average-ly, is how I would describe this place. I was full of hope – an italian diner, complete with bona fide italianos right-smack in the middle of the expatriate-rife serangoon gardens. the place looks gorgeous and welcoming – and very much the epitome of the neighborhood round-the-corner.
but for the but. it’s expensive, almost bewilderingly so, and the food was nothing to really shout about, even if it scores plenty high on looks.
I’ve wanted to come here for a while, just because it looks so welcoming – just the right mix of rustic and modern. and high expectations are very often the preamble to disappointment.
we decided on a starter of beef carpaccio, thin slices on rocket leaves and topped with grana padano, which wasn’t too bad. drizzled with a little evoo, it went nicely enough with the bread (which was served decently warm, but was pretty tasteless and a little too-charred on the edges).
the filetto di manzo alla ravello (clearly a house specialty, given the name) was slab of tenderloin on rocket, topped with home-fried potatoes. salted well, and cooked pink with a beautifully-charred outside, it certainly was a sight to behold.
but the meat was rife with fats – you can see that last piece on the left is more fat than muscle – so much that it got a little too rich and tiring to eat. even the bitter arugula could barely save it – and what a waste, especially since they clearly know how to cook it.
tonnarelli ingarbugliati was black ink spaghetti noodles in a tomato sauce, with squid rings and (mostly) clams. I can’t say I remember much about the dish, but it certainly didn’t strike me as strongly as the beef.
there was a one-for-one lunch promotion, and even then the bill brought a little sticker-shock. I think they need to rethink the model – the location isn’t quite date-night-style, and the pricing seems overtly high.
Ravello by Cesare Cantarella
14B Kensington Park Road
Serangoon Garden Estate
tel +65 6287 7330
$$$: 40-60 a person