This is one of those rare reviews with no pictures. They are not allowed by restaurant policy, which creates even more of an aura of secrecy around this place.... well, I finally went and I tried this acclaimed restaurant on a Saturday lunch, after a long 1 month wait. I have repeatedly been hearing about this place from various sources and for quite some time, so I was indeed curious to try it out!
The restaurant is located within a shophouse in Tanjong Pagar and it is relatively small, with only a few tables being served within a very cozy and tastefully decorated family-style environment. There are a few displays on the walls which add a bit of character to the place, without making it cluttered. There is a board on the wall which displays the daily specials.
The menu itself is as small as the restaurant, with limited choice. To give you an example, there were only two pastas on the menu: a penne with black pig ragout, and a pasta with prawns and crab meat. There was also a spatzli with Bolognese sauce as a daily special, which could be ordered as part of the set lunch.
I ordered the set lunch and an extra pasta, which included: Caprese salad, penne with black pig ragout, fillet of seabass and dessert. The Caprese salad was exactly what it said on the label, well presented, with quality ingredients. The penne with black pork ragout were a bit away from expectation. The ragout in fact was more of a braised pork with carrot, and the sauce was basically the braising sauce itself together with the braised meat. It wasn't bad, but just not what I would have chosen had I known it. I also tried the spatzle with Bolognese sauce. I thought the spatzle were too soft, and the Bolognese was ok, a bit rich in tomato sauce, and it didn't particularly differentiate itself from what you can get at most restaurants.
The seabass was the best dish of the meal, well cooked and yet juicy, served on a puree' and red peppers sauce. My dining partners also ordered some fried cod dish, which was a little undercooked and tasted too fishy for my liking, but was accompanied by a very good sauce.
Overall the quality of the food is good and above many other Italian restaurants in Singapore, although nothing extraordinary that I would wait for as long as a month, so in that sense it didn't meet expectations. My main criticism is the limited choice, which might end up pushing you to choose based on exclusion of what you don't like, rather than picking what you really want.
If you crave for Italian, there are other restaurants that serve more choice and comparable quality without planning your meal months ahead.
126 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore
Tel: 6324 6225