Sunday, November 20, 2005
With regards to Italian restaurants, I know I had to post about Via Veneto. Yes, it's another place I reviewed a few months back but haven't got the time to blog about it.
Anyway, it's a lovely authentic Italian restaurant along Clarke Quay. The chef is Italian and he's very jolly and friendly. Had a really interesting conversation with him about Singapore food and his life here. He's been here for 10 years already and he does like it here. But he only started trying out local food only in recent years. It's nice when he recounts his experiences at hawker centres; how the locals give him weird looks just cos he's an 'ang mo' (red head a.k.a. foreigner/caucasian/white). I think his name is Carlo Marengoni. He was from Bergamo, near Milan.
You know what? I so have to go to Italy one day! I really dig Italian food and I want to sink my teeth in a really red, ripe, juicy tomato. I know it beats the ones we have here. Allright, back to my review. Let me fill you in on the lovely delights that Via Veneto has.
That which you saw on top of this post is a brilliant salad. Not sure if it was named after the author, but you know what? I like my salads with a splash of balsamic vinegar and this one had a generous amount of it. Not only that... they used garlic scented olive oil too. There was also basil leaves and white beans. The end product? A rather tangy, cooling and crunchy salad. What a beauty. Simple and understated .
Ravioloni Crema e Funghi
Ya, there's just something about me and ravoli. I like eating it. Why? I love to bite into my pasta and find something pleasant waiting for me. It's like eating chinese wanton. Well but I prefer ravoli anytime. Just appeals more to me. Anyway these fresh pasta was filled with ricotta cheese and cooked in cream and mushroom sauce. Decadent. Mmmmm yum. okay I do have a weakeness for ricotta cheese. I have to find a good ricotta cheesecake recipe soon... Back to these ravoli; I tell you not only was it robust and textured, it was creamily delicious as well. The mushrooms were good - high quality of course.
Valentino - Salmon steak served with broiled scallops crown flavoured with a creamy champagne sauce, topped with fried battered endive leaves
Allow me now to rave about this next dish. My valentino it might just become. At Via Veneto, they have this section in the menu entitled 'Designer's Dedication' and there are a few main courses named after Italian designers. I chose Valentino of course. I was soon served with a richly pink and plump salmon steak that came with a very interesting accompanying endive leaves that had been battered and fried. I enquired about these leaves and Chef Marengoni showed me some. It's really like a form of cabbage, only narrower and more firm. Oh and the scallops were lovely too, I do figure that the sauce completed it! A sure winner this Valentino. I was on cloud nine I tell ya.
Affogato al caffe - vanilla ice cream immersed in espresso
Dessert wasn't tiramisu (was too full!) but I was glad I had this ice cream with espresso. The homemade ice cream was made with real vanilla beans (look a the black specks) and it certainly went well with the espresso. A great pick-me-up after a full afternoon lunch.
And in case you were wondering, here's how the interior looks like. It's really cosy and there were quite a few Italian paintings on the walls. The whole atmosphere makes you feel as if you were in Italy. Well i know it doesn't beat being in lovely Italy itself but I guess this would suffice for now.
#01-06 Clarke Quay
3E River Valley Road
Open: Lunch 12noon – 2:30pm, Dinner 6 – 10:30pm daily.