Stepping into Braci, you forget the din and the touts that occupy its locale – Boat Quay. An elevator opens up to the 2nd floor shophouse unit, and you’re immediately greeted warmly by the manager and possibly, chef-owner Beppe de Vito himself.
Beppe, the self-taught chef and restaurateur of the Il Lido Group that also owns Il Lido, Amo, Aura, among other popular Italian restaurants in Singapore, is a masterful presence at One Michelin-starred Braci, indeed.
He personally presents each dish, along with it, tales of inspiration and family. In fact, I’d probably say that it’s worth an early dinner slot, when he isn’t as busy, because it is quite fascinating listening to him speak of 1000-year-old leaven and olive oil made from his father’s own olive grove in Puglia.
Asked if he sells the fruity oil, he says he is the only fortunate one to get the 1st pick of the fruit, which is the best. “Legally protected by the European Union” bread – like wine and its classifications – is served to mop up the oil.
Fear not the open kitchen – what struck us most is that the chefs move like ninjas, no clanking noises whatsoever. Everyone seemed to be dancing in harmony. As for any smells or heat, well it was not noticeable at all.
We decided on the 4-course degustation menu ($100) which kicked off with a series of tiny snacks, just to get you thinking about what’s to come ahead.
So, first course – a charred Romanesco with a chunky hazelnut pesto and whipped burrata. Now, burrata is normally served in all its bulbous glory, cutting into it, watching the curds ooze out – heaven!
At Braci though, chef Beppe, in his own words, serves it up this way so that it’s “not so jelak” – too cloying. The char on the Romanesco is representative of the primary cooking style at Braci which utilizes the flash fire of the Josper oven and shichirin grill.
Which makes the next dish a stunner. Whether it’s the langoustine from Mozambique or the way that it was prepped – perfectly done and so sweet, this was my favourite dish of the night. The pasta that the dish came with was delicious; that sauce, so redolent of the sea.
Third course was a duck – which I normally enjoy only if it’s a duck leg confit. Well, the one I had at Braci was pretty darn good. The thin slices accompanied by a sweet jus went well with the generous shavings of truffle; black truffle is best this period so the earthy perfume certainly took the duck to the next level.
Dessert came without much fanfare, I didn’t get a chance to ask if his inspiration was his neigbour’s apple orchard since it seems that most of the ingredients he was proudly showing off was from his own stash.
Shaped like an apple, the tart inside had a mousse-like texture leading to a stewed apple centre, and a delicious rhubarb sorbet to boot.
At $100 for the 4-course, it’s worth it, considering the quality of the ingredients and the effort behind each dish.
Perusing the wine list, it’s worth bringing your own – corkage is $50 but whether by glass or bottle, wines are expensive here.
One thing that most people may not realise is that Braci has a rooftop bar. Worth checking out pre or post dinner.
Address: 52 Boat Quay, Level 5/6, Singapore 048941
Contact: +65 6866 1933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lunch: Tuesday to Friday, 12nn to 2pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Sundays