The newly-relocated Basque Kitchen by Aitor is a destination dining venue that invites diners on a journey to experience reinvented Basque cuisine elevated by a definitive twist.
Age-old recipes reinterpreted by modern culinary techniques combine with a focus on produce to showcase Chef Aitor’s heritage in every dish.
Born in Madrid, raised in Australia with family ties rooted in Basque Country, Chef Aitor has what most people would call a diverse background. Nevertheless, it is his culinary achievements that catch the eye. After years working in some of the world’s best restaurants, like Mugaritz in Spain, The Fat Duck in London and Iggy’s in Singapore, Chef Aitor comes into his own at Basque Kitchen by Aitor, presenting diners a slice of his heritage with every dish.
UNA finds a new home on the second level of the newly-relaunched Alkaff Mansion. A rich patina of romance washes over the restaurant, from the lovingly restored ebony-hued timbers of the pitched ceiling and floors; to the gorgeous, contemporary lighting feature showering down like silver and crystal rain; to the extraordinary view like a tropical mirror of the rolling green hills of the Basque country.
The floor plan centres on a spacious dining hall, with 2 private rooms easily created through sliding glass panels if privacy calls. Adjacent to the main hall is the UNA bar and dining porch, where an aperitivo can be sipped while taking in the view before or after dinner.
UNA is a homage to the art of gastronomy and living well. Its Spanish roots are wedded to the dynamic individualism of Basque cuisine, resulting in a menu of Basque-inspired dishes and popular favourites from the former establishment crafted using the best produce sourced locally as well as from the Basque and Spanish regions.
Among the signatures are Fideua De Calamares (squid ink Spanish noodles paella with crispy calamari), Pulpo A La Parrilla Con Papas Arrugadas Y Mojo (tender octopus grilled over a charcoal fired parrilla grill accompanied with baby potatoes and a coriander and paprika sauce).
There is also the rich and comforting Paella De Chorizo Y Habitas (classic family-style paella slow cooked with savoury chorizo, fava beans and aromatic saffron), Paella de Mariscon (classic seafood paella with bomba rice, prawns, clams and mussels, enriched with generous touches of saffron) and the evergreen Cochinillo Asado (Spanish crispy roasted suckling pig).
The desserts present decadent Spanish sweets such as Chocolate & Olives, Arroz con Leche de la Abuela (a fragrant Spanish rice pudding served with sherry grapes and a sherry reduction) and Classic Churros, served with spicy pecan chocolate sauce.
At UNA Bar & Lounge, a selection of tea infusion cocktails complements the food.
Living life with gusto, UNA takes diners into the romantic heart of the Basque.
Nothing manifests Basque vibrance like pintxo culture with its air of hedonistic, after-hours revelry. Located on the ground level of newly-relaunched Alkaff Mansion, TXA Pintxo Bar is the first and only bar in Singapore singularly dedicated to this experience. The letter combination ‘Txa’ is unique to the Basque language, forming the sound ‘cha’ which incidentally occurs in Hokkien to mean ‘noisy’, and in Cuban inspiring the dance cha-cha.
Pintxos (pronounced pin-chos) are small snacks served in bars to accompany drinks; and the bar-hopping culture this engenders is also referred to as pintxos. To eat at TXA is to be immersed in the uninhibited buzz of a pintxo bar in the Basque country. It is loud, fun and authentic.
The pintxos are made under the joint expertise of The Alkaff Mansion’s culinary team which include Basque chefs Marta Elvira Segalés and Silvana Pascual Romero, and served ‘al momento’ (of the the moment), in line with current trends sweeping Basque pintxo bars at the moment. Much produce issourced from Basque regions and is exclusive to TXA.
Drinks include Spanish beers, wines and ciders. At the bar is a selection of signature cocktails based on wine, designed to complement the flavours of the pintxos, such as the Tinto de Pintxos created with red wine, pisco, and sweet vermouth as well as The Mansion created with brandy, Grand Marnier, cherry liqueur, and angostura bitters.
The lure of the pintxo culture really gets under one’s skin at TXA; and a stream of Basque-related activities aims to get people even closer.
Free-wheeling TXA is the vibrant soul of the Basques.
A culture needs a home and a proper theatre. The house on the hill, with its beauty and mantle of history, was ideal. The Alkaff Mansion is today a multi-concept Food & Beverage destination housing the Basque-centred TXA Pintxo Bar and UNA, while also housing all-day floral café Wildseed Café – each distinct and embodying a different character.
Restored and relaunched, Alkaff Mansion has become the centre of Basque culture and lifestyle. The greenery and hills, the visible coastline, echo the Basque homeland; the history and architecture, the centrality of food and social life, further the parallels.
The Alkaff Mansion celebrates, indeed flaunts, all things Basque: capturing its verve and heart; showcasing its produce, cuisine and wine. It does this in truest authenticity through a profound partnership with Basqvium, keeper, curator and tireless advocate of Basque cuisine and culture both in and outside Spain. Hand-in-hand with Basqvium through the shared platform of Basque Culinary Institute, 1-Group unites key facets of the essential Basque to create The Alkaff Mansion.
The deep synergy reflects into the experience in multiple ways, seen and unseen: through the rare Basque wine and spirits served in-house, the exclusive Basque produce and authentic Basque flavours, all the way to the Basque members within the team. The cuisine especially benefits from the inclusion of Basque chefs, Marta Elvira Segalés and Silvana Pascual Romero, into 1-Group’s own Spanish Cuisine Development Team which also comprises 1-Group’s talents such as Head Chef Tom Kung of UNA. Day to day, these key members of this development team also take personal care of kitchen operations at The Alkaff Mansion, so that research and theory becomes real; materialising in plate after plate of Basque cuisine on the plate of The Alkaff Mansion diners.
Seated on its hilltop, the Alkaff Mansion has witnessed the passage of time for a hundred years. This 2-storey Tudor-style building was built in 1918 by a member of the prominent Arab family, the Alkaffs.
In 2005, the Alkaff Mansion was accorded conservation building status by the URA, ensuring its key architectural features would be preserved for posterity. Following a number of years when it was left vacant, the mansion was again restored in 2011 to become an Italian restaurant until 2016. The second makeover cost another S$5 million.
Basque Country is a region that straddles the westernmost Pyrenees in adjacent parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.
Welcome to Basque Kitchen by Aitor where Chef Aitor presents a slice of his heritage. Expect reinterpreted Basque dishes that reflect Chef Aitor’s personality, in warm and welcoming surroundings, with Spanish wines aplenty.
The name 9999.9 or FIVE NINES refers to the finest form of refined gold, a fitting moniker considering its aim to provide gold standards of service, presentation and ingredients, all at prices that won’t leave a smoking hole in your wallet.
Taking seasonal flavors and techniques from around the continent of Europe. FIVE NINES mixes carefully selected wines and fine dining at casual price.