It’s Restaurant Week here in Singapore from 18 – 24 March. And if you’ve never heard of it, the catch to Restaurant Week is that restaurants, mostly fine dining and renowned, will come up with set menus for both lunch and dinner for an affordable S$35++ (sometimes more if they have the DiningCity Star).
I’ve never been able to participate because whenever I would find out about it, the better restaurants would already be fully booked, and me being the snob that I am when it comes to food, wouldn’t budge about trying a less known but equally well reviewed restaurant. This year, however, I figured that being snobbish would probably mean not ever getting to participate in Restaurant Week and so I decided that I’d try something and some place new.
Today my family and I landed up at Latteria Mozzarella Bar for lunch; it was given good reviews (8.51/10) even though it hadn’t earned the DiningCity Star. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the servers, two of whom were Italian. We were then presented with the menu:
- Appetizer – Pan Seared Buffalo Milk Mozzarella wrapped in Parma Ham
- Main – Smoked Mozzarella Risotto or Lamb Shank with Chickpeas and Red Wine Casserole or Seafood Cacciuco
- Dessert – Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Mousse
We then proceeded to ordering our mains, two lamb shanks and two seafood cacciucos. Sadly no one wanted to order the risotto since the appetizer was already mozzarella-heavy. Had they made another kind of risotto, I definitely would’ve ordered it. I think risottos are one of the ways in which you can tell the quality and standard of the Italian chef/restaurant, but don’t take my word for it, it might’ve just been some useless opinion I formed while watching reality cooking shows, specifically when Gordon Ramsay flings lousy risotto into the bin or when Masterchef judges label risotto as the “killer dish”.
Pan-Seared Buffalo Milk Mozzarella wrapped in Parma Ham – This was really good! Apparently Latteria is known for its cheese and so, as expected, the mozzarella was smooth and paired really well with the parma ham. The bitterness from the sear coupled with the balsamic reduction and the argula were also spot on. This appetizer left me really impressed.
Seafood Cacciuco – Came with mussels, clams, squid, prawns and fish. It was cooked really well, the tomato-base broth didn’t taste artificially seasoned with salt and it had a strong seafood essence, telling of the fact that they must’ve spent quite a bit of time preparing and boiling the soup. The other main, the lamb shank (sadly I forgot to take a picture), was huge and also cooked really well. Both my family members who ordered the lamb finished it and were really impressed.
Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Mousse – The pear was poached really well. It had enough resistance when cut into but it wasn’t too hard to the point that cutting into it meant fearing that it might fly off your plate. The mascarpone was light and just rightly sweetened, in my opinion. It paired really well with the slightly tart pear slices. The chocolate shavings, though initially mistaken as decoration, actually added another dimension to the dessert. I found myself scraping the plate of all the shavings once I was done with the dessert.
I must say that it was a pleasant experience on the whole. The servers were polite and prompt, and the food was authentic and tasty and of decent proportions. I did, however, feel slightly rushed, like I needed to finish my meal by a certain time so they can turn the table over to another customer. Though that’s probably true, I still wished I was given more space to enjoy the food and company instead of having servers move in and out to clear dishes every 20 minutes or so. But I can’t complain, when we paid our bill, we ended up realizing that set lunch was only $25++ per person, what a steal! We all agreed that the meal was well worth our $25, the lamb shank alone probably costs that much on a normal day.
I think Latteria still has some vacancies for Restaurant Week, do give it a try!
40 Duxton Hill