The Alkaff Mansion
Comforting Basque cuisine and pincho bar in a century-old heritage home
Old and new intertwine at the restored Alkaff Mansion. The conservation building is now home to multiple concepts, under management by 1-Group. The Alkaff Mansion of today is home to three concepts—Txa Pintxo Bar (a new Basque pincho concept by 1-Group), Una (Spanish restaurant formerly at One Rochester) and Wildseed Cafe (the same pet-friendly cafe from Summerhouse).
The hype: Old and new intertwine at the restored Alkaff Mansion. Most recently an Italian restaurant before it shuttered back in 2016, the conservation building is now home to multiple concepts, under new management by 1-Group.
The vibe: Nestled atop a small hill in the lush greenery of Telok Blangah, Alkaff Mansion feels miles away from the bustle of Singapore, and trapped in a golden moment in time. Allow the surrounds to take you over, slowing your mind’s pace as you climb up its grand stairway and onto the spacious Tudor-style compound. It’s a treat just to step in here.
The food: The Alkaff Mansion of today is home to three concepts—Txa Pintxo Bar (a new Basque pincho concept by 1-Group), Una (Spanish restaurant formerly at One Rochester) and Wildseed Cafe (the same pet-friendly cafe concept from Summerhouse).
On the first floor is Txa Pintxo Bar (pronounced cha pincho bar), the first one of its kind here. Helmed by real Basque chefs, they bring an authentic touch to Txa that’s impossible to recreate otherwise. Have well-thought-out pinchos made fresh upon order here, paired appropriately with Spanish wine, beers, cocktails and even Basque cider.
Of the many pinchos available, a few stand out. The Pintxo Igeldo ($6.90) has Basque Country-sourced tuna, confit tomatoes, generous anchovies and pickled peppers all overflowing on a piece of bread, resulting in a deeply satisfying harmony of savoury, sour and spicy flavours in one. Don’t miss out on the roquefort cream cheese ($4.90) and flower crab ($14) pinchos too. And from the small plates menu, Jamon Iberico de Bellota ($10/10g) carved right in front of you await.
Up on the second level you’ll find Una, 1-Group’s Spanish restaurant now revived in a new compound. Expect a stronger Basque influence here than before, though Spanish classics like paella and churros remain. Try the noodles paella dish Fideua De Calamares ($20), where fideos pasta is cooked with squid ink and sofrito sauce and served with crispy calamari. The socarrat layer is crispier yet more chewy than the ones we usually get from rice.
If not, you can’t go wrong with the Paella De Chorizo Y Habitas ($46 small, $66 large), a Spanish chorizo bomba rice paella made using a homemade seafood stock and topped with fava beans and aioli. The flavours are deep and rich, and thoroughly satisfying. For meats, have the Txuleta ($180/kg) served with piquillo pepper sauce. The dish uses younger wagyu cuts instead of the usual old cows found in Basque, so expect the steak to be more tender and marbled, less funky and layered.
The drinks: Whatever you fancy, there’s probably something that suits you. From the signature cocktails, try the Tinto de Pintxos, where rum, red wine, orange juice and syrup combine into a refreshing and substantial, good first drink. Or pick from their selection of fruity wine concoctions, each a punchier take on the sangria we know and love. All cocktails are priced at $18, save for the classics that set you back just $15.
There’s Estrella ($15/pint) beer on tap too, plus a good selection of Spanish wines. But for a truly unique experience, Alkaff Mansion is one of the only few places in Singapore to get your hands on some Basque cider. Get a bottle of Zapiain Sidra Natural, that’s dry, light and fizzy from natural fermentation the same way kombucha is. They serve it the traditional way—poured long from height.
Why you’ll be back: The 1-Group has a knack for taking over conserved buildings here and turning them into amazing concepts; think The Summerhouse and The Garage. The Alkaff Mansion is a great addition to that list, perfect for both a buzzing evening at Txa downstairs, or a quieter sit-down at Una upstairs.