Friday, August 20, 2010

Gattopardo

Gattopardo opened a few months ago at the Fort Canning Hotel, and very rapidly achieved its success by serving Sicilian style Italian cuisine. Do not be discouraged by the ongoing works when you get to the location, since they are still renovating the whole building. Gattopardo seems to be the first to have opened within the development. The interior is extremely spacious and elegant, softly lit in some areas and brighter around the fish and pizza counter. I chose to sit at the counter to be in the middle of the action, with a view on the kitchen and the proudly displayed fresh fish selection. I also found that central part of the restaurant to be less noisy than the tables on the side. Unfortunately the high ceilings, stone structure and lack of soft furnishings tend to encourage raising levels of noise in the dining room.

The Arrotolata (S$24) is a rolled up pizza, stuffed with Smoked Mozzarella, Suckling Pig, Porcini Mushrooms, Grape Sauce and topped with fresh Rucola Salad. Great balance of quality ingredients, plenty of cheese oozing out of the pre-cut slices and abundance of fresh rocket to lighten up the flavour. The texture of the dough is not as dry as other pizza restaurants I tried in Singapore, leaning towards the southern Italian/Neapolitan style.

Even more impressive was this traditional Sicilian style bucatini (S$26). Most Italian restaurants tend to serve the usual "standard" Italian pasta dishes (whether they really are as they are meant to be), and just stick to those to be safe. It is rare to find real regional pasta dishes on a menu. Gattopardo is one of those rare restaurants, as they sourced the hard to find ingredients to serve something you would not find elsewhere. Wild fennel, fresh sardines from the Mediterranean, roasted pine nuts, saffron and raisins. It sounds like a very rich combination, but in actual fact the result is extremely well balanced. I can count on one hand the times I was as delighted to enjoy the essence of well executed regional Italian cuisine here in Singapore.

The Ravioli con Burrata e Crescione (S$26) was also very good. The flavour of the burrata was very intense when biting into these ravioli. The watercress sauce was creamy with finely chopped watercress and parsley and a dash of stock to enhance the flavour.

I was not as impressed by the Cipolle di Tropea e Ragusano (S$18), an onion pudding served with a Ragusano cheese fondue. The cheese itself was deliciously intense, but the pudding didn't have sufficient flavour to contrast it. I would have expected it to distinctly taste of slowly braised onions, but the onion taste was really just shying in the background.

The service was extremely professional and attentive I must say, far above average. I would definitely recommend a visit at Gattopardo if you are after authentic Italian cuisine. Their prices are reasonable on the items I have chosen, with a total bill of S$127 (10% Citi card discount included) with a glass of white wine and a bottle of water. They have quite a few more regional dishes on the menu that are to be tried, so I will be going back for more.

Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar
Fort Canning Hotel
11 Canning Walk, S(178881)
Tel: (+65) 6338 5498
Website: http://www.gattopardo.com.sg

3 comments:

stargirl said...

gorgeous pictures you have there! i hope to pay gattopardo a visit to get a taste of authentic sicilian cuisine.

amiscell said...

Thanks! Do try it, highly recommended.

Aida said...

Agreed with your review of Gattopardo.I'm not Italian or Sicilian for that matter,but I admit I had high expectations of a restaurant that decided to name itself after one of my favourite books!

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