What do Britney Spears, KISS and The Drawing Room have in common? They've all had comeback tours. Following a quick revamp, The Drawing Room is making a return to the space previously occupied by Vasco in PMQ. Set to open on the first of June, the Italian restaurant, headed by Chef Gabriele Milani, will be bringing back classic favourites such as Italian red prawn linguine, and grilled quail with foie gras as well as new innovations ranging from burrata with marinated red prawns, to spaghetti with sea urchin and bottarga.
There are two tasting menus and an extensive wine list to choose from. One menu focuses on the restaurant's classic signature dishes, while the other centres around seasonal flavours.
The Drawing Room takes its name seriously, serving also as an art gallery with rotating exhibits in collaboration with art organisations. During the soft opening period, the restaurant has partnered with Cat Street Gallery to feature the colourful imagery of English pop artist Sir Peter Blake. There's even coloured pencils and paper on each plate for guests to exhibit their own artistic flourishes.
For our media preview, we indulged in dishes from both the classic and seasonal menu. To start, there was a choice of grilled quail with foie gras mousse or creamy burrata with raw tomato juice and marinated Italian red prawn. The grilled quail is a classic favourite, although updated with a lighter foie gras mousse instead of the original seared variety. The burrata was dreamily creamy and paired beautifully with the subtle sweetness of the sun-ripened tomato. The red prawn, served raw, matched the burrata in creaminess and had a clean, sweet finish.
The red prawn linguine with fresh tomato and chilli is a Drawing Room classic. The rich oil from the prawn head accented the pasta with incredible umami notes.
Made with al dente spaghetti Mancini, which hails from a small artisanal producer in central Italy, the sea urchin and bottarga pasta is a delicious contrast play between sweet and savoury flavours. The creamy sweetness of the Hokkaido sea urchin was the perfect balance for the briny savouriness of the dried cod roe, with each bite bursting with umami gooeyness.
It's all about beef for our main course. The roasted black Angus tenderloin with cubes of ox tongue was paired with irresistibly creamy mashed potato. Each bite of beef was buttery and gloriously juicy.
We are usually not fans of bread pudding to round off a meal due to its excessive heaviness, but the warm caramelised brioche with vanilla ice cream was addictively fluffy and light. We could have had seconds and thirds of this!
Verdict: A delicious homecoming. We enjoyed both the seasonal and classic menu highlights, although prices make this restaurant more of a special occasions venue. The tasting menu is priced at $798 for four courses, or $998 for five courses.
The Drawing Room, 7/F, Block B of PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2156 0888