired with handmade caramel, coconut sorbet, and fresh cream. An amazing combination of warm toast and cold sorbet.
OCF restaurant provides affordable yet decadent French cuisine for the masses. There are a few hits and misses, but the impressive facade of colonial presence and amazing service makes it up for it as a romantic, classy dinner destination.
I can foresee myself returning to soak in their ambient settings, of course with a glass of whiskey or wine in hand.
The Executive Lunch Set is available till 1st August 2014.
Expected Damage: $45 – $70 per pax