Home > Fujifilm Klasse W, Italian, Postmodernism, Road Goggles, Soul-capturing Devices > La Barca Restaurant and the Postmodernity of Taste

La Barca Restaurant and the Postmodernity of Taste

La Barca Ristorante & Wine BarLa Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar is the sort of place food reviewers might describe as “a hidden find” “nestled in” Goodman Arts Centre. It is owned and operated by Chef Michele Sorrentino (formerly chef and owner of one Michelin star Antica Trattoria Botteganova in Siena, Italy and General Manager Christopher Tung). La barca translates to “the boat”, hence the suspended boat skeleton. In the evening, the whole restaurant is lit theatrically with only one or two lights on the center of each table, which was a terrific way to put dramatic emphasis on the food but made service difficult – several tables, frustrated that waving hands went unheeded, sat down and procured their own menus or refilled their own water. We had to ask our waitress for the bread basket.

La Tartara di Vittelina da Latte Profumata al Tartufo con Rosso d'Uovo Disidratato (Truffle-scented Milk-fed Veal Tartar), La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar La Parmigiana di Melanzane, Mozzarella e Pesto di basilico (Oven-baked Eggplant, Tomato and Mozzarella, Served with Basil Pesto), La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
Lo Sformatino di Fagiolini Verdi con Pecorino Fuso (Green Bean Flan with Melted Pecorino), La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
Gli Antipasti (Starters) – the truffle-scented milk-fed veal tartar layered with a sheet of dehydrated salted egg yolk was clean-tasting and the shaved truffles were very delicately scented, but the flavours just didn’t seem to manage to come together. The eggplant dish was a safe option but the green bean flan really made beautiful music with the sheep cheese mixture.

Le Tagliatelle con Ragù d'Agnello al Ginepro (Handmade Tagliatelle Pasta with Juniper-scented Lamb Ragù), La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
Le Tagliatelle con Ragù d’Agnello al Ginepro (Handmade Tagliatelle Pasta with Juniper-scented Lamb Ragù) was a nice tummy filler but not terribly inspiring.

Il Controfiletto di Manzo con Salsa di Vino Rosso e Tartufo Estivo e Sformato di Patate (Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce Summer Black Truffles and Potato Flan), La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
Il Filetto di Salmone in Foglia di Lattuga al Vapore con Verdurine (Steamed Salmon Filet Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves Served with Seasonal Vegetables), La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar Il Filetto di Salmone in Foglia di Lattuga al Vapore con Verdurine (Steamed Salmon Filet Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves Served with Seasonal Vegetables)
I secondi (Main Courses) – Il Controfiletto di Manzo con Salsa di Vino Rosso e Tartufo Estivo e Sformato di Patate (Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce Summer Black Truffles and Potato Flan) – unfortunately, you can’t see the steak because it was behind the potato flan and under the shaved truffles. Il Filetto di Salmone in Foglia di Lattuga al Vapore con Verdurine (Steamed Salmon Filet Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves Served with Seasonal Vegetables). These were decent but not memorable.

Il Trancio di Pesce Bianco (secondo mercato) in Crosta di Pane al Forno su Patate Schiacciate, Erba Cipollina e Porri Fritti (Oven-baked Breaded Seasonal Fish Steak Served with Crushed Potatoes, Chives and Fried Leeks).

Il Tortino di Cioccolato Nero con Salsa di Cioccolato Bianco (Warm Dark Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate Sauce) Il Tortino di Mele alla Chiantigiana con Salsa Inglese (Chianti-Style Warm Apple Cake with Vanilla Custard)
Il Semifreddo al Croccantino e Rhum con Salsa di Arancia e Miele (Rum and Hazelnut Praline Parfait with Orange and Honey Sauce)

Il Tortino di Cioccolato Nero con Salsa di Cioccolato Bianco (Warm Dark Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate Sauce), Il Tortino di Mele alla Chiantigiana con Salsa Inglese (Chianti-Style Warm Apple Cake with Vanilla Custard), Il Semifreddo al Croccantino e Rhum con Salsa di Arancia e Miele (Rum and Hazelnut Praline Parfait with Orange and Honey Sauce)

The expectations stemming from the advertisement that the chef had been given a nice star by Michelin, I felt really quite underwhelmed by the meal. Perhaps the good chef has been hampered by the fact that Singapore isn’t Tuscany – almost nothing is grown locally and the deliciousness of virtuous fresh produce is easily lost in transit to the Little Red Dot? Perhaps I was incompetent to appreciate his modern take on Tuscan cuisine?

But if the sort of postmodernism that claims that truth is really a matter of taste is true (surely a contradiction in terms!), then what value has a Michelin star? It must merely be an indication that a bunch of anonymous inspectors liked the food at a certain place at the times they visited. But it means nothing to anyone because only the individual’s own subjective opinion matters.

Alas, the logical conclusion of postmodernism that disclaims any universality of values.

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