Monday, August 12, 2013

Revisit: Black Sheep Cafe

I reviewed Black Sheep Cafe once before. It served rather good French inspired cuisine, at rather reasonable prices. The owner and chef, Ratha closed the cafe, went to work for another restaurant...found corporate life was not for him...and worked to rebuild the cafe. It re-opened recently at a curious place, in the basement of a condominium block.

My earlier review of the food, I thought, was rather positive, as I compared Ratha's duck confit to the best I have eaten in Paris (Chez Dumonet). I recently revisited Chez Dumonet, and it was still rather marvellous. And I also recently revisited Black Sheep Cafe...

The place is situated in the basement of a private apartment block in the Sin Ming area...the basement floors were designated for shops, and Black Sheep Cafe was at B1.

The rather quaint decor, almost bare lik a canteen, but the characteristic paintings of a black sheep adorn the wall.

Chef and owner Ratha and his wife, almost in silhouette flanking the famous Black Sheep painting.

Warm bread, I suspect possibly made in house...I forget to ask Ratha...was delicious. Very nice, with a pot of butter.

I had the confit du canard...as usual, to gauge if it was still good

First impression is that this is a rather small duck. The leg was more the size of a medium chicken than a duck. The outer surface was to have been crisp, but it was not quite. It had a crispy texture, but the skin of the duck was still rather greasy, and not rendered crisp like the one in Chez Dumonet. But still, the taste was excellent, the meat was ungreasy, tender, and fell apart on probing with a fork...as it should be for a proper confit. The apple rosti was nice as a contrast to the fat infused duck leg, and a small serving of salad adorns the side.

Edward had the coq au vin

A bit unusual, as I had expected this to be served on a casserole. But I think it was cooked in a casserole, and dished out on a plate. The serving was somewhat larger than the duck. Nice flavours, tender meat. Good dish.

Kin ordered the crispy pork cheeks

This was rather good. I would have preferred a slightly more crisp outer for the pork cheek. And a little less fat on the meat. But it tasted quite marvellous. Beautiful texture, melt in the mouth quality. Very nice flavours. The orange sauce was a nice touch, providing some acidity to cut the heaviness of the pork. Very nice dish.

We ordered one soufle to be shared

Quite possibly the best soufle in Singapore. No comparison to Chez Dumonet's soufle, but for Singapore, probaly as good as it gets. Very nice, light texture, with the characteristic membrane like skin over. Tastewise, beautiful aroma of egg whites, and a little Grand Marnier. The hot soufle with the chocolate ice cream was excellent.

I chatted with Ratha after the meal...he lamented the labour situation of F&B outlets, and was eager to hear feedback on his cooking. Great fellow. Good cooking.

Black Sheep Cafe
Thomson V, B1-30
11 Sin Ming Rd

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