Latteria Mozzarella Bar

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:

  1. Appetizer – Pan Seared Buffalo Milk Mozzarella wrapped in Parma Ham
  2. Main – Smoked Mozzarella Risotto or Lamb Shank with Chickpeas and Red Wine Casserole or Seafood Cacciuco
  3. 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”.

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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.

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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.

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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

Tel: 68661988

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TWG #8

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Seared Salmon with Tea-Infused Rice ($26)

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Coconut Vanilla (Turquoise) and Salted Earl Grey Caramel (Black) ($2 each)

Symmetry

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Skinny Latte ($5.80, I think) – Latte was served with a cute little biscuit that was yummy! All lattes should be accompanied by cute homemade biscuit men.

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Big Breakfast ($24) – This was literally a BIG breakfast. It came with everything you’d wanna eat at breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, hashbrown, tomato… I thought the most unique part of this dish was the fruit butter. I think it’s a mix of butter and jam/fruit, which is refrigerated and then serve as spread for the toast, trés intelligent!

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Flan ($23) – This was absolutely delicious. The waitress recommended it to me and I did not regret ordering it at all. It’s two huge chunks of pork cheek confit served in a very thin wafer like “tart shell” with sauteed mushrooms, a poached egg and a mixture of onions, cream and pommery mustard. The pork was perfectly cooked and it paired so well with the rest of the components. I don’t usually like mushrooms but this was so good, I ate them all together anyway. I wished they’d call it something else though, “Flan” is too simple and non-explanatory a name for such an amazing dish.

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Espresso Semifreddo (approx. $14) – Semi-frozen milk pudding sitting on puffed rice. This wasn’t too sweet at all and was light enough to end off our meal on a sweet note without leaving us feeling like elephants.

Overall my experience at Symmetry was positive, especially since the food was amazing and the service wasn’t bad. I was blessed to have gotten a table at 12pm on Saturday even though I didn’t make a prior reservation. It did, however, get quite packed so if you’re thinking about visiting Symmetry, it might be a good idea to make a reservation. Also, I would say Symmetry is on  the slightly higher price range.

Penny University

This is a pretty little cafe in the East Coast, not sure if there’re many others like this around there, and so it’s definitely a gem for all those who stay in the East. It serves coffee and desserts, as well as breakfast and sandwiches, and is an all round nice place to chill – I spent more than 3 hours there with Evie, and saw many others who were working there with their laptops.

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Honey-infused Greek Yogurt with Granola & Dried Fruit Topping ($6) – The yogurt with granola was nice. Yogurt wasn’t too sour, which is the way I like it, but I did wish I had slightly more granola topping. I thought it was a decent portion for its price, but then again it’s one of those items that’s hard to write about because literally anyone can remake this at home, even if you didn’t have much of a culinary flair.

Skinny Latte ($5.50) – It bubbled slightly, which based on my coffee-drinking experience, usually means that the milk was slightly overheated. But other than that it was good. I think they use beans from Liberty Coffee.

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French Toast with Fresh Fruit, Maple Syrup & Cream Cheese ($8) – Evie ordered this. She said it looked pretty and that the berries were sour. We initially couldn’t tell if it was cream cheese served with it cause it was rather tasteless. Overall, I think Evie enjoyed it. I can’t comment on whether it was fluffy or eggy cause I didn’t try it, plus I don’t particularly fancy french toast.

If you do decide to pay them a visit, try the Toasties! I didn’t order them this around, but we sat near the kitchen and I saw many orders of toasties being served, so they must be good! Also, the owner (well, at least I assume he is) recommended us to try the Turkish Eggs, and also the sandwiches. They also sell a variety of desserts. I have yet to try them but they do look really yummy. Hopefully this helps you make your ordering decision when you visit!

402 East Coast Road

Tel: 90213959

http://www.pennyuni.com

Club Street Social

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5 Gemmil Lane

Tel: 62255043

TWG #7

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Societe Canteen #2

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Kith Bistro #5

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CSHH #4

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Simply Bread #4

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Carpenter & Cook #2

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Prive Cafe

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2 Keppel Bay Vista

GF Marina at Keppel Bay

Tel: 66816401

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