Category Archives: Italiano

Jamie’s Italian Singapore @Vivo City

Reputably known as the Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver is a household name for his cookbooks and his campaign towards serving school children healthy and nutritious food. When Jamie Oliver opened his first restaurant on our sunny island in 2013, it was the first of its kind in Asia. (We seem to really like being first for everything!) For 2 years, there have been mixed reviews of Jamie’s Italian and sightings of long queues outside the restaurant. Even before dusk, the place is already half filled with eager diners. I love their family-friendly concept. Children are presented with a colouring paper and a tin of crayons to doodle on while waiting for food to arrive. Red booth seats, wooden tables and metal shelvings, the interior gives a warm and finished feeling.The kitchen expeditor, I assume, was hard at work. Ensuring that dishes were served punctually and of quality, I’ve witnessed how he tasted and returned dishes back to the kitchen that were not of standard. Crispy Squid: Lightly battered squid, deep fried, tossed in fresh chilli and garlic with homemade mayonnaise dusted with paprika. I really enjoyed this dish. Perfect starter of a meal.Prawn Linguine: Fried garlicky prawns, shaved fennel, tomatoes, chilli & rocket. Fresh ingredients do make a difference. Fresh homemade pasta and prawn, tossed well in a tangy tomato sauce, the dish does not disappoint. There are two sizes that you can order from, the small portion can be finished within a few mouthfuls. 30-day Matured Prime Sirloin: 280g chargrilled steak cooked to your liking & served with wild mushrooms, peppery endives & funky chips. The steak could do a bit more seasoning. I guess I was expecting too much, so I got pretty disappointed when it could not be compared to the likes of Morton’s and Bedrock. The service at Jamie’s Italian was commendable. Friendly, alert and efficient, they created a memorable dining experience. Want more of Jamie’s Italian? A little birdie told me a new branch is opening in Orchard.

Jamie’s Italian Singapore, Vivo City
Vivo City, 1 HarbourFront Walk
#01 165-167
Singapore (098585)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 12pm-10pm
Fri: 12pm-11pm
Sat: 9.30am-11pm
Sun: 9.30am-10pm
Tel: +65 67335500

Latteria Mozzarella Bar

Chancing upon Latteria was an act of fate. The initial purpose of travelling to Duxton Road was to try the famous lobster roll at Pince and Pints. But lo and behold, the minimum waiting time was at least an hour. With rumbling tummies, we were forced to seek other dining options instead. Every cloud does have a silver lining. Walking around Duxton Hill aimlessly, we found ourselves at the beautiful patio of Latteria.

IMG_8839 Linguine Crab & Mascarpone: This dish promises to razzle and dazzle you with its fascinating combination of complementary flavours. Creamy and tangy, the sauce coats the smooth strands of linguine nicely and evenly. Garnished generously with crabmeat, this dish possesses a similar taste profile to Ricciotti’s Linguine Al Granchio.

IMG_8838Latteria Mac & Cheese: This dish has always been my weakness. Even if I know that with diminishing returns, I will not last more than 8 spoonfuls, I followed my heart and my gut to order this dish. Housed in a little pumpkin, this dish is irresistible and a visual feast. The baked cheese crust at the top provides a hearty and savoury boost to its taste profile. Mac & Cheese is indeed comfort for the tummy.

Dont brush off Latteria off as just another trattoria(Italian restaurant). The interior has an ageless and warm ambience while their service is exemplary. Food wise, I have said it all. We are definitely going back for seconds and more.

Latteria Mozzarella Bar
40 Duxton Hill
Singapore 089618

Opening hours:
Lunch: 12-3pm (unavailable on Sat)
Dinner: 6-11pm
Tel: +65 6866 1988

Taipei Travelogue Part 4: Deja Vu Restaurant

 

What To Eat Ah, in Taipei (Restaurants):

 

Deja Vu RESTAURANT

IMG_2436Some people would have heard of this restaurant before, not because they had a sense of deja vu. But because the founder is a famous and popular Taiwanese singer. He is none other than Jay Chou. This was the last night at Taipei and my travelling companions and I had a rough idea of the quality that theme restaurants have to offer. Hence, I entered this restaurant with my expectations lowered than before. High and lofty dining ceilings, lush furnitures, loud brass ornaments and heavily framed paintings hanging on the wall. It may look like Jay Chou got really generous with interior design, especially with a Batmobile replica sitting in the middle of the dining area. So what about the food?
IMG_2451Appetizers: Funny that the menu described this dish as Tapas, the Spanish term for appetizers, when the rest of the menu was rich with Italian cuisine names. Going through this dish was a pretty interesting and scary experience for us. Since the restaurant was so dim, we had to squint and attempt to make a guess the different components that make up the entire dish. Some were a delight to our palettes while some like the raw garlic cloves were plainly shunned.

IMG_2462Romano Potato Pizza: If you’re wondering at the name of the dish, you would be intrigued to know that the pasta and pizza section of the menu are covered in names infused with the Italian language. Thankfully, the brief description provides enough information for patrons like us to decide on our orders. Although the restaurant is pretty famous for their pizzas, I would only recommend this dish to carbo-lovers out there. The mixture of dough and potato is just too intense. You would most probably tap out after the third slice. In addition, this dish could do with more seasoning.

IMG_2467Pizza Ai Frutti Di Mare: A seafood tomato-based pizza. Surprisingly, not only was the topping relatively tasty, the pizza had better seasoning.

IMG_2475Braised Mushrooms with Tenderloin in Marsal Wine: That very night, I was in the mood for red meat. Nothing else on the menu attracted me except for this dish. I just wanted some meat lovin’. When the dish arrived, all of us took some time to adjust our eyes and looked at the plate more closely. It didn’t help that under the dim candlelight, my dish looked like it was plated and garnished in a hurry. Taste wise, I definitely have tried and savoured much better steak in my entire life, but comparing to the other dishes that the restaurant has to offer, I think this is worth a try.

IMG_2479Normandy Seafood: This is is another dish that is worth the recommendation. Under sheets of lasagne lies the deep treasures of tomato braised seafood such as clams, mussels and prawns. Tasty, fresh and delectable, my friend wiped out the entire plate before you can even pronounce Normandy.

IMG_2486Squid Ink Pasta: This was a weird dish to begin with, not that its made of squid ink. Squid ink has been creeping into the menus of our local food industry for the past few years mind you. The pasta took an awfully time to arrive, after I’ve finished my beef tenderloin, and if you could look closely, the chef piled an incredible amount of pasta on the plate. That is just plain overkill and unprofessional.

So one would start to wonder at this point, what is the theme of this restaurant? This is actually a joint venture between Jay Chou and the famous Taiwanese magician, Liu Qian. Magic shows and singing performances are scheduled during dinner time. They might not be David Copperfield, but the tricks are good enough to wow you. Overall, just like the previous theme restaurants, this one failed to impress my tastebuds. Especially when the dishes are pretty pricey. Maybe Mr Chou could cut down on the lavish European interior deco and carry out some taste test for his menu.

Deja Vu Restaurant
台北市八德路一段一號  ( 華山1914文創園區  中四A館 )
No.1, Sec. 1, Bade Rd
Zhongzheng Dist
Taipei city 100
Taiwan.

Special Post: Taipei Travelogue Part 1



What To Eat Ah, in Taipei (Restaurants):

Diamond Tony’s PANORAMA Fusion Cuisine Dining Pub

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One of the few iconic places in Taipei is arguably the Taipei 101 building. Having being the tallest building in the world in recent history once, the Taipei 101 is a sight to behold. Look forward to the New Year and the Lunar New Year countdowns where fireworks can be seen exploding at the sides of the building in perfect synchronization and harmony. It was my second time to the national landmark and thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’m dining at the peak of the building.

IMG_1481After you’re escorted to the 87 storey through numerous elevator trips, hopefully you will be greeted by the seats near the window panes that offers a panoramic view of the city skyline. That is if the fog does not set in for the day. The restaurant has a posh, sleek and mainly black interior. Shiny silverware and smooth velvet high booth seats made our wallets shrink by a tiny bit. The lunch set menu allows you to choose one soup, one appetizer and one main course. Price ranges from 580NT -32800NT depending on the choice of main course. Certain appetizers such as foie gras would require a top-up of 300NT.

IMG_1527Complimentary Home-made bread with special Crab sauce: This was divine and comforting for our rumbling tummies. The bread was soft, delectable and well-baked. For once, I couldn’t stop at one piece. In addition, the bread went perfectly well with the crab sauce which was smooth, creamy and savoury. Perfect complement to the mild sweet taste of the bread.

IMG_1538Wild Mushroom and Truffle soup: What more can I say? Though I’m not an expert with truffle, this mushroom soup is definitely one of the best I’ve tried. Deep, woody taste coupled with a smooth and velvety texture. You will find yourself lapping up the bowl.

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Sashimi Salad in Matsuhisa Dressing: Not exactly what I envision when you say salad. Instead of having pieces of salmon tossed in a bowl of veggies, three thick salmon slices are placed immaculately on a round plate, garnished with cucumber, tomato and onion. As you slice through the salmon, you will be delighted to find out that only the edges are cooked and the inside is perfectly raw and fresh. The sweet pinkish meat goes perfectly well with the Matsuhisa dressing, invented and made famous by a Japanese Celebrity Chef, Nobu Matsuhisa. Arguably, the best sashimi or salad I’ve ever tried.

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Smoked Calf ’s Tongue decorated with Capers and Tuna Mayonnaise: Yes, you did not get me wrong. This is smoked calf’s tongue indeed. Concentrated taste liken to your normal ham, the tuna mayonnaise is a great occasional indulgence to pair along. The more adventurous will most probably by piqued by this dish.

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Lightly pan-fried Seasonal Fish with Spices & Lemon-herb Couscous: Slightly crispy on the outside, the fish is yet still tender and flaky inside. The sauce and couscous are the perfect finishing touches. This dish is well-suited for those with a milder palette.

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Pan-seared Duck Foie Gras with Mixed Berry Sauce: This is my first encounter with the highly coveted dish. Foie Gras is French for fat liver, a result after the duck has been force-fed with corn. Ignoring the process of how this dish is created, you will be able to enjoy this dish many times better. According to my friend in company, the foie gras in this restaurant is not top-notch. But to an amateur, the liver is distinctively smooth and melts right in your mouth. A splendid experience for me.

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Seared Beef Fillet scented with Cepes Mushroom and Demi-glace: Despite not being a steakhouse, Diamond Tony serves a mean piece of seared beef that is a notch above most versions I have had. The steak is well-seasoned and not overwhelmed by the taste of the sauce. The slab is tender and yields under the cut of the knife easily, I’m glad that I went along with my craving for some heavy meat.

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Half A Lobster baked in Garlic and Parsley Butter, served with Lobster Bisque and Linguine sautéed with Olive Oil, Chili, Garlic, and Assorted Seafood:Pretty much nothing can go wrong with lobster, unless the chef decides to butcher the dish by making it too dry. But fortunately, the chefs here know what they’re doing. The meat is obviously fresh as its peeled from its shell with much ease and grace, for the benefit of patrons. The pasta is well-seasoned with a citrus tang, giving a refreshing and delicious taste that never bores you.

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Roasted Steak & Seafood (Char-grilled Prime Fillet with Black True, and Baked King Prawn): Just like my steak, this dish does not fail in the beef department. Well-seasoned and well-seared, the steak only desires for more. And for those surf and turf friends out there, this would be a good choice to satisfy both cravings for red meat and seafood. Fresh tantalizing grilled king prawn that excites your taste buds, what more can you ask for?

IMG_1578Tiramisu: This is definitely not my first time having Tiramisu for dessert. But everyone on my table, including myself were blown away by this dish. Perfect moisture of the sponge, on-point density of the mascarpone cheese and the mild hint of coffee. The Tiramisu here has definitely hit the spot for me, or us. This is definitely a must-try, especially since it’s complimentary!

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Excellent food quality, reasonable price range, panoramic view (check out the toilet) and impeccable service. (The service crew is well-versed in both English and Mandarin. Saving us the embarrassment of stuttering our orders.) Fine dining has never been so exquisite. And I highly recommend you to indulge at this restaurant when you’re at Taipei.

Some things to take note before dining at this restaurant. Be sure to make reservations either by their website online or phone. We had our hotel’s reception to do the booking on our behalf. Secondly, the restaurant is located at the office building, not the main shopping building. Take the escalator to the second level and inform that you’re heading to the restaurant. A crew will appear magically, check your reservation and escort you through the gantry and instruct you further. You will need to take at least 2 separate elevators before reaching the 85 storey.

Diamond Tony’s PANORAMA Fusion Cuisine Dining Pub
Taipei 101 Office Building
No.7, Sec5,
Sinyi Rd., Sinyi District,
Taipei City 110,
Taiwan

As close as you can get to authentic Italian Thin-Crust Pizza.

Situated at Marina Bay City Gallery, Verve Pizza Bar is an alfresco dining experience that promises to bring you the most authentic Italian pizza. Unlike most restaurants or bistros that claim the same thing, Verve actually has something to boast about. In my opinion, the aspect that defines the quality of a pizza, is the crust. The thickness, the freshness and the softness. Verve has hit me in the right spot. This is my second time trying a Parma Ham pizza at a different place and this is my pick out of the two. Somehow, the rockets-lookalikes (arugula) here weren’t too strong and instead provided the contrasting texture and flavour to the otherwise savoury parma ham. The crust could not be more perfect as the foundation of a pizza. Did I mention that I absolutely dig the extra big parmesan shavings sprinkled on the top?

Corleone Pizza (S$28)

This is a special creation that mixes the East and the West. If you’re a fan of Peking Duck and pizza, then you need to try this. Shreds of duck meat with the sweet sauce goes exceptionally well with the pizza dough. Not to be missed.

P.S First bite is always the best.

Enzo Pizza (S$28)

Last but not least, let me introduce to you my new favourite pizza. This magical combination of bacon and mushroom is just amazingly delicious. Bits of saltiness mixed with a tinge of fungi. OMG. you have no idea until you have tasted this one hell of a good pizza. 

Barzini Pizza (S$28)

Verve Pizza Bar

Marina Bay City Gallery

Calamari does not necessarily have to be fried.

Calamari: Squid served as food

Alas, Calamari does not necessarily mean fried squid. And this is definitely not the kind of calamari you would be expecting but do not be too quick to judge yet. I promise that this will be a special treat for your taste buds. Drizzled in olive oil, served with soft chick peas, baked to perfection. You can even hear it sizzle when the chef removes it from the oven. This is definitely a side dish that I will order whenever I’m in this restaurant. Grab the bar seats if you do not mind, you will enjoy the sights and sounds of a busy Italian kitchen.

Calamari
Pizzeria Mozza
Marina Bay Sands