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Posts Tagged ‘white truffles from Alba’

Cuisine: Italian, Piedmontese.

Visit: November 2012

Price: High (but for the quality it is a good value for money).

Umberto: the owner of Vintage 1998 shaving truffles for you

Umberto: the owner of Vintage 1998 shaving truffles for you

Atmosphere: It feels much more informal than at most of Michelin stared restaurants. Colourful walls, very friendly and upbeat staff including its owner Umberto and the dress code is also much more relaxed. The tables are elegant yet cosy and Umberto makes everyone feel like at home. I would call his approach a grandmother’s style – serving you generous portions and adding more and more tasty dishes than you would imagine ordering. But they are so good and he knows what is best on that day so trust him and forget about a light meal.

Vintage 1997

Vintage 1997

Food: Hearty, generous and superb quality of ingredients. We came still in truffle season so everything one can imagine was or could be enhanced by tremendous truffles from Alba. Impolitely staring at other diners’ plates I spotted amazingly looking Beef tartare served with white truffles, so I had to try it. The starter had not disappointed. I have never had before (yet two courses later it was repeated) such a generous hat of truffles on any dish. Even a thought back about this dish makes me salivating!

Beef tartare with white truffles

Beef tartare with white truffles

My friends from Turin are regulars at Vintage 1997 so I listened not only to Umberto’s suggestions but also to theirs. Their choice of a crispy Artichoke with egg and melting parmesan was exquisite. Again not a very light dish, but full of flavours and calling for some wine to lighten it up a bit.

Artichoke with egg and parmesan

Artichoke with egg and parmesan

The home-made pasta here are like from a grandmother – no eggs were spared. The Agnolotti egg pasta are one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. I got them simple with butter sauce and another generous shaving of white truffles. If one is very hungry this plate will satisfy immediately, but it can be a shock for some cholesterol-minding customers.

Agnolotti egg pasta with white truffles

Agnolotti egg pasta with white truffles

From the desserts the homemade Tiramisu is perhaps the most popular but the chocolate aficionados also find plenty of sweets prepared with chocolate. Turin is famous for high-quality chocolate and the tradition spans across centuries, so you much give it a try.

Drinks: The wine list is spectacular with high- as well as low-priced Italian wines, but also some French treasures. What I appreciated was that Umberto selected to me a lesser known wine for a very reasonable price which tasted marvellous! What more to wish for a serious and even a less serious but price-conscious wine drinker. A bottle of a red Merlot from La Morra Langhe DOC 2006 made without any chemical fertilisers and from low-yielding vines by Fontanazza-Pissotta was surprisingly fresh and deep for a Merlot. Not a very Italian grape, but this wine proved that Merlot can thrive in Northern Italy.

Contact: Tel: +(39) 0115136722; email: info@vintage1997.com

Opening hours: Lunch: 12:30-14:30; Dinner: 20:00-23:00; closed for lunch on Saturday and on Sunday.

Address: Piazza Solferino 16h, 10121 Torino, Italy.

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Cuisine: Authentic Italian.

Visit: November 2012

Price: High (starters about 25 SGD; mains around 50 SGD).

Garibaldi is a fine dining restaurant serving a genuine Italian food in Singapore. The gargantuan distance from Italy does not stop the local chefs from importing desirable and genuine products from Europe. Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world and cultural melting pot, where everything is possible. If you are willing to pay extra, you will get the freshest burratta, parma ham or mascarpone whenever you please. You can expect all these delicacies in top shape at Garibaldi.

Garibaldi dining room

Atmosphere: Large rooms are not intimate, but they offer a sense of sufficient privacy with the tables being kept at a good distance from each other as well as a number of large tables inset along the wall. It is a fine dining restaurant so smart casual attire is required.

Chef: The Italian-born Roberto Galetti has made Singapore his home after opening his own restaurant Garibaldi in 2003. Since then he won multiple awards for his culinary skills including Garibaldi being voted the 7th best restaurant in Asia according to the Miele Guide.

Food:  Authentic, large portions and high taste profile. You can select from either an à la carte or a gourmet 6-7 course menu. From the later the CAPELLI D`ANGELO FREDDI CON OSTRICHE E CAVIALE KRISTAL – Cold Angel`s Hair pasta with Fresh Oyster & Kristal Caviar are very popular.

The starters à la carte are the typical Italian antipasti that one would expect, yet they are excellent. Go for the PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE – Neapolitan Style Baked Eggplants with Mozzarella, Basil & Tomato Sauce if you want a warm and filling starter with a glass of oaky Chardonnay.

Beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese and truffles

In the mood for something meaty? Then the CARPACCIO DI MANZO ‘WAGYU’ BLACKMORE – Blackmore Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Parmesan Cheese with Rocket Salad would be my recommendation. During a truffle season (September-November) they serve it with shavings of these superb fungi on top instead of the rocket.

Another classic is MOZZARELLA DI BUFALA – Buffalo Milk Mozzarella with Italian San Marzano Tomatoes & Basil, that is as creamy and delicate here as at a farm in Italy (I have been to one so I know what I am saying) served with lush and juicy tomatoes.

Moving to main courses you can go Italian with a plate of pasta before a meat dish or save some space for a desert and go straight to the secondi.  A Milanese classic in the ‘schnitzel’ style – CLASSICA COSTOLETTA ALLA MILANESE ‘ORECCHIA D’ELEFANTE’ satisfies large plate lovers with affection to meat. The crispy thin breaded veal chop is mellow as well as tasty and traditionally served with tomatoes and rocket salad .

Veal Milanese

Fish is also done well at Garibaldi. I’ve tried the MERLUZZO IN GUAZZETTO DI LEGUMI – Oven Baked Brittany Cod with Baby Spinach & Mixed Beans ‘Guazzetto’ and liked it almost as much as a fish served on the Mediterranean coast of Italy.

If you still have a room for desserts then you can choose from the Italian sweet classics such as Pannacotta, Tiramisu, Sicilian Canollo or Marsala Zabaione. The ‘chocoholics’ will indulge in TORTINO CALDO AL CIOCCOLATO – Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Gelato & Raspberry Coulis.

Barbaresco from Piemonte

Barbaresco from Piemonte

 

 

Drinks: the wine list is spectacular and very good in Italian wine selection. We started with a lesser known white Chardonnay from Valle d’Aosta region that the sommelier recommended and like it a lot. It had some oak on the palate, but overall was pretty balanced. Since each of us had a different main course we had to compromise in terms of red wine. Not going too heavy for fish and not being too light for the meat dishes. Barbaresco from Piedmont was a calling from heaven that fit our demanding requirements perfectly. 2006 vintage had settled down tannins and it was not too fruity either. Long finish assured a memorable wine and food pairing dinner.

Opening hours: Daily for lunch: 12:00pm – 3 pm; Dinner: 6:30pm – 11pm

Address: 36 Purvis Street,  Singapore 188613

Contact: Tel.: (+65) 6837 1468 ; email: garibaldi@garibaldi.com.sg

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Cuisine: Traditional Italian, Piedmontese.

Visit: November 2012

Price: High (the crème de la crème of the Italian upper class gathers here for lunch and dinner, so the prices are high).

Turin is the “City where Italy was created”. It was at the Ristorante Del Cambio, where Giuseppe Garibaldi, Cavour and Mazzini often discussed the possibility of uniting North and South Italy in the 18th century (Risorgimento movement). The restaurant’s location across from the first Italian parliament is not a coincidence when history is considered. Until today the back wall table overlooking the parliament building, that Cavour – one of the fathers of the nation – used to sit at, is the VIP table that is highly desirable to reserve.

Del Cambio menu

Atmosphere: Del Cambio is the place to be seen in Turin. Its elegant interior, historical importance and a view of the first Italian parliament are the restaurant’s strong assets attracting not only curious tourists, but also the local society. Carla Bruni is one of the current personalities reported to be a big fan of Del Cambio. It is so pompous that one would think that dressing up is imperative, but that is not entirely true. The locals are quite casual so wearing a light sweater and jeans is totally acceptable.

Del Cambio historic interior

Food: High quality ingredients, authentic recipes and lots of flavour. Some people are surprised that such a popular tourist destination serves great food. Just the fact that you are in Italy, where great food can be found virtually on every corner, helps though. Del Cambio could make average dishes, but it chose to treat its customers with excellent quality ingredients with a gentle touch of luxury. The crisp and fresh grissini wrapped in a cloth on each table are a good sign of tasty things to come. Moreover, each dish has a slightly local adaptation.

Vitello tonnato

I loved the Vitello tonnato – slices of veal with creamy tuna sauce and capers. It was authentic, yet slightly different since the veal was more thick and served on the sauce instead of the usual underneath. The meat was generous and delicate, the sauce rich as it should be, the only drawback was the scarcity of capers that add more zesty freshness to this intense starter.

During the autumn truffle season you can savor a number of dishes prepared with the white truffles from Alba. From scrambled eggs, cheese to meats, all of them sprinkled with this precious and aromatic fungus. The pastas are tremendous. Homemade ravioli or taglioni are great with the truffle seasoning.

They have great deserts and coffee so you can treat yourself or reinvigorate after a big meal.

Drinks: The mostly local wine list is very good. We went for a glass of local white wine and were more than satisfied with the sommelier’s choice. The wine went well with our dishes.

Address: Piazza Carignano 2, 10123 Turin, Italy

Contact: +(39) 011 54 66 90; email: cambio@thi.it

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