After visiting Keisuke Ebi Ramen just the other week, I was intrigued that in the middle of all the Japanese restaurants, there stood a sole Italian establishment. It appealed to me more as I found out that the pasta were advertised by the wait staff as freshly handmade. What would the difference in taste be like? And being adventurous and for that new dining experience, I was game.
The restaurant in spartanly decorated with an almost clinical like setting. Bare, wide and open, I would have taken it for those “rest stops” with sofas that the mall management would put up. Yet, despite the minimalist setting, that crave to taste fresh pasta and also the current promotional deal of $5 for a dessert and drink with any mains ordered were the key ingredients to step in.
I first ordered the Piadina con Arugola, Prosciutto, Mozzarella ($9), as a starter to the entire meal. One of the specialties of the restaurant, the Grilled Flat Italian Bread with Arugula, Prosciutto and Mozzarella was highly recommended.
The dish was simply enjoyable. Thin, crisp flat bread that has been wonderfully grilled to give that smoky slightly rounded delectable bitter aroma is topped with shaved slices of Prosciutto, salted blanched arugula and pieces of Mozzarella. The combination of flavours and tastes were consistent with each other and with every ingredient dancing to a plethora of tunes.
Yet, I felt that the dish could well do with a more earthy taste as a final touch. I requested for a small saucer of Truffle oil and it was delightfully served with compliments. Truffle oil is expensive. I just checked at Jason’s Marketplace, $59.90 for a 250ml bottle. Gosh!
A small drizzle over the flat bread and mmmm… That hit the spot.
For the first main, there was the Tagliolini Col Nero Di Seppia Ai Fruitti Di Mare ($26) which is Homemade squid ink thin noodles with shrimp, scallops, calamari, lobster, garlic and white wine.
The thin noodles closely resembled ramen which was probably not entirely well received to the palate in the style that it was cooked. I felt that it could do better with at least angel hair pasta cooked al dente to give that firm bite as it carries the sauce. Still, the prawns were not overcooked and were crunchy with a firm texture. The flavours as a whole were savoury sweet with the aromatics of the sea and decently presented.
The next main that was ordered was the Gnocchi Afrodisiachi ($19). It was a dish of Homemade Gnocchi with smoked salmon, vodka, garlic, kiwi and parmesan cheese. The gnocchi itself was already brimming with cheese and with the sauce also being mainly cheese, this was almost creamy cheese heaven.
Still, the complex and umami flavours of the parmesan covered whatever taste of garlic and vodka, and toned down the usually strong flaky oily tastes of the salmon itself. Chunks of kiwi were refreshing bites in the pasta though it was a little unusual.
I would have to admit that this would be a great conversation starter and perhaps better if served as an appetizer and shared amongst the table. Bite size portions of pasta are simply fork-happy.
Tiramisu ($10) came as part of the $5 promotional deal of a drink and dessert. Typically, the dessert could be selected from the entire dessert menu. Soft and cuddly with the moist sponge being slightly alcoholic, this was a decent serving of the indulgent dessert.
The other dessert for the 2nd main was Zuccotto Di Ricotta ($10). Homemade ricotta cheese cake lady fingers dipped in capuccino, chocolate chips, strawberries and cinnamon.
Sweet, yet tart with the glaze of strawberry, it was almost comforting and moist. However, the texture was a little too complicated as the portion served also had sliced almonds in it. Crunchiness doesn’t seem to go very well with soft cream and wet cakes.
Strawberry Tea and Cafe Latte
Tavolo passes off decently with its unique creations and flavours, still the hits of the restaurant is slightly marred by its almost too open ambience where even the casual passerby from afar could see you tucking in to your pasta. After an exchange with the staff, I found out that improvements are going to be made to make the restaurant be more intimate and cozy.
For the food, the most impressive of my dinner was the Piadina which I certainly wouldn’t want to miss the next time I go back there. And oh, did you know? They have a cheese platter for desserts. Mmmmm…cheese =)
9 Raffles Boulevard
#P3-07 Parco Marina Bay, Millenia Walk
Opens : 10.30am – 9.30pm
Tel : 6423 1123