Category: Italian

Pete’s Place – Serving Authentic Italian Cuisine For 40 Years

By , April 11, 2013

A fellow food blogger said that F&B in Singapore now is all about concept and marketing, not about taste. My reply was, the test of time will tell if the quality of the food is good.

Pete’s Place at Hyatt Hotel is probably one of the few restaurants that have passed this test, having been around since 1973. That is 40 years!

You may have never discovered its existence even if you been to Hyatt, because it is located on the basement with only a staircase leading to the Italian restaurant. The last time I been to Pete’s Place was 5 years ago, and it remains exactly like how I remembered it to be: trattoria-style décor with red-bricked walls, dark wood furniture, checked table cloth and picture frames with black and white photos. (Read: Pete’s Place review written 5 years ago)

Pete’s Place specialises in authentic Italian cuisine from homemade pastas to wood-fired oven pizzas, just like how it started four decades ago. The salad buffet-stylee bar that features a healthy selection of greens is said to be very popular among the ladies.

The restaurant has a current special of Lombardy cuisine till 12 April, helmed by guest chef Loris Pistillo from Spasso of Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. This northern Italian region, which capital is Milan, has a more extravagant style of cuisine which is generally more buttery, creamy and cheesy.

Rice is popular in Lombardy, often found in soups as well as risotti.

It is no coincidence that my personal favourite dish of the lunch was the Pumpkin Risotto, Smoked Duck Ragù and Balsamic Glazed Shallots ($32). This risotto was also named “Best Risotto” at the Eurofood Mediterranean Fair in Bangkok in 2011. It was yellowish creamy – the way I like risotto to be done, yet not overly heavy and rich. Very balanced.

Full Post Pete’s Place – Serving Authentic Italian Cuisine For 40 Years

Pete’s Place
Hyatt Hotel 10-12 Scotts Road Singapore 228211 (Orchard MRT) Tel No: +65 6732 1234
Opening Hours: 12:00 noon – 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Other Italian Restaurant Entries
il Cielo (Hilton Hotel Singapore)
Caffe B (Marina Bay Sands)
Covelli Italian Bistro & Wine Bar (Orchard Central)
Garibaldi (Purvis Street)
Da Paolo Bistrobar (Rochester Park)

The Manhattan Pizza Co – Huge XXXL Pizzas Lands In Singapore

By , January 3, 2013

I have never been to Manhattan or the New York to judge their pizzas, but I do know that this Manhattan Pizza Co in Singapore serves HUGE ones. Huge to the extent that the pizza filled the entire square table, huge that each slice is bigger than my hand, huge that 5 of my hungry friends could not finish the whole thing.

20 inches long to be exact.

“Chief” Joey Manoli brought their signature pizza from New York City to Singapore’s Orchard Central. The Napoli style pizza was created by Joey’s ‘Poppi’ (his papa) when their entire uprooted themselves to NYC, and made a good living out of it.

The restaurant is at a difficult-to-find basement location at Orchard Central, already known for its crazy navigation. Fortunately, Manhattan is located right next to Gong Cha which probably brought some customers in.

Initially, I was a little doubting. Red and yellow décor, matched with plastic chairs, and rather loud music screams ‘fast-food restaurant’ – not the kind of place I would enjoy having long chats with good friends over pizza slices and sides.

But, the pizzas are pretty affordable. The classic variety such as Hawaiian and Pepperoni are $38-$39, while the specialty range such as seafood and meat lover are $40-$42. A classic slice with a drink is $5.90.

Joey said that a Singaporean Tan Yi Ling was ‘schmoozing’ over their pizzas at NYC, which motivated him to come over Singapore for a look. (Interesting, I checked HungryGoWhere and there is a Tan Yi Ling giving positive reviews on Manhattan. I wonder if Joey knows.)

Full Post The Manhattan Pizza Co – Huge XXXL Pizzas Lands In Singapore

The Manhattan Pizza Company M.P.C. Singapore
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, B1-01 (next to Gong Cha), Singapore 238896 (Somerset MRT) Tel: 800 852 3887 (toll-free)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Thur), 11 am – 10.30 pm (Fri – Sun)

Other Pizza Entries
Spizza (East Coast)
Peperoni Pizzeria (Zion Road)
Da Paolo Bistrobar (Rochester Park)
Verve Pizzeria (One North)
Singapore Sling Chilli Crab Pizza (Clarke Quay)

Da Paolo BistroBar – Beautiful Space, Beautiful Food, Good Looking Chef

By , December 20, 2012

This is not just another Da Paolo. This BistroBar is helmed by Da Paolo Junior, aka Chef Andrea Scarpa, son of Da Paolo Group founder Paolo Scarpa. (So technically he is Scarpa Junior.) This shy 20-something created most of the dishes on its new a la carte menu, with a focus on Italian specialties with a twist.

And shhh…… Da Paolo Junior is quite good looking, giving one more reason other than the desserts for the ladies to drool over. (Read: Interview with his beautiful sister Francesca Scarpa Da Paolo)

The pizzas created by Chef Scarpa are quite light and ‘youngish’, tasting pretty different from any of the traditional pizzas I had. (Read: Da Paolo Ristorante)

Its Sweet Corn and Smoked Duck ($24) has savoury thin slices of smoked duck with sweet corn puree as a base, resulting in a sweet-salty interesting (or peculiar tasting) combination. Duck and corn? You will either like it or hate it. All I can say is it left quite an impression for everyone on the table.

I much preferred the Pear and Parma Ham ($28) where the thin curst wood-fired pizza is topped with parma harma, feta cheese and sweet pear puree base. Absolutely loved it when it was topped with a melted Gorgonzolo cheese, making the original pizza a little richer and creamier. Am sure about the additional calories too, but it’s worth it.

Full Post Da Paolo BistroBar – Beautiful Space, Beautiful Food, Good Looking Chef

Da Paolo BistroBar
3 Rochester Park Singapore 139214 (near other restaurants such as B@Rochester, NOSH and Graze), Tel: +65 6773 5537
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm-10:30pm, Bar 5:30pm-11:30pm (Mon-Fri)
Brunch 10:30am-2:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm-10:30pm, Bar 2:00pm-11:30pm (Sat-Sun)

Other Italian Restaurant Entries
Caffe B (Marina Bay Sands)
Peperoni Pizzeria (Zion Road)
Limoncello Restaurant (Robertson Quay)
Covelli Italian Bistro & Wine Bar (Orchard Central)
Garibaldi (Purvis Street)

The Manhattan Pizza Co – Huge XXXL Pizzas Lands In Singapore + Pizza Giveaways!

By , October 25, 2012

I have never been to Manhattan or the New York to judge their pizzas, but I do know that this Manhattan Pizza Co in Singapore serves HUGE ones. Huge to the extent that the pizza filled the entire square table, huge that each slice is bigger than my hand, huge that 5 of my hungry friends could not finish the whole thing.

20 inches long to be exact.

“Chief” Joey Manoli brought their signature pizza from New York City to Singapore’s Orchard Central. The Napoli style pizza was created by Joey’s ‘Poppi’ (his papa) when their entire uprooted themselves to NYC, and made a good living out of it.

The restaurant is at a difficult-to-find basement location at Orchard Central, already known for its crazy navigation. Fortunately, Manhattan is located right next to Gong Cha which probably brought some customers in.

Initially, I was a little doubting. Red and yellow décor, matched with plastic chairs, and rather loud music screams ‘fast-food restaurant’ – not the kind of place I would enjoy having long chats with good friends over pizza slices and sides.

But, the pizzas are pretty affordable. The classic variety such as Hawaiian and Pepperoni are $38-$39, while the specialty range such as seafood and meat lover are $40-$42. A classic slice with a drink is $5.90.

Joey said that a Singaporean Tan Yi Ling was ‘schmoozing’ over their pizzas at NYC, which motivated him to come over Singapore for a look. (Interesting, I checked HungryGoWhere and there is a Tan Yi Ling giving positive reviews on Manhattan. I wonder if Joey knows.)

My gym-going friends and I shared a Meat Lover / Roast Duck half and half combination ($42), with an OMG moment when the pizza first landed on our table. Proven right that size does matter.

Full Post The Manhattan Pizza Co – Huge XXXL Pizzas Lands In Singapore + Pizza Giveaways!

The Manhattan Pizza Company M.P.C. Singapore
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, B1-01 (next to Gong Cha), Singapore 238896 (Somerset MRT) Tel: 800 852 3887 (toll-free)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Thur), 11 am – 10.30 pm (Fri – Sun)

Other Pizza Entries
Spizza (East Coast)
Peperoni Pizzeria (Zion Road)
Da Paolo Bistrobar (Rochester Park)
Verve Pizzeria (One North)
Singapore Sling Chilli Crab Pizza (Clarke Quay)

The Ah Sao Pizza

By , October 17, 2008

Ah Sao Pizza? I was pretty intrigued how the term ‘Auntie’ and an Italian food would go together. It’s like ordering an ‘Ah Chek Fettuccine’ or ‘Ah Soh Lasagna”.

And  I ordered it without the faintest idea of what was in store for me.

One word: HOT! Infused with lemongrass, spices and chilies, the Rendang Chicken was a little fiery to eat on its own, but with thin pizza dough, the combination was creatively balanced.

With chunky chicken pieces covered with cheese yet ingested with local flavours, you first wonder if this is just one of those ‘spicy’ gimmicks often seen in fast food chains.

The pizza was actually inspired by Mdm Lee Kim Wah’s (aka Ah Sao) kitchen recipes, who was once cheated of all her life savings. The story of hard-earned money switched with a plastic bag of apples is heard by many. Ah Sao saved and scrimped her whole life as a nanny. But all of that was cheated by crooks who told her she was jinxed, and had all her money replaced after a bogus medium rite. She was completely devastated then. 

Eating this pizza brings along thoughts of how we should be strong to carry on with life like Ah Sao even though we may be beaten.

Her other recipes were also compiled into a book ‘Happy Now’ by a group of volunteers, and all proceeds would go to Ah Sao. It was heartening to know that there were people around that would lend a helping hand, even though the other party can be a complete stranger. With the money, Ah Sao can find new found confidence and hope in life. I bought a copy myself, and happily hear there are only 200 copies left. (More information at http://www.shelfordpress.com/)

Every food we eat may have its own story and lesson learnt. And from this pizza, while materials wealth can be stolen from us, there are other important things in life that can always keep us loved, hopeful and strong.

Ah Sao Pizza can be found at The Verve.

Can You Name The Pastas?

By , October 10, 2008

Ever been to a Pasta place and not sure of the difference between a Fettucine, Linguine or Spaghettini?

If you are confused about your pastas, just remember there are a few basic types which are the Spaghetti (noodle-like thin cylinders), Macaroni (hollow cylinders), Fusilli (swirls) and Lasagna (sheets).

Though it is commonly thought that Marco Polo brought pasta from China, some study show that it was originally introduced by the Arabs! During Marco Polo’s time, pasta products were already made. Hmm…

Here are some of the commonly seen pasta types in Singapore:
Agnolotti – Semi-circular and stuffed
Conchiglie – Sea shell shaped
Farfalle – Bow tie or butterfly shaped
Fettuccine – Thick and flat, literally means ‘little ribbons’ in Italian (some friends call it mee pok!)
Fusilli – Two or three-edged spiral, usually in mixed colours with green and orange
Lasagne – Wide sheet noodles with fluted edges
Linguine – Flattened spaghetti
Orecchiette – Bowl or ear shaped pasta
Penne – Medium length tubes with ridges, remember they are shaped like pens!
Pipe – Larger versions of macaroni
Ravioli – Usually stuffed with cheese or other stuffings
Rotelle – Wagon wheel shaped (I love it dry fried)
Spaghetti – Round-rod pasta
Spaghettini – A thinner form of Spaghetti

Guess the Pasta Quiz – What are the following types of pasta?

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Make your Guesses here. Answers will be revealed… next week! Hahaha.

The Verve – From Barracks to Cinema to Italian Dining

By , October 9, 2008


7 Lock Road, Ground floor Gillman Village Tel: 64733655

When The Turquoise Room closed some time back, fans of this Italian casual dining joint hidden at Gillman Village were disappointed.  Me inclusive. There I was recommending my friends to try it, and then it ceased operation after the owners left the country.

Karen, a fan of the room, thought the same too and bought it over! (I wished I had the energy and money (!) to do it.)

From Gillman army barracks, Regal Cinema, Turquoise Room to The Verve, this place has definitely come a long way.

Continue reading 'The Verve – From Barracks to Cinema to Italian Dining'»

Pete’s Place – A Well Hidden Gem at Orchard

By , September 17, 2008


10, Scotts Road The Grand Hyatt Hotel S’pore S(228211) Tel: 64167113

We all know the saying “the older the wine, the finer it gets”. Restaurant Pete’s Place has been in operation at the basement of Grand Hyatt since the 1970s without a change in location. For something beyond the mediocre pizzas and pasta some of us have been eating, look for the authentic Italian flavours that Pete’s provide.

The Ambience
As you walk down the flight of stairs near the entrance of the hotel, you will walk into a hostelry-styled restaurant of bricked walls, black and white photographs, dim lighting and dark wood furniture.

The fact that it attracts tourists, expatriates and upper-middle class locals might of course also make you feel like you’ve transported to a European city. The matching checked blue and white table-cloth and napkins, and folded paper menu add to the unique essence of the place.

The Food
If you go during lunch time, you can choose from the salad or pasta buffet range from $20 to $30. There are four main components to the menu – the appetizers, pizzas, main course such as pasta and desserts.>

The Caesar Salad ($15) we ordered was refreshing with romaine lettuce, bacon and croutons. The greens are very fresh and provide a crunchy bite with the flavourful dressing.>
 
If you are on Atkins, then stay off the bread buffet which is complimentary. Offering a wide selection of whole-wheat, sunflower seed bread and walnut doughs, you can say goodbye to your ‘off-carb’ plans. Other than the typical olive oil and vinegar, the herb butter and sun-dried tomato butter has a distinctive blend three ‘S’ – sour, sweet and soft. Delizioso! 
 

Instead of a ‘normal’ flat pizza, I ordered a Pam Pam ($19) which is a half calzone filled with mortadella (Italian cold cut calume), mozzarella and ricotta (a type of Italian whey cheese), and a half pizza with minced pork sausage meat, garlic, fresh chili and mozzarella. Beyond the crunchy slightly burnt yet soft outer crush, the succulent meats, cheese and tomato sauce makes every bite a luscious treat. Being freshly prepared and over-baked, it offered a hot and hearty meal.

The Service
The serving staff, clad in uniform black maintained the standard of what a restaurant in a hotel should provide. They were prompt in serving requests and refilling of water.

 
Although there were some sentiments that the pasta was overcooked and thus soggy, the dim lights, checkered tablecloths, tomato butter, still makes the whole eating experience here a satisfying one. Italian food seldom tastes this good in Singapore.

The Verdict 
More than 30 years of history can’t be wrong. 3.75*

Turquoise Room (Gillman Village)

By , May 27, 2008


7 Lock Road Gillman Village S(108935) Tel: 64733655

Sometimes, I find Singapore too crowded to ‘pa-tuo’ (date) as almost every dining place is crowded. Crowds just kill the romance by half.

Well, the Turquoise Room by opened this husband and wife team may be that suitable place. But you probably need to drive as it’s quite ‘ulu’ at Gillman Village (which reminds me of Dempsey and Rochester). The friendly staff even took the extra effort for indecisive pairs who just cannot decide what they want.

The Ambience
There is nothing pretentious about the décor, which is clean, white and minimalist. The tables and chairs are painted white, with a number of tables having an odd chair decked out in the signature turquoise colour. Tastefully adorned with a serene tea-light in clear glass, the tables are spaced well apart so there is much privacy which makes this place ideal for a romantic meal and whisper sweet nothings. Awww…

The Food
Mainly Italian, most diners love the pasta or pizza here, although the restaurant also serves gourmet sandwiches, salads and mains such as pork, veal or lamb rack or pan-seared barramundi.

My friend and I couldn’t decide between the parma & porcini pizza and pepperoni pizza so our hostess suggested to give us half of each ($22).The best of both worlds! True to the menu description, the pizza was freshly baked and thinly crusted. The ham tasted a little salty but the explanation was that it was cured in the sun for a very long time. The generous servings of shaved parmesan cheese and baby spinach made the pizza a refreshing delight.

We next had bacon and mushroom pasta in carbonara sauce ($18). The sauce was light and flavourful; each penne cooked to a perfect bite, without overly ‘jelat’ (creamy).

The Service
Definitely a 5/5. The service staff was all smiles and joked with us as though we were old friends.  When we casually said we wanted to share the soup of the day, it was thoughtfully served in two separate cups. How many eateries will actually do that?

The Good To Know
The toilet is unisex, so be careful of letting your pants down too fast! 

The Verdict
A gem found tucked in Gilman Village for that romantic getaway. 4*

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