Posts Tagged ‘Italian Restaurants in Singapore’

Burlamacco Ristorante

2 year old Burlamacco is one of those restaurants where I would genuinely love to return again to sample more of what the restaurant has to offer. I was glad to have the opportunity to dine there on a Sunday afternoon. Not many people think of going to the CBD area on a weekend, let alone a Sunday. Those who work in the CBD would probably abhor the thought, but you will be rewarded for coming to this part of town as you will be able to enjoy a laid-back, slow-paced and more personal atmosphere which you simply wouldn’t get on a bustling weekday. Oh and did I mention that there are no ERP charges on Sunday and parking is a breeze?

Burlamacco Ristorante

The Partner and I were the 1st to arrive for lunch at the restaurant, so we had the luxury of picking the best seats in the house. I like the cheery decor of Burlamacco, as well as the pictures of clowns decorating the restaurant. This restaurant in a conservation shop house row boasts a skylight, which allows natural light to permeate the restaurant. Just in case you were wondering, Burlamacco refers to the clown-like figure which presides over the carnival in the Tuscan town of Viareggio, and is the town’s mascot.

Burlamacco - Crostata - Chocoalte Tart Eruption with Vanilla Ice Cream $16 (1)

As always, before I delve right into the what we sampled at Burlamacco, let me first tempt you with a picture of the decadent molten chocolate tart we tried. Yes, you heard me right, MOLTEN chocolate tart, a first for me and for many people I’m sure. Click Read More to find out more!

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Gaia Ristorante at Goodwood Park Hotel

Today’s Straits Times’ article on Gaia by Wong Ah Yoke has reminded me that I really ought to push out my post as well on this hidden gem!  Gaia Ristorante is located at the illustrious Goodwood Park Hotel, and with a location like that, and an interior decor that spells fine dining, you would not be faulted for thinking that the prices are not wallet friendly. But depending on what you order, you could actually dine at Gaia Ristorante and have a good time without having to wash the dishes later!

If you stick to the pasta main courses, they are mostly in the $20+ range. A black cod dish costs $38, while the pork costs $35. If you go for the more expensive meats like lobster, veal, lamb saddle and pigeon, that’s where the prices start to become steep. Desserts cost about $15, once again, quite comparable to some desserts at brand name cafes these days.

For our media tasting, the Partner and I sampled the degustation menu, which comprises 5 courses at $98++/pax.

Gaia Ristorante Canapes

Assorted rice and potato crackers
Caramelised figs with Oscietra Caviar
Watermelon with black squid in and almonds
Parmesan bisquit with balsamic vinegar and Asian spices

One thing I love about dining at such restaurants is that they always try to surprise you with some small canapes to kickstart the meal. You never know what you will be served but usually the items are pretty good and the chef has the flexibility to be creative with the ingredients he has on hand. My favourite here was the figs with caviar, a sweet and salty combination that I’ve never tried before.

Gaia Ristorante -  Variazione cruda di gamberi (1)

Variazione cruda di gamberi – Raw red Sicilian prawn: warm ricotta cheese, oregano and Raw blue Caledonian prawn: peach, salt caramel

At Japanese restaurants, I do not flinch when being served Amaebi, aka raw sweet shrimp. And in fact, I am not one to shy away from raw foods, I love raw meats! I’m not exactly sure why I did a double take, save for the fact that the blue Caledonian prawn looked like a raw tiger prawn, and tiger prawns are not commonly served raw. But the fact is that the red Sicilian prawn as equally as raw, and once I saw that fact, there was no stopping me from diving into this dish.

If you have the opportunity, I really would recommend ordering this dish. This is where you can taste fresh prawns at their finest. They were so succulent and sweet that I feel as if I’ll never look at prawns the same way again. This is where you can savour the true texture of prawns that have not been marinaded in alkaline water (like in many chinese restaurants). They are firm but yielding with each bite.

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Trattoria Cucina Italiana

Lately I’ve been into pizzas after knowing about a friend’s interest in opening a pizza joint. I am definitely no expert in pizzas, but I think that many Singaporeans are mistaken when they think they like thin and crispy pizzas as compared to thick bready based pizzas. Thick, bready based pizzas are definitely a no-no, and we all know which American chain introduced us those sub-standard pizzas. But thin and crispy pizzas are not the way to go either. I tried Skinny Pizza once and regretted the experience. It’s so crispy, it’s like eating crackers with toppings rather than pizza.

I am told that making the correct Italian style pizza base requires not only skill, but a really hot wood fired oven. Get the equation wrong, and you end up with everything but the real thing. Apparently the real base still tastes doughy and is moist. When you’ve tried that, you won’t ever turn back again. IeatIshootIpost has done a really good description of what an Italian styled pizza should be like.

As for me, as I said, I’m no expert so I’ll just focus on reporting about the possibly good pizzas I’ve tried lately. One of them comes from Trattoria Cucina Italiana, also known as Trattoria Italian Kitchen located conveniently at 313@ Somerset. First opened in Bali, Indonesia in 2002 by 2 Italians Edoardo Guerrini and Olivari Vanni, Trattoria Cicina Italiana restaurants can also be found in Jakarta, Medan, KL and Singapore.

Have a pizza

Trattoria Cucina Italiana Mushroom Pizza

I thought the taste was very good. It had a rich tomato sauce base with liberal amounts mozzarella oozing all over the place. The base was still moist and slightly floppy. Huge portion for just over $20 bucks!

Trattoria Cucina Italiana Squid Ink pasta with Salmon

Squid Ink pasta with salmon. I have to admit the presentation was a little shocking. Looked like a plate of fat black worms. Maybe black pasta should not be tube shaped…tagliatelle would be a better choice, but then again, that might remind you of flatworms…. anyway…this dish was also quite nice. I felt it was a little lacking in ingredients, salmon is the only solid ingredient in there. However, the pasta was very tasty on its own and made tastier with the creamy sauce.

Trattoria Cucina Italiana Seating Area

Nice place with TVs to entertain you if your dining companion is busy with Facebook on the iPhone. Or you could people-watch the crowd rushing out of the Somerset MRT station. However the chairs are pretty hard and it’s just not comfortable enough to want to linger any longer than necessary.

Trattoria Cucina Italiana / Trattoria Italian Kitchen

313@Somerset

313 Orchard Road, #01-16/17/18, Singapore

Tel: 6834 – 4833

Otto Ristorante

Last Friday, we decided to try out Otto Ristorante. Otto Ristorante is one of those restaurants where it is highly recommended that you make reservations as the seating area is quite small. It was a bit confusing as to where Otto Ristorante was. If you look at the photo, you would think that this is the front of the restaurant. It is, but if you walk straight in, you end up in an unrelated bar. You have to actually turn left, after the circular fountain. There is a side door which leads into Otto Ristorante proper.

Otto RistoranteThe very polite manager greeted us and gave us a delightful table in a corner. Otto Ristorante is currently having a truffle promotion. You order from the special menu and pay $10 per gram of truffle shavings desired.

Bread and Olive oil

Otto Ristorante has 5 different types of breads to choose from. We were torn between wanting to try all 5 without getting too full before the mains arrived! They had this onion one which I regret not getting! The breads were still warm, which is the best way to enjoy them.

Amuse Bouche The amuse bouche of beef with thousand island sauce. The beef was nice, tender and flavourful, but the thousand island sauce tasted like something out of a supermarket bottle. It’s good, but not amazing. Surely the chef can produce something with a higher “wow” factor considering it’s the amuse bouche?

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with arugula salad and Black “Norcia” Truffle – $26 Wow this was really tasty. Just couldn’t get enough of it. Arugula can sometimes be bitter, but it paired so well with the beef! Didn’t detect a hint of the truffle though.

IMG_5210

Closer shot of the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio. See how tender and juicy it looks??? Mmmmmm! This is on the starter menu but very light eaters can just consider this as their main dish.

Veal Ravioli

Slow braised veal ravioli with morel mushrooms and thyme sauce – $28. The creamy sauce was not too heavy but still had a cheesy bite to it. The veal ravioli was good especially since it’s more common to get cheese or vegetarian ravioli. The morel mushrooms on the other hand looked good but lacked flavour which is such a waste since they are supposed to be very tasty but rare to find in Singapore. Did you know that Morel mushrooms are toxic if eaten raw?

Squid Ink Pasta with minced cod

Squid Ink Tagliatelle Baked Cod – $28. Yes I have to admit the photo doesn’t look too appetising. These were our first thoughts when we saw the dish. I was expecting an intact portion of cod, but they’d had it minced up with some other ingredients. I don’t know what those ingredients were, but it caused the flavours of the cod to be dulled. Even the diced tomatoes had a stronger taste than the minced cod. Also, it felt like there wasn’t very much cod to begin with. I was quite frankly very disappointed with the dish.

If I lower my expectations and assume that there was never meant to be any cod in this dish, then it’s not so bad. The squid ink pasta was nice and al-dente and filled the gap.

Otto Ristorante - Seating Area

Otto Ristorante has a nice cosy interior. The waiters are extremely friendly and do not hesitate to help you with your selections by offering their recommendations. They are also very attentive and will be at your table instantly the moment you beckon to them. Their attitude cannot be faulted, but because it is such a tiny restaurant, you kind of feel like they are always hovering nearby. The Partner had no issues with this, but I guess I am one who needs lots of personal space!

Despite the cod fiasco, I would come to Otto Ristorante again to try out some of their other dishes including their signature crispy suckling pig ($48)! Crispy suckling pig Italian style, that’s got to be really interesting.

Otto Ristorante

28, Maxwell Road, #01-02 , Red Dot Traffic Building, Singapore 069120

Tel: 6227 6819     Fax: 6227 8350

Monday – Friday: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Saturday: 6.30pm –10.30pm

Closed on Sundays

info@ottoristorante.com.sg

http://www.ottoristorante.com.sg/

Click here for directions
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Capella

If there’s one thing any food blogger shouldn’t do, it’s to blog about food before breakfast, lunch or dinner! Lunch is not going to arrive until 45 minutes later and blogging about food is not helping! I was going to do a quick cook up of some sardines in olive oil and chilli, to go with lots of steamed rice. But can you believe that we’ve run out of rice, just at this crucial moment?

Anyway, the in thing for me right now is Italian Restaurants. Been wanting to revisit some of my favourite Italian Restaurants such as Garibaldi’s and OSO Ristorante, and will do so hopefully in the next 1 month. The other day, just before the Partner flew off to NZ, we dined at Capella at Chijmes. Cappella seats 110 diners, of which only 45 are indoors. It was only half full on a Thursday evening when we got there, but more diners arrived later. If you ask for the table nearest to the kitchen, you can even watch the chefs at work in the stainless steel kitchen thanks to the glass partition.

Between the 2 of us, we ordered an Caprese Salad, Mushroom Gnocchi and Cod Fish Tagliatelle.

Capella - Caprese

Insalata Caprese $23 – Tower of Italian buffalo mozzarella and tomato. Served with
masculine salad.

Masculine salad eh, I suppose they meant “mesclun”? Anyway, I just love this dish. The tomatoes were refreshingly cold and firm, and paired nicely with the buffalo mozzarella. I just love buffalo mozzarella. If I could I would order this appetiser every time, but I can’t because as you can see, the quantity is substantial and just this alone already fills me up half way.

Capella - Porcini Gnocchi

Gnocchi con Crema di Porcini $26- Italian potato dumpling in porcini cream sauce
and baby spinach

I know this looks like something the cat let loose. That’s the downside to ordering Gnocchi, it just doesn’t look that appetising. But if you go beyond its looks, it’s actually very good! I love Gnocchi, and Gnocchi on its own is quite bland, so it needs a good sauce for the dish to perform. Capella did well in this area because the mushroom sauce was indeed flavourful and so rich.

Of all the Gnocchi dishes I’ve had, Capella has the best. The sauce was great, the Gnocchi was firm to the bite and bouncy, if I may call it that.

Capella Cod fish Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle Merluzzo e Pomodorini $28 – Thin egg pasta tossed with cod fish, garlic, chilly, olive and white wine In cherry tomato sauce

Lately I seem to be seeing a cod fish resurgence, with cod fish appearing on the menus of many restaurants. Cod fish with tomato pasta is a rare treat and a really wonderful combination. But this dish would delight vegetarians more than cod fish lovers as there was very little cod fish in it.

 

Capella
30 Victoria Street, #01-29A, CHIJMES, Singapore 187996
Tel: 6334 9928  Fax: 6334 9927
Email:
capella@starworth.com.sg

Monday to Friday:
Lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Saturday
Closed for Lunch
Dinner 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Closed on Sundays

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