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Best Italian Restaurant on Club Street: Cenzo

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Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Boozy Traveling Foodie Extraordinaire

Chef Drew Nocente opens the exquisite CENZO Italian Restaurant on Club Street

CENZO and SALTED & HUNG: Jump To

Cenzo is a modern Italian restaurant located in Singapore, specifically in the Club Street area. The name “Cenzo” comes from Vincenzo, which means “Conqueror.” They offer a diverse menu with items such as Italian flatbread with cured pork fat and truffle, insalata ricotta, and various other Italian dishes.

Cenzo has received positive reviews for its food and dining experience, and it’s known for its friendly and inviting atmosphere. Pop down and see Chef Drew, such a lovely guy, and crew – and say hi from Islifearecipe.net.

What does CENZO Italian Restaurant have to say about themselves?

CENZO Comes From Vincenzo, Which Means “Conqueror”.
Paying tribute to his Italian roots has always been at the forefront of Australian Chef Drew Nocente’s culinary direction.

The other significance of the name comes from Drew’s father, Vincenzo, who first taught him the mastery of charcuterie and the importance of respecting produce on their family farm in Australia.

Cenzo was created out of Drew’s desire to cook out of passion by tapping into his heritage whilst giving a modern Aussie vibe to it, a mix of tradition and modernity.

The Chef: Drew Nocente

Drew Nocente is not new to the restaurant scene in Singapore, where in the last 6 years, led a minimal-waste concept restaurant, “Salted & Hung”.

Growing up on a farm in Queensland, Australia, Drew has a deep respect for produce, farmers, and the arduous task of bringing something from farm to market. Seeing his father hands-on approach inspired in him a way of conscious cooking.

Drew’s vision for CENZO is a place where everyone who steps in through the doors become friends and all are invited to celebrate life through good food.

CENZO Italian Restaurant: new plates

Photos courtesy of CENZO Facebook site…
salted & hung cenzo

Cenzo Whipped Ricotta, Pears, Tomato.

This is a Flavour bomb!!!

salted & hung cenzo

CENZO Conchiglie

A fun little pasta shaped like a conch shell, with roasted pumpkin, burnt butter, sage, and pine nuts.
salted & hung cenzo

Anchovies in toast

How good does that look?

salted & hung cenzo

Beef Tartare with Smoked Ketchup & Shallots.

I am going to be all over this one in a BIG way!!!

salted & hung cenzo

CENZO Smorgasbord

I have to get into this type of CENZO table laden with delicious plates for a good feed. 

CENZO @ Club Street Menu 2023

What are the address and contact details for CENZO?

Address: 81 Club Street, Singapore 

Telephone: 9155 8374

Instagram; cenzo.sg

WebSite; cenzo.com.sg

The (2022) Salted & Hung update is solemn, due to the announcement of permanent closure from Chef Drew

Closed

This is what Chef Drew announced..

“It’s been a wild ride these past six years and I’ve loved every minute of it! I forged not only memories but friendships, laughter will always echo these walls.

We are thankful for your unyielding support till this very day. I am so proud of what we have achieved.

My team has constantly shown dedication to the craft & they will continue to do so in their future endeavors. I have watched my team grow not only in their careers but as people whom I know will go on to do great things.

To our dear friends, our gratitude to you all is immeasurable. From when we first launched Nose to Tail till today, having evolved to our Zero Waste philosophy, I am so glad to have been able to share this journey with you. It is never goodbye, we’ll meet again soon!”

Salted & Hung Review

We just love his philosophy of Salted & Hung

The philosophy of minimal waste Salted & Hung is a contemporary Australian restaurant conceptualised with minimal waste in mind. At the core of our menu is the creative use of forgotten parts, from skin to bone, protein to innards. Coupled with elements of smoking, curing, pickling and grilling, we aim to showcase the beauty and functionality of the forgotten whilst building a sustainable kitchen.​

Prior to 2022 we visited Chef Drew & crew quite frequently at Salted & Hung

Salted & Hung Review, Our Best Lunch ever & it was my Birthday...

Birthdays now just sort of blend into each other and you just become really happy you’re actually having another one. So I booked a few days off work to enjoy this super long weekend of wedding anniversary and birthday.

The family asked me where I’d like to celebrate my day over a family lunch and I chose our mate Chef Drew @ Salted & Hung. We’ve been there quite a few times, with the last time being wifey and me when I was made redundant and had some paid time off and wrote a restaurant review series of #workisover-rated lunch with wifey. Remember them?

salted and hung menu
salted and hung review

Thanks to my ever-loving Wifey and family for making this such a lovely day for me. Of course, they benefit too haha. A beautiful day organised by my beautiful wifey. Thank you, my love

So nice of Chef Drew to get some beer mats made just because he knew I was coming in today… (yes I can dream…)

salted & hung

I do need to apologise for some fuzzy photos. These are not the best ever taken on the old iPhone. Anyways here is the happy family and the old man (me that is not Chef) with Chef Drew about to be excited, WOW’d, shocked and delighted… The suspense is killing me!

We also then got to see him at the special event up the top of Marina Bay Sands that he and the likes of Chef David Pynt were invited to cook at. Remember that event?

I am going to call this out now. We all sat mesmerized during service as more and more plates of the most incredible looking, smelling, tasting food hit us, literally right in front of our eyes. The Chef Table seating was incredible fun for a foodie.

Salted & Hung Menu

We were all gazing over the counter at Chef Drew and the Salted & Hung Crew, artisans of their trade crafting this amazing smorgasbord for us. It felt like we were on the same team, but we were lucky ones just eating and drinking that day. During this lunch wifey and I, and the 18, 12, and 6-year-old all of whom are a mixed bunch as you know with English, Filipino, and Japanese influences ALL concluded that this was to date.

The variety is just out there. The quality of the ingenuity, pairings, ingredients, produce, plating, and flavours are just up there at the very top of anyone’s game we reckon. The Salted & Hung staff are just lovely. The experience is uber cool, especially if you sit at the ‘Chef’s Bar’ and watch the action unfold in front of your eyes (as we did today).

Nothing is hidden. This is FOOD THEATRE and I love theatre.

When wifey and I came a year ago it was when Chef Drew had just decided to have a change in his style and his menu direction. He openly admitted he wanted to change it and grow up. That included the style of the restaurant, so gone were the cartoons of pigs and George Orwell’s quotations to the plain urban warehouse walls and minimalistic style of today. Some beautiful art now adorns the walls, and if you look closely as you tuck into your dessert you may put two and two together with regards to the origins of the art.

He also discussed that the menu needed to change, and that absolutely took a major step up a year ago, and yet again for today. He is now in a much happier place with his food as he’ll self-admittedly discuss and it comes across in the food. Chef Drew surely has a new spring in his step, and not just because of the beautiful kangaroo dish he is serving these days on his Feed Me tasting menu…

But then Covid19 came into the mix. How do you manage with home deliveries only when your menu is based on some of the most exquisite plating? It is quite incredible to see how Chef Drew has managed that as he now has four options, yes folks FOUR… He even has one concept that I adore and have contemplated myself for our ideas for the Philippines – Hobson’s Choice, as in there is no choice, or as Chef Drew calls it Feed Me;

Weekdays – Tasting Menu only… – 8 or 10-course options

Weekends – Tasting Menu + Al La Carte – this was us today…

Deliveries of ‘comfort food’ – be sure to order the Pastrami sandwich & uni panna cotta

Deli Deliveries of his cured meats, home-made sausages, smoked bacon etc – I placed an order immediately after we left

And so we had our hellos, and catch-up chit chats about all the above and then got into the serious business of absorbing that new menu and making the hardest decisions we would make today. What to eat!

Salted & hung birthday card

Everything is just uber cool including the wax-sealed menus and in this case wax-sealed birthday cards from Chef Drew and the Salted & Hung Crew. Bless you, guys, thank you…

Salted & Hung Menu
salted hung chef with uni Best Italian Restaurant on Club Street: Cenzo

“Is that a loaded gun in your pocket, or…” I kid you not Chef takes out a container and throws this bad boy on the table. I then have to decide which dishes we’re going truffle heavy on – or black gold as Chef calls it.

I kid you not he pulls this out before the first dish arrived, and then you kind of know what the rest of lunch is going to be like. I am in HEAVEN!!! Such a good choice for lunch!!!

More decadence came next from the Sous Chef and fellow Boily Eyelash fan (like Strawberry Blonde) plating the AMAZING sounding UNI & SOY PANNA COTTA …

Salted & Hung Menu

It was so nice of Chef to get some beer mats made just because he knew I was coming in today… (yes I can dream…)

Time to get to the food on that Salted & Hung Menu...

Salted & Hung Menu 2023
salted and hung menu 2023

Check out the plating of this beautiful seaside dish – just need a couple of seagulls and I’d feel like I’m back in Margate. Sadly I can eat this (you know me), but I can inform you it smells of the sea. Not fishy, it smells of the ocean.

It’s a panna cotta made with homemade fish soy, some crispy seaweed, pickles, heaps of fresh Uni, and so on. Both Wifey & #1 were speechless for a few minutes before they then started gabbing about how absolutely amazing it was.

Wifey’s verdict was that it was unique, and a perfect combination, the best dish ever. This was the ‘UNI & SOY PANNA COTTA

I bet you $1000 you’d never ever guess what this is. Very much to Chef Drew’s ‘nose to tail’ philosophy. It’s a beautiful dish which again amazes your eyes when you find out what it is. You bite into it and are completely confused by the almost deep-fried chicken skin consistency (#1’s very accurate observation) and superb crunch. Then you get the spices kicking in and the fried fresh herb leaves, and then a dip in the Sicilian pepper and eggplant sauce that accompanies this dish. It’s a big WOW for this dish.

An even bigger WOW when you realise that this is actually tripe. Would you have ever guessed that?

This is ‘SALT & PEPPER TRIPE’ – Szechuan Pepper & Caponata

Salted & Hung Menu

Black Gold ain’t cheap and needs to be charged out accordingly by the slice. This is for some for a forthcoming dish, the raw scallop. But wait for the rib, gay abandon on that with the truffle with Chef sort of saying; “tell me when to stop”. I think I may have dozed off for a bit when he said that…

Salted & Hung Closed
salted and hung menu 2023

How can you not love dry ice? But what is that white stuff that Chef is plating with? How about Chili Granita. Wow! Yes indeed, it is an icy-cold dessert made from chili on top of this rather complex tasting dish.

This dish was incredible. As it was raw I had a little dig into this too. Chilli pop rocks are going off in your mouth and then all these other flavours and textures hit you in succession. It’s just food genius… An incredible plate and a wonderful dish all up. Wow!

This is just stunning, this is ‘TREASURES OF THE SEA’ – raw scallops, caviar, yuzu Sake & chilli Granita

salted & hung review 2023
salted & hung menu 2023

What a charcuterie. Yummo, glistening cured meats and back-fat. This is what you can get for your home delivery too… Well, check what is available 1st hey.

This is ‘WAGYU BRESAOLA’ – 9+ Australian Wagyu Coppa, ‘SAKURA PORK COLLOR’, & ‘LARDO’ -cured back fat, truffle honey

Oh my goodness. Just when we were. getting steaked out this beauty arrives. Just have a look at that. A stunning piece of meat perfectly cooked pink2pink. Intensely flavourful and accompanied with a sauce to die for, so very unctuous because of the bone marrow. Wow, this was so very good.

This is ‘MEAT, BONE & FIRE’ – Wagyu tri-tip, bone marrow & ash

salted & hung menu 2023
salted & hung menu 2023

We decided to have 2 desserts to tackle. I wonder if this dish could be some artwork adorning the wall? A stunner of a plate and what a complex mix-match of flavours and textures again.

Sour and sweet, soft and crunchy. Amaze-balls. This is ‘BRAMBLE PATCH’ – strawberry, mochi & meringue

Food coma is not far away… zzzzzz… sleep… need a laydown… hold on a minute though as the steak comes with the infamous Salted & Hung mashed potato. Eh, what? That’s a mashed potato? Looks like no mashed potato I have ever seen.

If you want the best-mashed potato you’re likely to ever eat, just get stuck into this. It’s liquid gold. Yes, you do get black lips and tongue, almost like you have been. eating squid ink but boy is it worth it. Creamy, smoky goodness. WOW! This is ‘CHARCOAL MASH’

salted & hung review 2023
salted and hung menu 2023

Er Chef or the server clearly have gone mad and mixed plates up as we ordered the cheeseburgers next…

But no, this is that. Holy cow, literally! It’s a blitzkrieg on your senses. You feel in your head like you should be holding a big monster cheeseburger due to the flavour hit you’re getting, when actually you have just thrown in a single bite. It’s crazy good.

This is CHEESEBURGER’ – raw Wagyu, pickles & smoked ketchup

I’d seen this on the photo albums of the restaurant but did not quite work out what it could be. With the caviar, this was another for Wifey & #1, not for me haha. Damn, it looks so good too. This is their spin on the English classic of fish ‘n’ chips. What a beauty. I hear from my partaking family members that this was just crazily good, again almost throwing your senses with look and texture but then bringing some brain-sense back with incredible flavour. Stunning plating it has to be said.

This is FISH N CHIPS‘ – chickpea chip, pea puree & caviar

salted & hung menu 2023
salted and hung menu 2023

A cracker of a photo finally!!! I love this shot. Final plating of the day by Chef Drew for us. Dropping honeycomb into a dry-ice-infused dessert. Watched on by his now resting Sous Chef. It’s a beauty of a photo for a beauty of a dessert. Decadent in fact. Savoury, salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy, and show-boat with the dry ice.

An absolute beauty. This is ‘GOLD’N GAYTIME’ – chocolate, malt & toffee

We continue on our food journey with Chef Drew & Crew. It almost looks like a dessert, right?

That beautiful dusting is actually beetroot, and the twirl on top is pickled beetroot and the meat is skippy, AKA kangaroo. Kangaroo is amazing meat if you have never tried it before. Super-tender and super-flavourful, with a little gaminess. So the acid of the beetroot is a perfect bed-fellow.

A perfect match. What an absolutely stunning plate. Delicious!!! This is ‘HOMELAND’ – kangaroo, beetroot & cauliflower

salted and hung menu 2023
salted and hung menu 2023

Do you want some bread with that? Well, suffice to say you don’t just get bread. All homemade by that amazing labour of love of Sourdough. This is IPA infused and then served with 2 types of ‘butter’. Not just any butter though of course.

Well, this is Salted & Hung. This is ‘IPA SOURDOUGH’ – whipped lard & kelp butter

Where did that truffle go? Holy cow there it is on my steak... One bad moment re the steak though. Yes, Amy asked for well done. The chef nearly fell over. Oh, dear! She surely can’t be mine?

Look at this hunk of meaty goodness. Medium-rare perfection, cooked over charcoal to seared smoky crustiness and then. covered in half a tonne of fresh black truffle. If there is a heaven, this is it. Incredible meat. Just incredible meat. Buttery, beefy, truffle-y goodness on a plate – maybe with some beef fat/marrow gravy to boot. Damned fine steak!!!

This was about the time that food coma started knocking on the door too… This is KING ISLAND GRASS-FED OP RIB

Salted & Hung closed

Nearing the end now with service over and prep starting for the next sittings. Here comes that labour of love.

The Sourdough. Nine loaves are being made here. Beautiful plump pillows of bready goodness about to go to proofing stage overnight I would imagine.

Again the artisan at her work, making that incredible bread above that gets knocked out of the park with the specialty butters. Woof!!!

salted & hung review 2023
salted & hung menu 2023

This one had high-fives going off between wifey and #1. Fish, skin, and bones in one plate and all edible. A feast for the eyes indeed.

Wifey said this was just incredible and as the major seafood lover in household Kennett that means a lot. Well done Chef haha.

The fish was super fresh and perfectly cooked. The bone powder and crispy skin were genius accompaniments for flavour and texture.

This is a piece of food art yet again, with stunning plating of these incredible taste and texture bed-fellows. This is THE WHOLE FISH’ – Pearl Grouper, bone crumb & charcoal

Oh my. Sheets of grease-proof paper hold the next delight for this food agenda. Paper-thin and almost translucent. But what is this white stuff I hear you ask? Why that is lard. Yes, lard.

We used to have tubs of this in my Nan’s fridge for cooking with. It would be used to replace cooking oil, go in mincemeat pies at Xmas, and the like.

Chef Drew has clearly taken this up on many levels. Melt-in-your-mouth smoky, fatty, sweet, savoury, floral hits. WOW. Hurry and eat though as this will literally melt on the plate. This is LARDO’ – cured back fat, truffle honey

salted & hung review 2023
salted & hung review 2023

Come on, how beautiful is this? It’s a stunner. Sadly another I could not consume, so #1 and Wifey devoured this. Lots of oohs and ahhs about this one. Super-citrus was my take from the aromas wafting up. Not top of the shop by all accounts from Wifey feedback, but still, it was very tasty.

This is ‘SURF & TURF CRAYFISH’ – lemonade & charcuterie broth

Oh my. What is in this little jar? By the way, you can order this from the online Deli (and I have). Foie grass, love it or hate it? I LOVE it and so does everyone in the family. And this little jar with the little jelly top only goes to make me love it more and more.

The homemade Sourdough Bread accompanying this is really just sublime too, you’ll see more of that later. The labour of love is Sourdough Bread. This is Chef’s parfait AKA the best spread you’ll ever put on your knife and spread on some toast. The jelly sweetness and acidity are the perfect bedfellow for the Foie, but the Foie was just so super-creamy too.

It is a killer of a dish. Hoping my order gets home soon… This is ‘FOIE GRAS PARFAIT’- Umeshi jelly & sourdough

Happy Birthday to me at Salted & Hung Purvis Street

Salted Hung Birthday Cake 1 Best Italian Restaurant on Club Street: Cenzo
Salted & Hung Closure

And that was that. The food was over. But one final surprise was to come. A beauty of a birthday cake that they have been experimenting with. It’s dense but so light. Hard to describe. actually. You’d think there was no way you could eat it after that sumptuous lunch, but it really was quite light.

Chocolate heaven and what a beautiful presentation. I had just about enough puff left to blow the candle haha.

They even do 'pantry' offerings at Salted & Hung

Salted & Hung

Because it took me so long to write this blog up, I also get this wonderful delivery last night. The Kennett family Party fridge has some exciting things for cooking with this weekend. Whoop whoop!!!

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