Gazetted as a national monument, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall (VTCH) along Empress Place has been beautifully restored. The historically important performing arts venue now offers elegant contemporary functional spaces with old-world charm. As ordinary Singaporeans, we had wondered why the resplendently restored VTCH had no space for a restaurant. It took a bit of time, but 2 years after its re-opening VTCH has added a restaurant – one with Michelin Star pedigree at that. FOO’D by Davide Oldani at Victoria Concert Hall offers a menu conceptualised by celebrity Chef Davide Oldani, chef-owner of the one Michelin-starred D’O in Cornaredo, a municipality in Milan in the Italian region Lombardy.
FOO’D Restaurant Victoria Concert Hall has an elegant dining space. There is no fancy furniture or colourful art pieces. The interior design draws on the architectural elements of the old theatre – high ceiling, beautiful doors, ornate cornices and imposing columns. The restaurant looks plush and spacious. The dining hall is quite open. Booth seats provide some privacy and intimacy; and also add a bit of colour to the place. Wine racks serve as dividers for a semi-private dining room.
Cucina Pop Philosophy
FOO’D Restaurant Victoria Concert Hall is said to be founded on Chef Davide Oldani’s unique brand of Cucina Pop philosophy – providing high quality and accessibility for everyone. In the D’O’s website he explained
“My Cucina POP comes from the desire to blend the essential with the well-made, to create something good that is accessible, to combine tradition with innovation. I am convinced that the greatness of Italian cuisine lies – not only in the variety and flavours – but also because it is open to continuous re-interpretation: I have done this with simplicity, giving importance to each ingredient and having seasonal products and quality as the foundation of my cuisine. On these two cornerstones I have added the principle that guides me in the preparation of each dish: the search for harmony by balancing contrasting elements, which for me means not only the promise of sweetness in something savoury and a “memory” of savoury in something sweet, but also the harmonious co-existence in each dish of elements that stimulate the palate, crisp, soft, hot, cold, sweet, bitter…”
All of these elements come together for a cuisine that is light but flavourful, healthy but varied, simple but surprising.
The Menu at FOO’D by Davide Oldani
The menu of FOO’D by Davide Oldani at Victoria Concert Hall is fairly simple – a few items each of starters, soups, mains and desserts. Currently, set lunch menu is priced at S$45++ for 3 courses and S$52++ for 4 courses and dinner is priced at S$138++ for the 5 course degustation menu and S$168++ for the 7 course menu.
The 5 Course Degustation Menu
The 5 course degustation menu has the starter, soup and primi plus a choice of a main dish and a dessert.
The starter was Foo’d’s signature dish – Caramelised Onion with 20 months aged Grana Padano – where onion halves were baked into a crisp pastry base and topped with Grana Padano Riserva gelato and served with hot Grana Padano Riserva cream cheese. It desereved the star billing. It had a great mix of textures and flavours. The sweetness of caramelised onion plated off the cheese very well. It was really delicious and a very good start to our meal.
The French pea soup, with lemongrass, poached egg and almond flakes, was interesting. The almond added a nice bite to the soup. The dish looked quite photogenic and it did have some personality.
The first course after the soup was risotto with sourdough breadcrumbs, Marsala sauce and Umbrian truffle. The dish looked interesting and there was a generous amount of black truffle. Overall, it was not a dish that was memorable.
For the mains, we opted for the Lobster and Suckling Pig. The food was very nicely plated in the Italian small portion size.
The lobster with coconut sauce and roasted celeriac was nice but it did not excite our senses. The Spanish suckling pig was more impressive. The skin was really crispy and the meat was tender. It was a fairly simple but enjoyable dish.
There were only 2 items of desserts available and so we had one of each. The desserts were really a treat for the eyes – colourful and pretty.
The faux apple with cinnamon and mascarpone looked very interesting. You have to break it up to enjoy the different layers. The lemon curd, meringue, lettuce ice cream and cocoa crumble was a very enjoyable dessert. We never thought we would like ice cream made of lettuce but we did. The mix of the simple elements produced a nice harmony. It was not just a photogenic dessert; it was a dish of beauty which we savored slowly and thoroughly enjoyed.
FOO’D Restaurant Victoria Concert Hall has great ambience and the service was friendly and professional. The dishes were interesting and the presentation was stylish. The mains were nice but not outstanding. However, our meal had a great start and great finish in the delicious Caramelised Onion and the delightful Lemon Curd dessert.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
FOO’D by Davide Oldani at Victoria Concert Hall
11 Empress Place, #01-01
Tel: +65 63855588
Mon-Fri: 12:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 23:00
Sat: 12:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 23:30
Nearby MRT Stations : Raffles Place, City Hall