very good, rich, carb-and-cream-heavy sardinian cooking at this dark bar-restaurant in china square. I came here with bernie (her review here!) just to check out this just-past-its-hip-hype little place.
before, I couldn’t distinguish between sardinian and Italian – though I would have ventured it had something to do with fish for such a coastal area. it turns out though, that this restaurant is completely authentic to locale – this water-surrounded area instead relies on a lot of heavy, hearty land-based ingredients like cheese and grains, both of which were in clear abundance during the good meal.
p.s. beige things are very difficult to photograph.
everything was creamy, cheesy, buttery or pasta-y; very good for comfort-eating and hip-building. and, a glass of dry white to cut through.
take our baccala cakes, which came with a sea urchin sabayon: tender and bound nicely to be broken apart without effort, these were well-seasoned, properly-fried till dark but not charred), and contrasted with a creamy sauce that had that slight sweetness of urchin. very good.
our calamari was also decent (though I thought it could have done a little longer on the grill for some dark bits), served with another thick sauce supposedly made with sausage (I would have thought more cream than meat though).
but perhaps my favorite was our pasta of paccheri with iberico pork and truffle. it was carby, with soft cheese stuffed between the layers, and a beautiful truffle fragrance – SO fantastic.
so was this wagyu carpaccio, fragranted again with a creamy truffled aioli. I would repeat both dishes in a heartbeat.
it was when we were trying to finish a dish of polenta with gorgonzola and mushrooms, that it struck me how immensely rich everything was, and how easily it can be unbalanced. this dish was just soft and creamy and cheesy, and not salted enough to cut through that fatty softness.
but – that was the only dish, and everything else we had was plenty delicious and reasonably-priced, even if plenty rich.
the only things that I didn’t like about this place was the noise level (crazy noisy, and terrible for conversation) and service (we barely got attention and the dishes came slow).
#01-19 China Square Central
20 Cross Street
tel +65 6221 3937
$$.5: 50-60 per person