[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]e’ve come to expect snazzy grand outfits from restaurateur Beppe de Vito lately. First, it was Osteria Art dressed in swanky red leather seats and sumptuous dark wood. Last year, the ilLido Group launched the massive 300-seater Aura at National Gallery.
So his latest opening, Braci, is a refreshing change. Hidden on the top two floors of a heritage shophouse along Boat Quay, this is where de Vito moves away from menus tailored for efficiency (think traditional pastas that are delicious but also an easy way to feed large groups of diners) and focuses on an intimate dining experience.
Braci is where he gets to have fun and play with new ideas in this open-kitchen concept that only sits 16 with a side of view. There’s the option to order dishes a la carte here, but the $100 five-course omakase is great value for tasting your way through the menu. If there’s one dish to politely, but firmly, ask for, it’s the smoke-kissed romanesco with silky burrata mousse and hazelnut pesto. Generous shavings of bottarga give this an umami hit.
(RELATED: Wondering what Beppe de Vito gets up to on a daily basis? We captured it on film.)
The other courses continue to surprise with little elements that show the Italian’s careful attention to detail. Creamy foie gras semifreddo is served with toasted brioche kept warm on a bed of heated pebbles. As a cheeky nod to the ever-popular Peking duck, chef dry-ages the bird for 4 days in the restaurant, then serves it with shards of crispy skin sweetened with a light honey glaze.
(RELATED: Read our interview with Beppe, who also has a massive love for good shoes)
De Vito is clearly in his element here, juggling plates and drizzling sauces while being charm personified. We recommend pre-dinner drinks upstairs in the chic rooftop bar overlooking the terracotta roofs of neighbouring shop houses. The terrace is most beautiful at dusk, but the best bit has to be the generous pour of double shots in all 20 delicious cocktails on offer.
Our take: 4/5. Everyone loves seeing the boss put on an apron.
#05-01, 52 Boat Quay