A 60-seater restaurant-bar located in an old shophouse on Amoy Street, Blackwattle is the latest modern Australian establishment to land on our shores.
It is executive chef Clayton Wells’ first restaurant in Singapore with the Unlisted Collection, but not his first association with the group, having opened the now-defunct Viajante in London, and Automata at The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney with them.
Blackwattle is named after a native Australian tree, and reminds Wells of Sydney in Spring. Save for a brassy aircraft propeller chandelier, the décor is subtly stylish, from the tableware made by local brand Mud Rock ceramics, to black-and-white menus designed by Melbourne-based M.Geisser. Bottle green accents run across leather banquettes, staff aprons and the big green egg ceramic grill in the open kitchen.
Blackwattle offers a full-fledged a la carte menu, on top of three- and five-course tasting menus ($48 and $115). Joeri Timmermans, former sous chef at Automata, will be stationed here while Wells commutes back and forth.
At the bar upstairs, enjoy a multitude of drinks including sake, mezcals, cocktails and mocktails, along with bar snacks. But you can order from the main a la carte menu too if you’re very hungry.
We had a taste of the five-course menu and were wowed by the flavour combinations we encountered. For snacks, the stormshell clam from Cloudy Bay, New Zealand had all its briny, sweet and creamy notes amplified with an ethereal splash of rosemary dashi and aerated cream. The starter of steamed green bone, also known as butterfish, had its clean taste contrasted with a piquant green sauce made with parsley, mint, basil, grapeseed oil, and light garnishes of roasted lettuce, lardo and herbs.
For mains, we loved the beef tri-tip grilled to just the right tenderness and bite, married with a carrot and kelp purée, smoky burnt carrots, wood ear mushrooms and a dab of umami tamari sauce.
The best was saved for last. The dessert of pumpkin seed sorbet, bitters meringue and dried mandarin was a melange of creamy, bittersweet, nutty, tangy elements that made for a tantalising end to the meal.
97 Amoy Street. Tel: 62242232
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s November 2017 issue – Happy Hour, ‘Restaurants’