pasta fresca da salvatore, boat quay

ah, the lure of pork fat and cheese – and wine and pasta. I have a soft spot for italian eating – it’s hearty and delicious, and comforting and fresh with its honest, clear flavours.

pasta fresca da salvatore has been around for quite a while (nearly three decades!), and it’s one of those places that feels spectacularly appropriate for a cozy dinner with friends and wine. I was gobsmacked by the sheer range of food on the menu – as so would you be, even ignoring the fact that they allow you to customize anything from the noodle to the sauce they sit in (very good for fussy eaters who insist on customising their food a particular way – hi mum!)


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madrinaa italiano, chip bee gardens

it’s christmas! or rather, it soon will be christmas, as you would have noticed from the decorations being put all about town (somewhat precipitously, some might argue, BUT NOT I) since november. and as befits the end-of-year, our natural inclinations to slow things down invite opportunities for more extended lunches – and this place in holland village accommodates that sort of thing, if you’re so inclined.

located in chip bee gardens, enclave of the expat and yummy-mummy, this restaurant serves up rustico italiano – a direct translation (and language massacre, my apologies) of what I fancy is rustic italian home-cooking. it’s surprisingly good too, considering the lack of reviews and the empty tables we arrived to at lunchtime.

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gattopardo, tras street

DELICIOUS, oh-so-good italiano (more specifically, sicilian) dining at this small, cozy little restaurant along tras street. this post is a long time coming, given that I ate here during my birthday (six months ago, hello!), but it’s a goodie (even if it is also an oldie now).

I nearly don’t dare to come back here given how pleasant my memories of this meal was, so I implore you to try it and give it ago, and perhaps bring back some reassurance?

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casa tartufo, duxton hill

meh-er than I expected italian restaurant specialising in tantalizing truffles (it’s in their name) at a little corner near club street. I’ve walked past this place numerous times after dinner in duxton hill or keong saik, and it’s always looked like a romantic (read darkly-lit), cosy, little place to eat.

the food doesn’t quite live up to expectations, however – and those expectations are bolstered first by its focus on truffle (which really, can do no wrong) and the very lovely ambiance of the place.

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sopra cucina, tanglin

hidden away by the pan pacific at cuscaden road, this nook of a restaurant serves up decent food. it has an authentic steakhouse feel, in that it is dark enough for dates, and full of wood and metal.

when we visited, there was a pretty large group that had booked out the alcove area for an event – and the atmosphere was both vibrant and convivial, which made this place a pleasure to visit. one can only hope that you experience the same.

although: the walk in from orchard road brings you past the more unsavory part of the shopping stretch, where you can either leer like some of the older men there, or stand and gawk like a prudish miss (I mean, you could just walk by, but let’s not lie).

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california pizza kitchen, the forum shopping mall

decent-ish american pizza place – very much a comfort food sort of thing (if you grew up on american-type food), and not necessarily the best in execution.

I would likely recommend modestos or brewerkz if you wanted something a little higher on the quality, but this is the sort of relaxed american diner that sometimes is exactly what you want on a post-work weeknight.

and big portions – which quite positively is a reason to like this place.

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ravello, serangoon gardens

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.

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osteria mozza, marina bay sands

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.

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latteria mozzerella bar, duxton hill

yes, the tiramisu is as good as it looks.

perfect-for-a-date, perfect for your friday night (and hey! valentine’s day is just about peeking round the corner) italian restaurant in the hip enclave that is the top of duxton hill. I like the buzz of the place, I liked the food, and it’s just the right mix of date-conducive and comfy that spells relaxation after a long day.

it was good from start to finish (which is more uncommon than you’d think), and if you’re gearing up for next week’s chinese new year celebrations – it’s a good place to get your non-chinese fix.

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