Indra Kantono, co-founder of Jigger & Pony and a 2017 Generation T alumni, reveals that the 130-seat Caffe Fernet is the group’s most ambitious project to date. It was born from a desire to set up a lively restaurant-bar serving sumptuous food paired with exquisite tipples. “We hope to introduce more guests to our hallmark conviviality against a beautiful backdrop,” shares Kantono.
Executive chef David Tang says his life has always revolved around food, and his early memories include watching his grandmother tending a vegetable garden and cooking for the family. His passion led him to study at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, and to work in the kitchens of several Wolfgang Puck restaurants in the US and Dubai, where he honed his culinary philosophy of understanding ingredients first before creating dishes. This belief has guided him in crafting the restaurant’s modern Italian menu, with the help of group executive chef Polo Seah.
Contemporary Italian fare
The menu is rooted in Italian cuisine, but chef Tang gives it an inventive spin that results in light and mouth-watering fare. A savoury example is the classic cacio e pepe: al dente ribbon-shaped pasta mafaldine drenched in olive oil, pecorino, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, and peppercorn sauce. Also worth noting is the chicken piccata, which is juicy, fork-tender, and infused with notes of saffron, capers, and lemon.
Given Jigger & Pony’s experience in the cocktail industry, expect a comprehensive drinks menu, featuring Italian classics such as spritzes and negronis, designed by bar programme director Aki Eguchi. We recommend the refreshing Classic Aperol Spritz, a sundowner perked with Aperol, Prosecco, and soda. Another must-try is the potent Caffe Boulevardier, mixed with Bulleit bourbon, coffee, and Campari.
Caffe Fernet’s location at Customs House affords diners a panoramic waterfront vista that complements its contemporary trattoria design concept. The original structure’s vaulted ceiling and fluted columns were kept to add character and jazzed up with retro lighting, cosy booth seats, tall European-style tables, and, of course, a huge and brightly lit bar stocked with an extensive selection of liqueurs.
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