Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Italian dinner I had tonight was beyond fantastic.
It might sound like pure exaggeration but trust me, it's not. Ask my satisfied tummy, it'll agree with me.
To be honest, I've read about the restaurant on some food blogs two weeks ago and even wrote down its address, with the intention of dining there some day.
That quick scribble in my notebook was forgotten, until yesterday when my friend Alvin sms-ed me saying that he's now working at a restaurant that he thinks I will come to love. He mentioned that it was Italian and located at MacPherson. Then I remembered Finalmente Gastronomia, because there were very few restaurants along MacPherson road. So I asked if it was indeed Finalmente and guess what?
It was! I was thoroughly amused because if not for Alvin, I probably wouldn't have dropped by for dinner today. Okay, among my group of friends, Alvin and another friend Evan are two food-lovers whom I'm pretty close to and we love to meet up for coffee, good food and the works. So naturally Alvin wanted Evan and I to try the food and that was what we did, just a few hours ago. Pretty spontaneous we are. Haha. Oh and I brought Felix (my younger bro) along as well.
So enough bantering, here comes the food.
Oh and I forgot to bring my camera so I had to make do with my 2 megapixel Sony Ericsson phone camera so I hope you don't mind the blurry, pixellated photos! I promise to take better ones with my proper camera the next time I dine at Finalmente (yes I'm so going to be a regular there).
Finalmente is definitely one of my current favourite restaurant! Read on and you'll know why.
The owner of Finalmente's Italian and has been living in Singapore for more than 10 years. Did I mention that he can speak some Teochew as well? He was there just now and was really warm and friendly. And in case you're wondering, no, Alvin didn't serve us today... haha... he joined us for dinner since he wasn't working today.
We reached about 8:30pm and were really hungry so we quickly ordered some food.
First up was the Caprese:
It's actually fresh Italian mozzarella with Roma tomatoes, drizzled with basil pesto ($13). Now, I'm a huge fan of basil pesto and I was happy that it tasted good. I had a great time coating the mozzarella and tomatoes with pesto before chomping them down. The mozzarella was a delight. Fresh and with bite, it's one of my favourite cheeses. They gave some foccacia as well and it was perfect for mopping up the pesto remnants.
Next up was the roast beef:
Served with mushrooms, rocket salad, shaved parmesan and crispy focaccia ($15), the beef was gorgeous. I won't really call it roast beef though. It's slighly raw in the centre, something like beef carpaccio. Ooo, but we liked it. The shaved parmesan added a tinge of savoury flavour too. All 4 of us loved this dish.
You can see the pink flesh. I guess it's also personal perference. I don't like my meats too well done so this was perfect.
Next up was the pizza!
Okay, I've heard lots about their pizzas and I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed. Their pizzas rocked. The owner told us that he loves pizzas and wouldn't mind eating them everyday for the rest of his life. And now I understood why. With pizzas like Finalmente's, that's so good, you'd want to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! No kidding!
You should try some for yourself lest you think I'm just being crazy. One bite and you'll be wishing you could have a life-time supply of their pizzas. The Italian chef there is one helluva cook! He's mighty talented and you can really taste the labour of love. We had the Finalmente Spicy: Tomatoes, mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, peppers ($20).
The size was just right and the toppings were delish. We had no complaints. The crust was perfect! Oh boy, I just cannot get enough of Italian thin-crust pizzas. These are the real deal. I've also heard that their 5 cheeses pizza's really good, but we didn't order it because it might be too heavy, since we're ordering other heavy mains.
Just one word of caution - the Finalmente Spicy leans toward the spicy side because of the hot chillies they add. So please don't torture yourself if you cannot take spices.
If pizzas just aren't your cup of tea, then you HAVE to try their homemade pasta.
We tried the black tagliatelle:
I'm sure you would know how much of a squid ink pasta fan I am! So I was very excited when the owner told me that they have it on their menu, only a bit different. You know how squid ink pasta's always served with black ink sauce, together with your normal pasta? Well the Finalmente way of doing it is by putting the ink into the pasta instead.
The result is one heck of a tasty and yummy pasta. The homemade pasta really tastes homemade and I like that it has bite. Marvellous. I was so amazed!
And of course, you should try their tiramisu. They assemble it on the spot, once you place your order. They not only use sponge fingers, but amaretti biscuits as well.
We loved the strawberry sauce that same with it!
All in all, this cosy and quaint outfit is a pleasing get-away. It really brings home the point that good food isn't only found in your stiff fine dining places. You don't have to travel all the way to dempsey or pay a bomb just to have a good meal.
Finalmente Gastronomia is a perfect example of how good food need not be so unaccessible and overpriced. One reason why I like this place and the food, is the rustic feel. I'm a sucker for anything homely and rustic. And as the owner said - he really wants this place to reflect authentic Italian eateries where people come to have real home-cooked food made with love, something that will make people want to come back for more. It's more like a place for regulars, a place you can come to without dressing up and yet feel comfortable. The prices are quite reasonable too. There's no service charge or GST.
The place feels personal. I like it because of its simplicity and solid food. I do have to go back again soon. I want to try every single dish on their menu! It does help that this place isn't too far from where I live :)
Finalmente Gastronomia might be tucked away in a far-flung nook but it's one place that's worth at least one visit. Oh, and in case you are wondering, Finalmente means finally. So Finalmente Gastronomia simply translates to "Finally, good food!".
Amen to that, I say!
Took two panoramic shots with my simple phone camera. I put one on top of the other. It'll give you a better idea of what I mean by simple yet homely.
I think I have fallen in love with this lovely hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
Alvin, I'm so glad you're working there! hahaha.
As for you, my dear reader, do pay Finalmente a visit some day and treat yourself to a delicious, authentic, warm Italian meal. You won't regret it, I promise.
443 Macpherson Road (Between Hotel Windsor & Mazda Showroom)
Open 11:30am to 10pm