Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

Roots Mediterranean – Hearty Mediterranean fare along Greenwood Avenue

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Roots Mediterranean is a new restaurant nestled along Greenwood Avenue which has taken over the former Donna Carmela Italian Restaurant’s premises. Here you will find an extensive menu featuring Mediterranean fare that combines Italian, Spanish, Greek and Levantine cuisines. The menu is so extensive, you will be hard-pressed to decide what dishes you want, so the trick is to come with a whole group of friends or family and then you can order more. Indeed there were many tables with large groups when I was there a few Saturday evenings ago. Certainly, the rustic and earthy decor makes for a convivial ambience.

Tzatziki, Tirokafteri, Humus and Melinzano Salata

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Baci Italian Cafe

Along with other people living in the Marine Parade area, we thronged the new 112 Katong mall on the first day of the New Year. I am happy that a new mall has opened up in this area. Previously, I used to like going to the East Coast Park area to have lunch at the C Nai Hong Kong Cafe, but they changed their menu about a year ago, and I was unable to find my favourite Abalone Ee Foo noodle soup. It was really delicious. The whole East Coast Park McDonalds area is getting even more run down due to the impending closure, and one of the restaurants Mango Tree has already relocated to the new 112 Katong mall, but I digress.

Baci Italian Cafe (1)

Love the lamps, but if you are tall you may just knock into them. There is also al-fresco seating, sheltered by the upper floors of 112 Katong mall which extends over. Don’t like the uncomfortable and unergonomic wooden chairs.

During my 1st visit back in early December 2011, I walked past Baci Italian Cafe. The place looked really promising as the decor looked quite inviting. I researched on the place and it seems that Baci Italian Cafe originated from Malaysia.

I decided to give it a try that day. The menu is pretty limited actually. They have a few sandwiches, a few pizzas, 2 pastas and 4 mains to choose from. I opted for the Pan Roasted Fish while the Partner opted for the Honey Glazed Pork Loin. Guess he was still in the Christmas mood although he’d beheaded our Christmas tree way before the 12th day of Christmas. (I’m still very upset by that, and the stump is still around to remind me of it’s former glory!)

Baci Italian Cafe - Pan Roasted Fish

Pan Roasted Fish $13.50 – Fish fillet seasoned with herbs and then pan roasted, topped with lemon caper sauce. The fish was pretty tasty. I think it’s dory, or at least it tasted like dory, which is a fish that I like. Although the fish was a little over cooked on the sides and therefore slightly hard, on the whole, it wasn’t very dry and I enjoyed it. The accompanying roast potatoes were forgettable, and so small in portion. Even I can make better roast potatoes. So was the lettuce salad. For $13.50, I did think the dish to be over priced for the amount of food served. And dory is quite a cheap fish.

Baci Italian Cafe - Honey Glazed Pork Loin

Honey Glazed Pork Loin $16.50 – Pork loin marinated in a honey cider dressing then pan seared and topped with glazed apples $16.50. The pork too was slightly overdone and tough to chew. The honey glazed dressing was quite nice and went well with the porky flavours. Glazed apples was a nice touch but too soft. Would have liked them to provide a bit of a crunch.

We were contemplating having coffee here but the latte costs $5.50. We saw the next table struggling to stir their latte with a spoon barely taller than the latte glass, so it was easy to decide not to have coffee. Baci Italian Cafe has fresh blended juice for $8.50, for those who need a healthy boost, or you could get mojitos and bottled beers here as well.

Baci Italian Cafe (4)

Baci Italian Cafe (5)

I don’t find anything particularly Italian about Baci Italian Cafe. If the word “Italian” hadn’t been in the name, I would totally not have guessed it to be Italian. I mean there are only 2 pastas on offer, granted one of them is a choose your own pasta/topping/sauce type. There are more pizzas on offer, but still much lesser than the more conventional Italian restaurants.

Pricing is also a little expensive for a simple, small portioned meal at a heartland mall. Don’t be surprised if you see half a sandwich appearing on your table. That’s what you ordered. Given that there are quite a number of restaurants at 112 Katong, I think I’ll be giving this place a miss for the time being.

You can find out more about Baci Italian Cafe (Singapore) and their menu at http://www.baci.com.sg.

Read more about my visits to 112 Katong at http://life.365days2play.com/tag/112-katong. For food reviews of 112 Katong, visit http://365days2play.com/tag/112-katong/

Baci Italian Cafe
01-07, 112 KATONG
No. 112, East Coast Road
Singapore 428802

Tel: +65 6636-0376

Buses to 112 Katong Mall:
East Coast Road: No. 10, 10E, 12, 14, 14E, 32, 40
Joo Chiat Road: No. 16

Ristorante Pietra Santa

2 weeks ago, we gathered at this wonderful Italian restaurant to bid fond farewell and to celebrate the freedom of 3 of our colleagues. Pietra Santa is a particular favourite of one of the 3 who is leaving. After finally getting the opportunity to dine here, it’s not hard to understand why. It’s located in the really laid back area of Portsdown Road (just opposite Colbar). The al fresco area where we sat faced lush greenery, if you try to ignore the rows of cars parked just outside. It’s as close to “countryside” dining as you can get in Singapore. We arrived in the evening when the sun was setting and I definitely want to come back again in the morning to enjoy my meal amidst the chirping of the morning birds.

The Tuscan-styled Pietra Santa looks like the type of restaurant where the budget conscious may think thrice about dining here. Actually, the prices are pretty affordable. The pastas go from $18 – $25 while the pizzas are only $17 – $23. It only starts to get pricey if you order the appetisers (above $10) and the desserts (starting from $6.90), but even then, it’s not too bad.

Pietra Santa - Seating Area (3)

I love this pretty alfresco seating area. It sure would be nice to have a meal here over a lazy weekend.

Pietra Santa - Bread

Some bread, which doesn’t seem to be featured on the menu on their website. You take a slice and dip it either in olive oil or the tomato concoction provided in the shot glasses. It also goes very well with the cold cut meats if you’re ordering that. It’s very firm so those without teeth should not eat this. 🙂

Pietra Santa - Buffala Mozzarella

This, in my opinion, is just DIVINE. This is buffalo mozzarella at it’s best. This is the BEST buffalo mozzarella I have EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE. I haven’t been to Italy so I would say this is the best bufala mozzarella in the whole of Singapore. It was so creamy and had such a rich intense flavour. The outside was a little firm, but like a half boiled egg, the inside was softer and it made me feel as if I was eating milky clouds. SO GOOOOOOD!!!! Even the non cheese lovers at our table had to stamp their approval. Again, this doesn’t seem to be in the main menu. Costs $40. I hear you can buy the mozzarella at Paragon MarketPlace for about $20. This weekend, I’m heading there and don’t you buy the last one.

Pietra Santa - Grilled Fresh Squid

Insalata di Calamari alla Griglia $16.90 – Grilled squid. Had a springy bite to it and tasted very fresh. Delicious. This is from the appetiser section, but it can even act as a main course as there’s 2 rolls of the squid.

Pietra Santa - Mixed Platter of Traditional Italian Cold Cuts

Piatto di Salumi $23.90 – Mixed platter of traditional Italian cold cuts, It all tastes very delicious. For me, I personally find that eating this with the bread shown above is much better than eating these slices on their own.

Pietra Santa - Beef Tenderloin, Rocket Salad, Parmesan Cheese

Carpaccio di Manzo con Rucola e Parmigiano $16.90 – These are kind of like the thinnest slices of raw beef tenderloin I’ve come across. They almost melt in your mouth and disappear way too quickly.. Very delicious.

Pietra Santa - Tuscan Spaghetti with Sausage and Truffle

Tagliatelle con Salsiccia e Tartufo $24.90 – Home-made Tuscan Spaghetti with Sausage and Truffle. I love the rich meat sauce. It’s creamy yet not overly so. It goes so well with the pasta. I had to share this dish with a few other people, but I think I’ll order this again when I visit Pietra Santa again.

Pietra Santa - Italian Mozzarella and Spicy Salami in Tomato Sauce Pizza

Diavola $18.90 –  Italian Mozzarella and Spicy Salami in Tomato Sauce. Can give this a miss. Pizza is dry, hard and salty.

Pietra Santa - Melting Chocolate Cake (2)

Pietra Santa - Melting Chocolate Cake

Cuore Morbido al Cioccolato $7.90 – Melting Chocolate Cake. Tastes good, but no where near the best that I’ve had in Singapore, which is a bit of a disappointment considering that this is an Italian restaurant and considering that the earlier dishes were so good.

Pietra Santa - Seating Area (4) Pietra Santa

There is air-conditioned seating inside too if you can’t take the heat. At night you can hardly feel the heat as the fans are also on.

Pietra Santa - Seating Area (2)

Lastly, one tip when taking pictures outdoors. Don’t use your camera immediately after getting out of the air-conditioned car!

In conclusion, definitely have to bring the Partner here to enjoy the food as well as the surroundings. Service was also prompt and friendly. Only issue is, you need a car to get here, but I’m sure it’s well worth the effort!

RISTORANTE PIETRASANTA PTE LTD
Address:

5B Portsdown Road
#01-03 Singapore 139311
Tel: +65 6479 9521
Email:
pietrasanta@singnet.com.sg
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday
(Closed on Tuesday)

11:45 am – 2:30 pm
6:00 pm – 10:30pm
Sunday
11:45 am – 10:30 pm

http://www.ristorante-pietrasanta.com

http://www.ristorante-pietrasanta.com/Contact.html (see here for map)

http://www.ristorante-pietrasanta.com/MenuEvents.html (see here for menu)

Spizza Club Street

Belated birthday treat from one of my good friends. At his request, mainly because he had a 1 for 1 voucher from one of the banks, we went to Spizza. It seems that the diners next to us also had a 1 for 1 voucher issued by another bank. I’ve always liked pizzas from Spizza. Their pizzas are the thin and floppy type (“wood-fired thin crusted Napoli pizzas”), oozing with delicious goodness from the toppings. None of the crispy pizza base types for me thank you. It’s so dumb that the Spizza outlet at HarbourFront closed and Pizza Hut took over instead. Can you believe the irony? Anyway Spizza is still available at Club Street, Bukit Timah and Jalan Kayu. I like the Club Street branch since it’s been there the longest, it was the 1st outlet, and it’s located near the Ann Siang Hill/Club Street area which is very nice for a stroll after dinner.  Did you know that Spizza has an island-wide delivery? I just discovered that fact like 5 seconds ago. Might call for some when I’m feeling the craving!

All the pizzas cost $17 for medium size and $21 for large. For ladies, a medium would be more than enough. Between the 2 of us, we ordered 2 medium pizzas plus a calamari.

Spizza - Fried Calamari and Onions

Crispy Calamari with Pizzaiola Sauce $11 – This was pretty good. They came out hot, which is a must, and the batter was crispy and fresh. There were also bits of crispy onions as well, which lent extra sweetness to the calamari. Delicious!

Spizza - Pizza with runny egg and truffles

Quinta: Tomato, Mozzarella, Egg, Black Truffle Sauce $17This was so so so so SO delicious. If you are lost as to which pizza to choose, I would highly recommend the Quinta. The black truffle sauce really adds an unmistakable dimension to pizza. I’ve never seen so much truffle before too. And the egg. Ohhh…dip each pizza slice into the runny egg yolk. It is heavenly beyond compare!!!

My friend had never tried truffle before, at least not consciously. He was immediately hooked on this, despite the initial pungent smell.

Spizza - Buffalo Mozzerella and Basil

Margherita: Tomato, Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, Fresh Basil $17 – After the explosion of flavours from the 1st pizza, this one kind of brought us back down to earth. I am a huge fan of buffalo milk mozzarella. I love caprese, so I wanted to see if pizza with mozzarella slices would be nice too. I was kind of imagining that the cheese would still be thick chunks laid out on the pizza, but it was baked as well. So this pizza felt pretty plain, no thanks to us having eaten Quinta first. It’s not a bad pizza, but if you want more ingredients, or you want the taste of the buffalo milk mozzarella to be stronger, don’t order this pizza.

Standard Chartered is also offering 15% discount for card holders, 20% if you have the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Dining Privilege. Students also get 15% discount! And if you dine at Spizza often, you can get their loyalty card too.

Spizza Club Street
29 Club Street
Tel: 6224 2525
Open Daily
12 pm to 2.30 pm
6 pm to 10.30 pm

Other Spizza Locations and directions/map

http://www.spizza.sg/

Spizza Facebook

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

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