The Alkaff Mansion’s history goes back to 1918, when the grand, two-story bungalow was built on the hilltop by a prominent Arab family whose name the place retains. Holding its conservation building status since 2005, the place was occupied in 2011 by an Italian eatery after being left vacant for years. But in 2016, it was empty again, and soon went through restoration works, reopening recently under the new management of 1-Group (they helm brands like 1-Altitude, Monti, and The Summerhouse).
Now a multi-concept space housing a Basque-inspired restaurant and bar, as well as an outpost of Wildseed Cafe, the mansion is a Spanish sanctuary surrounded by greenery and views of the nearby coastline. From Basque produce to rare Basque wines and spirits, Alkaff salutes all things Basque in its own elegant way, bringing a charming element to the experience with its refined interiors.
On the ground level, Txa (prounounced “cha”) is hailed as the country’s first and only pintxos bar, and the vibe here is one of riotous fun, with a selection of Spanish wines, beers, and ciders to get you buzzing. Wine-based cocktails ($18) like the Tinto de Pintxos (red wine, rum, orange juice) and The Mansion (brandy, Grand Marnier, cherry liqueur, angostura biters) are available, too.
If you’re more of an outdoors person, find a perch at the alfresco area and nibble on small plates such as fried padron pepper ($12), Jamon Iberico croquetas ($14), or churros in spicy pecan chocolate sauce ($7.90). Otherwise, bask in the lively ambience indoors with pintxos like smoked cod roe on Iberico cracker ($5) prepped on the spot.
Upstairs, the atmosphere turns romantic at Una’s new home. Formerly from One Rochester, the rebranded restaurant’s fresh look is rustic yet modern, featuring a main hall, two private rooms, and a dining porch for pre- or post-dinner drinks with a view.
Just like its elevated space, the price tags here are higher than Txa’s, with small plates that start from $10 and go up to $40 for 36 month-cured Jamon Iberico with toasted bread and tomato. If you’d like a pan of paella to share, you can choose from options such as squid ink with cuttlefish and clam ($52-$72), oxtail ($52-$72), or chorizo with fava beans and saffron ($46-$66).
For a meaty interlude, the grill fires up lamb rack chop ($45) and wagyu rump ($50), while a platter of roasted suckling pig ($42) comes with corn purée and crispy parsnips. To end sweet, the Spanish rice pudding ($16) is served with sherry grapes, and the caramel flan ($16) comes with strawberry and citrus.
Finally, those who pop by for a casual hangout can find a seat at Wildseed Cafe’s courtyard space for weekend brunches, pastries, cakes, and coffee by Avanti. The family-friendly spot also offers a play area for little ones, and has plans to host pet-friendly activities and kids’ workshops on the regular.
The Alkaff Mansion is at 10 Telok Blangah Green.
6773-0070. TXA Pintxo Bar: Tues-Sun 5pm-11pm; Una: Wed-Sun 6pm-10:30pm; Wildseed Cafe: Daily 8am-5pm.
MRT: Telok Blangah/Redhill
This article, The Alkaff Mansion’s Spanish makeover is a toast to all things Basque with its 3 dining concepts, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!