The latest addition to the Bonta Group's District 10 brand is located on the street level of the newly-revamped Tower Two of Suntec City. While the 1,800 square-foot restaurant is tiny compared to her sisters in other locations, the cozy 30-seater restaurant features something that the other places do not have - a delicious selection of dry-aged meat with a S$20,000 European meat showcase and chiller.
If you work in the City Hall area, District 10 has a pretty cool alfresco seating area for drinks and small bites - I particularly like the use of real plants and the people-watching vibe here. As mentioned previously, the actual seating area is quite small so it is best to make your dining reservations way before hand to avoid any disappointments.
The first thing you will probably notice as you walk through the doors of District 10 at Suntec City is probably the European Meat Showcase and Chiller - we hear this little fridge costed approximately S$20,000! Dry-aging of meats originates from a common practice in non-tropical regions which not only controls wastage (since you only remove what you wish to cook) but more importantly, improves the natural flavours of the aged-meat. The connective tissues within the meat are softened and broken down by the enzymes which in turn leads to a more tender meat.
We started the dinner off with a couple of appetisers. First up was the Butter Lettuce Salad with Pancetta, Hazelnut, Gorgonzola and Egg (S$20++) which is really quite a simple dish. While I do love pancetta generally, I thought that the presentation of the dish could be better improved - for instance, a darker slate plate or a bowl would have been more appropriate but that's just me.
The second appetiser I sampled was the Vitello Tonnato, Thinly Sliced Roasted Veal Loin with Light Tuna Sauce (S$24++) which I thought was special and pretty good! Firstly, while I was there, San Marzano tomatoes were used and that's always a plus (at least for me!). The tuna sauce which sounds a little strange at first was delightful and it complemented the roasted veal loins really well. I also liked that the capers were there to provide some texture and dimension to the overall dish. This is definitely the appetiser to go for if you are here at District 10 Suntec City!
The third and final appetiser I tried was the Puglia Burratina with Organic Cherry Tomato-basil Bruschetta (S$26++). While I do absolutely adore the smoked burrata from Basilico (Regent Singapore), this dish fell short of (personal) expectations. Perhaps I was expecting too much - this isn't an Italian restaurant after all - but I thought that the dish was the least attractive amongst everything that I have tasted that night. Personally, it felt like a dish that is pieced together with ready components and it just didn't stand out to me at all. If you're looking for an appetiser, go for the veal loin - that's a clear winner.
The star of the night and one that I will definitely go back for is the 45 days Dry Aged Corn-fed Traditional Fiorentina Steak (S$22++ per 100g). A deliciously grilled piece of steak seasoned with simple ingredients - salt, pepper, herbs and EVOO - that is bursting with flavours. We were told that Asian-diners generally prefer the Florentina Steak to the OP Rib as it is easier to eat - less effort to chew on! If you visit District 10 at Suntec City, you have to give this dish a try - a minimum weight applies to the dry-aged meats so be sure to come with friends or you'll end up eating too much (not that it is a bad thing in this situation though!).
Oh and while you shouldn't ask for any sauce to go with the beef, a pinch of Chef Luca's salt will really bring out the flavours in the meat - be sure to ask for it!
We sampled three different desserts at District 10 Suntec City. While I am generally not a dessert person (unless it's a Tiramisu with extra dark rum), one of the dishes really packed a punch (in a good way!). First off, the Profiterole filled with Chestnut, served with Warm Chocolate Sauce (S$18++) were soft and fluffy but honestly, nothing much to go excited for.
I did enjoy the Bitter Chocolate Marshmallow Fluff with Caramelized Banana (S$14++) as it reminded me of a massive smore (an excellent campfire treat!).
The one dessert that really took me by surprise was this unassuming-looking Double Espresso Panna Cotta with Vanilla Sauce (S$12++). Firstly the panna cotta checked all the right boxes - the hold was good and the consistency was impressive. Secondly, that burst of espresso flavour (with a slight bitterness) was truly a memorable one. I may not be a dessert-lover but this one is definitely one that I can eat on a regular basis.