Friday, June 1, 2012

Black Gold Cafe, Tanjong Pagar

 After repeated accosting by the kind waitress every time we walked past, we finally decided one Friday to pay this place a visit. Located just across Orchid Hotel (effectively 3 min walk from TJ Pagar station), its strange location below a HDB flat belies it's stranger concept.

 Can't say its the best layout I've seen - tiny tiny tables indoors are packed a little too tightly, and seats outside are just next to the letterboxes.

 Must say my first reaction to this place was: bewilderment. I understood it was some kind of coffee place (hence black gold), so the 'casual French' seemed like it was an afterthought. Concept aside, the seating space wasn't very enticing - unless you're about the size of a 8 year old child, you can't possibly eat without knocking something over the postage-stamp-sized tables.

 Is that "Kopi" I see on the menu? Well yes, they do indeed serve your local Kopi C Kao, Teh Kosong and all that alongside their country french cuisine.

They do 3-course dinner sets at $26.90, and 4-course sets at $36.90 with a different option of main course (of course you just get ala-carte). We opted for one 3-course set and an ala carte main all to share. Shortly after they served the bread, and while the butter was cold (pah!) the bread itself was surprisingly great. I mean, given the circumstance I was not expecting much, but the bread was really nice - generously multi grain, warm and a strong tinge of roasted sesame.

{ Mesclun salad with goat cheese, grilled croutons served with French raspberry dressing }

 Salad looks like a mess (is that paprika sprinkled all over?) but actually tasted really nice. I didn't quite identify the raspberry dressing, but I liked the sweetness it lent to the saltiness of the goat cheese. Now this was actually a sizeable portion of salad - some ( most) places tend to give you itsy bitsy portions or dubious quality as part of a set meal, but definitely not here!

 Generous portions of goat cheese, mesclun, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and a great mix of vinegar, oil and dressing (?), this salad was definitely unexpected, and a great start to the meal!

{ Poached salmon fillet served with crunchy vegetables and aioli ($16.90 ala carte) }

 Was considering the chicken leg, but since   was already having some form of another bird's leg I decided to get the fish instead. And no regrets! This was really pretty to look at, and tasted pretty damn good. I thought the aioli sauce was unusual in a good way - it went excellently with the salmon (cooked perfectly) and the (seemingly random) drizzles of pesto. And I can also attest to the crunchiness of the vegetables!

{ Duck confit ($26.90) }

 The duck confit parmentier available in the 4-course set was actually not available anymore - they've changed it to serve the whole leg instead (but conveniently forgot to mention the 50% increase in ala carte price until just before the dish was served - no matter!).

Smell was great and the crisp on the outer bits was just excellent! The sweet apple/plum? sauce actually gave the slightly-dry duck a nice balance, and the caramelized onions and potato base - yum! Very much satisfied.

{ Warm chocolate pudding with lavender sauce & vanilla ice cream }

 We immediately narrowed down our dessert choice to something chocolatey. This is actually a lava pudding which oozed a wonderful stream of dark-ish chocolate into the puddle of lavender sauce. By the way the lavender sauce is really interesting! Never had lavender in this form before and I was really impressed. Even the vanilla ice cream was nice - it has lil wee chunks of chocolate chips in it.

 We were a little concerned that the ice cream had started to melt D: before we realized it was actually sitting in a puddle of lavender sauce! Combination was quirky and good - sweet, chocolatey and perfumey.

{ Kopi C Kosong ($1.50) }

 We just had to end it off with a Kopi C Kosong - even had extra servings of that little gem biscuits by the side.

Looks can be deceiving! Not exactly the most appealing spot from the outside, but the quality of food and service was really good. Apparently the place started off as a coffee place, but branched out to French cuisine after a tie up with a French chef, so I would have it in good faith that their coffee would be awesome too. Would return.

Oh and did I mention NO GST AND SERVICE CHARGE :)

Black Gold Cafe 黑金
7 Tanjong Pagar, #01-104B

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HGW Link (91% recommended at time of posting) :
Rating (out of 4) : 

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