Ristorante da Valentino
11 Jalan Bingka (near Rifle Range Road)
Tel: 6462 0555
Opening Hours: Noon to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm from Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays
The story: Ten years ago, Valentino Valtulina, who prefers to be known simply as Valentino, was working in a restaurant in Italy when his boss told him that an Italian restaurant in Singapore was looking for a chef and asked him if he was interested. Then 23, he jumped at the chance.
In Singapore, he worked in restaurants such as Cafe Cafe and Casa Roma and also as an executive chef at Cantina. Two years ago, he opened his own restaurant with his wife Patricia.
Valtulina, who applied for permanent residency in 2005, says that he likes Singapore as it is a vibrant and bustling city.
He says the people here like to eat and enjoy fine dining, so he was comfortable with going ahead with his 45-seater restaurant in Bukit Timah.
The food: Try the signature dishes which include costine di agnello stufate agli aromi ($33.90), stewed lamb ribs in light tomato sauce and aromatic herbs.
The dessert, torta chantilly ($8.80 per slice), which has strips of custard and cream-topped sponge cake sandwiched with chocolate and vanilla cream, is Valtulina’s favourite. It is baked by his sister, Perla, who opened the nearby Pasticceria Da Valentino, a pastry shop, in August last year.
The restaurant also has pastries and pizzas besides pasta dishes. Check their website for the full menu.
This review and pictures were extracted from ST Foodies Club.
Posted in Bread, Bukit Timah Area, By Cuisine, By Food Type, By Location, Cakes & Pastries, Chicken, Desserts, Italian, Pasta, Pizzas, Restaurant, Seafood, Snacks, Soup
La Strada (part of Les Amis Group)
1 Scotts Road #02-10
Tel: 6737 2622 (for reservations) / 6737 2555 (for pizza take-away orders)
Opening Hrs: Lunch: 12.00pm to 2.30pm (last order); Dinner: 6.30pm to 9.30pm (last order); Closed on certain public holidays; please call to check.
Bf and I went to La Strada on 1 Apr 2008 (Tue) for dinner. Kind of last minute decision – and I was dressed in shorts & t-shirt. Too casual I must admit! Bf kept assuring me that it’s alright – but I didn’t feel good. Fortunately the staff let us dined there. As usual, after pondering for a long while, we finally settled on the drinks order – a glass of Michele Chiarlo (Italy) “Nivole” Moscato d’Asti 2007 (S$19++) for me and a shot of Hennessy VSOP (S$16++) for bf. I love dessert wines – so this glass of wine was perfect for me, smooth-bodied and sweet. Then we ordered the Caprese (S$22++), Risotto Dell Giorno (S$30++) and Pollo Novello Arostito (S$35++).
We were given a few cheese bread-sticks and a small plate of olive oil to start our meal with. We were then given a piece of warm bread on the side. No butter was given – Italians dip their bread in olive oil. Nothing to shout about as these are pretty ordinary stuff.
The Caprese is made up of buffalo mozzarella with confit Scillian cherry tomatoes, basil agar agar and char grilled ciabatta bread). We love this starter dish a lot, so very often than not, bf would order this especially when we dine in an Italian restaurant. Basically, there is not much difference in the Caprese served in any other Italian restaurant as the basic ingredients are the same and you don’t need to cook this dish – just cut and serve. Again, nothing to shout about. BUT instead of cherry tomatoes, we were served the normal tomatoes and instead of basil agar agar, we were given basil leaves. Still, these are minor slights that did not affect the overall good taste of this starter. The buffalo mozzarella was not overwhelmingly cheesy and was soft to the palette.
Next, we were served the Pollo Novello Arostito (oven roasted French baby chicken with savoy cabbage, pancetta parcel, filled with shallot and roasting jus). I love this dish very much – the chicken was roasted just nice with a little crisp on the outside and tenderness on the inside. This was the highlight of my meal there. Unfortunately, I did not see/taste the pancetta parcel and if there was shallot, you could hardly taste it in the chicken. There was definitely no roasting jus on my plate. It was more like diluted oyster sauce on my cabbage and plate. Still, the chicken was the star and it tasted great!
The Risotto Dell Giorno (risotto of the day was done with 3 types of mushrooms – can’t remember which ones they are but one of them is Portobello mushroom). Risotto is a traditional Italian dish made with rice. I didn’t quite like this dish – it was served with a brown sauce and it didn’t look appetising. When I tasted it, it was a bit saltish. Couldn’t figure out what the sauce was but it just didn’t do for me. I prefer my risotto rich and creamy. 😛
Overall, food is a hit or miss. It’s either you like it or you don’t. Service is excellent though. We told the serving staff we were sharing the food and they very kindly separated the portions of each dish for us, so that we were served individually. This was done without us having to ask for it! They remembered the guests who dined there before – it was bf’s 3rd visit and my 1st and the staff remembered him! Yes, I would still return to this place again and the Pollo Novello Arostito will be one of my favourite dishes – a huge plus point. Service is attentive without being intrusive – which is another plus point. And staff who takes initiative gets another plus point.
Posted in Bread, By Cuisine, By Food Type, By Location, Chicken, Desserts, I Was Here, Italian, Orchard Area, Pasta, Pizzas, Restaurant
26 Lorong Mambong
Tel: (65) 6463 4610
Extracted from Monster Mash’s website: “We’re not going to give you some poncey, ‘aren’t we funny’ narrative here, we leave that stuff to everyone else. What you need to know is Monster Mash is a British ‘retro’ Café, we give you what you’ve been wanting for years – great food, first class service and value – ‘top nosh at half the cost’ – ‘nuff’ said really!”
Having fallen head over heels with the British fish and chips on my first London trip some years back, I am really looking forward to tasting it again without having to go to London. I’m just putting this up for the time being without any reviews till I get myself a bite of the famous fish and chips. Just bear with me as I have a poor memory and I really don’t want to hitting myself on the head should I forget where this restaurant is.
But if you have already visited it, please feel free to drop me some comments. Thank you!
Etna Restaurant & Pizzeria
18 Raffles Quay #01-68/69/70
Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
Tel: (65) 6220 5513
Opening Hours: 10am to 11pm (Monday to Saturday)
Bf and I went for our romantic Valentine’s Day at the most unromantic venue… Lau Pa Sat! The first time when I heard we’re having dinner at Lau Pa Sat on V-day, the first thing that came to my mind was “We’re having satay there?” Hehe… before you really dismiss it off as an unromantic venue or think that we’re eating satay, think again! We had it at a very cosy restaurant called Etna Restaurant & Pizzeria.
This restaurant was recommended to Bf by his colleague (an Italian no less), so I told him that food should be quite good there if his colleague says it’s nice.
They had a set dinner for V-day which we had a look-through before we went to the restaurant. However, after arriving at the restaurant, we were informed that we could also order a-la-carte if we wanted to. Going through the menu and calculating the costs, we decided that we were better off eating a-la-carte since we are both small eaters. What we ordered for sharing was the Salad Rugola (S$18), Tag. Nero Seppia (S$22) (squid-ink pasta), Grigliata Carne (mixed grill) (S$32), 2 glasses of Prosecco (S$18) and 1 San Pellegrino (sparkling mineral water) (S$6). Our total bill came up to S$113 for everything.
We were also served an entree of cured meat, cheese, salami and bread sticks (complimentary). Food came quickly and service was great!
The Salad Rugola (rugola is also known as rocket salad) was served with thin slices of parmesan cheese and a good dash of balsamic dressing. The cheese was not overpowering and the balsamic dressing tasted great on the palate. Overall, a good choice for a starter.
Then we had the Tag. Nero Seppia – better known as squid ink pasta to the uninitiated. If you’re thinking squid ink as yucks, think again! I don’t know what other herbs or spices they added to the pasta and squid ink but it was very flavorful. Within the pasta, you could also find pieces of prawns and squid. Be careful when you have this dish – squid ink does not come off your clothes and if you get it on your skin, it will be there for quite a while.
Then we were served the Grigliata Carne – mixed grill. Since the dish came with a piece of lamb, pork, chicken and beef, we specially asked for no beef and the waitress suggested that we replaced that with another piece of pork or chicken. Good service in the sense that they asked us our preference rather than just simply dumping another piece of meat to replace the beef. So we asked for chicken. Our verdict? The chicken breast was nice – a bit on the dry side though. Pork was overcooked and it was placed under the piece of lamb, so some of the lamb’s juice went into the pork. Overall, not that nice except for the lamb which bf said was excellent. Unfortunately we did not have much space for desserts.
Overall, lovely dinner in a romantic setting (despite it being in Lau Pa Sat). Service is attentive without being intrusive and friendly (they kept pouring us our Pellegrino when the glass is half full). Value is good giving the quality of the food we had. It’s better to stick to the pasta and skip the mixed grill. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the Italian names of the food – they have English description of the food underneath the names. If you are still not sure, you can always consult the friendly waitress/waiter there. And yes, we will definitely be back there again.
Posted in Bread, By Cuisine, By Food Type, By Hawker Centres, By Location, Chicken, Desserts, I Was Here, Italian, Lau Pau Sat Festival Market, Pasta, Pizzas, Pork, Restaurant, Sandwiches, Seafood, Shenton Way/Raffles Place, Soup
695B East Coast Road
Tel: 6445 5037
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm, Tue to Sun; closed on Mon
Our Makansutra Seetoh visited this place in an episode that was aired on Channel 5 on 13 November 2007.
With a name like Stewhaus, of course you should expect the house specialties to be stew! A must try dish is the Hungarian Goulash Stew (S$14.80).
Service here is good and friendly. And prices are really reasonable here. Apparently the food served here is healthy – less salt, less fried stuff, etc.
So what are you waiting for? Head on down to Stewhaus today!
Kyo-Nichi Japanese Ramen
#03-249 Marina Square
Tel: 6337 7017
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 10pm, daily
#01-31 China Square Central, China Court
Tel: 6327 3919
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 10pm, Mon to Sat; closed on Sundays
If you’re craving for some delightful Japanese treats, say Konichiwa at Kyo-Nichi. Enjoy a hearty meal at this humble Japanese eatery with its signature delicious ramen cooked in the special collagen soup, which is apparently good for your health.
Here, you would be spoilt for choices because the yummy ramen comes in a myriad of ingredients from char siew to spicy chicken and the soup base is available in either standard, spicy or thick.
And help yourself with the amazing array of side dishes such as shrimp roll and tempura to finish off a wonderful meal. Don’t worry about over-spending here because there are affordable set menus available, complete with ramen, side dish and drink. This is the place for you and your family to truly indulge in a feast.
#02-120 Vivo City
Tel: 6275 8766
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 10.30pm, Sun to Thu; 11.30am to 11.30pm, Fri & Sat
#01-031 New Suntec Galleria
Tel: 6337 3988
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm, Mon to Fri; 11.30am to 11.30pm, Sat & Sun
33-35 Pekin Street (Far East Square)
Tel: 6438 8991
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm, Mon to Fri; 11.30am to 3pm, 6p to 11pm, Sat & Sun
I’ve tried eating at this restaurant twice: the first time was for dinner at their Vivo City outlet and the 2nd time for lunch at their Far East Square outlet.
I didn’t enjoy the dinner as I found their kushiyaki (something like yakitori sticks) were too saltish for my taste. However, the dinner set was worth the price I paid (about S$35 nett if I can remember correctly) as it came with 5 sticks of kushiyaki, garlic rice, fruits, hot green tea, 1 tiny bowl of salad, miso soup, pickles and 1 tofu cheesecake. Service at the Vivo City outlet was excellent I must say.
The kushiyaki that I ate during lunch was less saltish and more palatable. Again, I ordered the mixed kushiyaki set. This time, it came with 4 sticks of kushiyaki (2 mushrooms, pork with a bit of cheese sprinkled on top, pork with asparagus and 1 prawn), 1 tiny bowl of salad, 1 miso soup, pickles, 1 small bowl of potato mashed with carrots and 1 cold glass of green tea. For these, I paid S$22.95 nett. Very good value for money. My colleagues had their Nabeyaki Gindara Udon set (Japanese claypot noodles with prawn tempura, vegetables, egg and choice of chicken or cod fish; gindara is cod fish) and Hotate Kariage Don set (sea scallops and vegetables lightly battered and fried).
The Nabeyaki Gindara Udon set costs S$27.40 nett including 1 cold glass of green tea and the Hotate Kariage Don set costs S$23.80 nett including 1 hot glass of green tea. The green tea costs S$1.77 nett and is an optional item.
Service at the Far East Square is not as good as the Vivo City outlet but given that it was a very busy lunch crowd (the whole restaurant was packed), it was understandable.
From 5 November 2007, Shin Kushiya will deliver to offices in the vicinity of their restuarants at Suntec City, Vivo City and Far East Square. Please click here (Shin Delivery Menu) for terms and conditions of delivery and menu. Minimum order is S$100.
Posted in BBQ, By Cuisine, By Food Type, By Location, Delivery, I Was Here, Japanese, Marina Bay Area, Noodles, Restaurant, Rice, Shenton Way/Raffles Place, Soup, Telok Blangah Area
Goldhill Hakka Restaurant
299A Changi Road (After the SPC station)
Tel: 6842 4283
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 4pm, closed on Mondays
This place is recommended to me by my colleague who swears by this restaurant’s la la (clams), which he says is just steamed with ginger, chilli and Chinese rice wine. The la la dish is so heavily doused with the Chinese rice wine that you’ll end up with rosy cheeks after eating and drinking the stock from this dish.
The 2nd item that he swears by is the “Suan Pan Zi” (abacus). It’s not the normal suan pan zi that you can get from other stalls. This one is made out of yam and has dried prawns (“xia mi”), salted fish and dried squid as topping.
The 3rd but not last item he says you must have at this restaurant is of course their hakka yong tau foo. If you think this is an ordinary dish, think again. This restaurant uses fresh fish paste in their fillings and the overall taste got a thumbs up!
Note: Thanks to Tiong for the recommendation!
#01-09 Robertson Walk
Tel: 6235 7277
Opening Hours: Dinner – 6pm to midnight, Tue to Sat; 6pm to 10pm, Sun
Hi-Tea – 3pm to 5pm, Sat & Sun
Macaron is a stylish new dessert restaurant offering prix fixe menus for both afternoon tea (weekends) and dinner only.
Not dissimilar to internationally reowned dessert restaurants like Espai Sucre (Barcelona) and Room 4 Dessert (New York), Macaron is a proper sit-down restaurant and not just an “after dinner” destination. The 32-seater dining room was designed around the idea of an imaginary landscape composed of abstracted silhouettes of trees and castle forms. In an almost magical like setting, it relates to the focus of the restaurant – that of desserts, which is all about pleasure and sweet encounters.
For a 4-course dinner set, you pay S$38.00 for 1 appetizer (choose either Pulpo, Olive Oil Cake, Pan Con Tomate or King Salmon Tartare), 1 dessert amuse (“Virgin Mary” sorbet, Poached Vanilla Citrus Pear, Chocolate sorbet, Flambe Banana, “Sunny Side Up” or Frozen Kalamansi Chibouste) 1 dessert glass & 1 petit four.
And if you can, you have an option of going for 6 course (S$55.00), 9 course (S$80.00) or 15 course (S$125.00). You can also go for their hi-tea set (S$28.00+++) or simply go a-la-carte.
Check their website for more details on the menu and please keep in mind that this is a dessert restaurant, so don’t expect a lot of meat dishes/salad.
Bon appetit! And remember my favourite motto: “Life is short, eat your desserts first!” 😀
Note: Thanks to Mei Ling for this wonderful recommendation!
Cantina The Food & Wine Stop
60 Greenleaf Road
Tel: (65) 6467 5413
Opening Hours: 11am to 3pm & 6pm to 11pm, Mon to Fri & Eve of Public Holidays; 11am to 11pm on Weekends & Public Holidays
I had the privilege of dining here at someone else’s expenses some time back, so I can’t remember if they had the set menu or not. But you could check with the restaurant.
The food here is mamma mia! Really good food at reasonable pricing. The environment here is relaxed since it’s pretty much out of the way. But service is excellent. Check the website for menu & pricing.
One of the best ways to eat artichokes is on a pizza, and you can’t beat this Quattro Stagioni ($20.80) one from Cantina. Aside from the obligatory tomato and mozzarella, there’s also mortadella, black olives, mushrooms and artichokes to represent each of the four seasons or stagioni. Tart slivers of artichokes go perfectly with the briny olives, smoky mushrooms and ham. The crust on this one is crisp, but with a slight chewiness. Don’t worry, it’s not doughy so you can have a couple more slices.
Why I’m putting this review here is that they have got a wonderful outlet at Changi Village called La Cantina in Venezia (specifically at the roof top of Changi Village Hotel). Picture on their website shows a beautiful sea view while dining al-fresco (see picture above). Romantic venue if I must say. 🙂
Note: Part of the review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.
Posted in Bukit Timah Area, By Cuisine, By Food Type, By Location, Desserts, Italian, Pasta, Pizzas, Restaurant, Seafood, Soup