a couple weeks ago I told you about pizzeria mozza – now let me introduce you to its sexier, glamorous, sophisticated elder sister. the head-turner, without understatement.
I came here a long time before just for dessert, and it somehow didn’t make much of an impression then – that’s totally changed now. this place is at the same time glamorous and rustic, chi-chi but accessible, and filled with yuppies having the time of their lives.
it’s definitely a favorite, if not the favorite – prices aren’t cheap (rather obviously), but I feel like you almost definitely get what you’re paying for: a rarefied ambience I definitely relish.
and the food’s good. very good.
the place is gorgeous, and rather what you’d expect given it’s an american celebrity restaurant in the somewhat select marina bay sands, positioned amidst its peers (db bistro next door, cut by wolfgang puck opposite).
service is a mixed bag – they are friendly as it goes, but the restaurant does get busy, and corners are clear blind spots in the dark restaurant. but, it’s not so negligent as to offend, and I do prefer the lack of hovering/ overt attention (sometimes that glamorous persona slips, okay?)
we started with warm, just-crusty-enough bread with a luxuriously luxuriant bowl of softened butter – and an amuse bouche of what I think is ricotta and tapenade on a cracker – my memory fails me in details, but I do remember the deliciousness, and appreciation of something not difficult or expensive to provide as a complimentary tide-over before your dishes arrive (some restaurants should really learn the power of an amuse bouche).
one pasta and one meat dish shared between two tends to be just right for our appetites (though of course what I mean is it leaves me space for the most important last course), and it was a spicy pancetta-clam linguine for us, as well as grilled trout.
I don’t need to tell you the pasta was cooked al dente, nor that the clams and pancetta were available in abundance (almost too much, really) – it was a fantastic, savoury dish full of umami. the trout was surprising too – we don’t often order it, seeing as how it’s really a quite-cheap fish full of bones – but it was well-cooked till tender, fish-oily in the best way, and the pan roasting had created a nicely charred crust.
we also had a side of sauteed spinach with crispy garlic, and that was plenty nice too – although I might nitpick and hope for a slightly more refreshing version – this was on the same line of richness as our dishes, and I hoped for some green to cut it.
I of course had a glass of moscato – what else would I drink in an italian place – and we finished with a crazily delicious dark slab of chocolate mousse-cake. dark and creamy and rich and chocolatey, this was nearly on the same class of amazingness as that souffle from cut opposite.
the best compliment to the chefs really must be how I scraped my dishes clean (especially with that last plate of chocolate). we lingered over wine, and they don’t rush you away – everything’s convival and just plain dandy.
#B1-42/46 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
tel +65 6688 8522
$$$: 65-100 per person