Ice Wine Lunch @ Black Sheep Cafe

Black Sheep Cafe

12th February 2011. Written and photographed by Xin Li & Mu Yao.
When we came back from Japan last December, we helped a friend to purchase two bottles of Inniskillin Ice Wine (Gold Reserve, Vidal, 2007, Canada). With such good wine, it would be a pity not to pair it with good food so I suggested to my friend that we have an ice wine lunch at Black Sheep Café which took place on the 12th of February with the company of Astley (the ice wine sponsor), Ying Yi (my travel buddy), Wei Xiang (a foodie friend of mine), Mu Yao and Min Zhe.

Black Sheep Cafe - Inniskillin Ice Wine

Being a regular patron of Black Sheep Café, Chef Ratha was kind enough to devise a special 3-course menu to go with the ice wine, a bottle of Inniskillin Ice Wine (Gold Reserve, Vidal, 2007, Canada). The ice wine has a pleasant honey-like flavor. It was very sweet and seemed to be an excellent dessert wine.

“Wine-wise, I totally fell in love with the ice-wine. Its intensely sweet, and because I like sweet stuff, I couldn't help it. Its lovely like Ribena. But evaluating the wine alone, there wasn't much of a body to speak of nor was the taste nuanced. ” - Mu Yao

Black Sheep Cafe - Savory Cup

Our first item was a Savory Cup with duck, fresh herbs and plums. Served in a kueh pie tee cup, I rather enjoyed this special appetizer, the kueh pie tee cup gives the appetizer the crunch and the tender slices of duck went well with the herbs and sweet plums. It was described by Chef Ratha as a mini version of the Duck Confit.

Black Sheep Cafe - Savory Cup

Mu Yao:
"This amuse-bouche was quite a delight - a wholesome medley of flavour melting together in the fresh, fruity and intense sweetness of the strawberries and savoury, rich flavour of the duck. The textures of this appetiser was an excellent combination of crunch and punch, the cracker like "pie tie" wafer crumbling in the wondrous juices of its contents. Melt in your mouth yumminess!"

Black Sheep Cafe - Baked Chicken

Besides the usual Duck Confit and Sheep Shank, Chef Ratha decides to try something new a chicken dish. For the Baked Chicken, he used lup cheong and leeks as part of the ingredients. The chicken meat was tender and the goes pretty well with the savory bits of lup cheong. The sauce was tantalizing. My friend however felt that the downside of the chicken dish is that the chicken could do with more sauce. Otherwise, it was a nicely executed dish.

Black Sheep Cafe - Braised Beef Cheeks

Mu Yao had the Braised Beef Cheeks, a popular dish of Black Sheep Café after the Sheep Shank and Duck Confit:

"The braised beef cheeks were very, very outstanding. I had always imagined that it would be really really tough, but I guess the braising broke the meat down into a brisket-like texture, soft, collagen-rich tenderness that melted into my mouth with the full-flavoured, rich sauce that accompanied it. I've personally never had eaten beef cheeks before, and this was a very pleasant and surprising first time. Loved it! The evident detail to texture in food was very apparent in this dish. And kudos to the well whipped/mashed potatoes and greens that came with this dish, for the sweetness of the fresh veg complemented the saltiness of the game well. "

Black Sheep Cafe

The mains were being paired with a bottle of Les Chemins du Medoc 2005, a rather rich red wine with fragrant aroma of blackcurrants.

Black Sheep Cafe - Lemon Sorbet with Mango

The last item was the dessert, a Lemon Sorbet served with fresh mangoes. The sourish, fruity and light lemon sorbet goes extremely well with the sweet ice wine. The pair is simply divine.

“The sorbet was a hit-miss thing I guess. Perhaps i'm not too big a fan of sorbet - it just tasted nice. Nothing more, nor outstanding. “ - Mu Yao

Black Sheep Cafe - Baked Chicken

We also have a brief talk with Chef Ratha, one of the qualities in food that he sees as highly important is texture and how it affects the experience of consuming a food. It is similar to painting as well. I also got to know that the restaurant was fully booked for dinner on Valentines Day, glad to know that they seemed to be doing well.

Black Sheep Cafe

35 Mayo Street
(Opp Sim Lim Tower)

Contact Numbers:
6292 5772

Open Monday to Saturday
Lunch : 11.30 - 03.00 pm
Dinner : 06.30 - 11.00 pm


  1. You're very lucky to be able to drink Inniskillin Ice Wine! One bottle of it is not cheap in S'pore. It is one of my top favourite wine. haha. The braised beef cheeks and baked chicken looks really yummy! I MUST realy really go back. Arghh.

  2. I love Inniskillin Ice Wine. haha. Too bad its too expensive here. :( I can only settle for Moscato. lol

  3. yea the wine is heavenly indeed. Should have bought it on the Jetstar plane! Cost only 75 bucks there. On the other hand, it isn't good to have the good stuff all the time, makes it more precious heh.



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