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Italian cuisine is my second favourite type of cuisine, next to Japanese food that is. And I was really glad that I had the chance to participate in a Food Tasting by OpenRice at Ristorante Pietrasanta
(along Portsdown Road at Wessex Village and just next to Temasek Club). This restaurant is truly a hidden gem located in that area. You’ll need to do a bit of searching to find the place – exit AYE after North Bouna Vista, go past Temasek Club and you’ll see a forested area with low lying tin-roofed buildings. Here you’ll find a cluster of rather unique and interesting restaurants, similar to those you find at Dempsey Hill enclave.
The food tasting session began with a demonstration by Chef Alfredo Colle
on how to make some Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
Chef Alfredo Colle making Mozzarella
Apparently, this is the only Italian restaurant in Singapore that makes their own fresh Mozzarella cheese by hand. Look at just how stretchy that cheese can go. Mozzarella cheese is usually semi-soft and has high moisture content which makes it stringy and great for pizzas.
Mozzarella & Burrata Cheese
The final product that comes from all that stretching, spinning and cutting is a ball of perfectly round cheese which is chewy and slightly rubbery in texture. Since the Mozzarella on its own does not have much of a taste, it was served with some Burrata
– another type of Italian cheese made from a combination of Mozzarella and fresh cream to achieve a more flavourful and rich, creamy taste.
We also had a basket of freshly baked Focaccia Bread
to eat with the cheese. The bread also goes really well with some extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Parma Ham Mozzarella Rolls
These Parma Ham Mozzarella Rolls
are wrapped in more Mozzarella cheese and also has rocket leaves rolled up within it. The pungent taste of the rocket does not overpower the salty parma ham and I thought the combination went really well together. Both equally strong flavours rolled up into one and wrapped up in a rather tasteless cheese. Mmmmmm.. mamma mia~! How refreshing..
Fettuccini al Tartufo
After all that cheese, it’s time to dig into the main course! First we had some Fettuccine al Tartufo ($24.90)
which is basically Fettuccini pasta cooked in a mushroom truffle sauce. It also had minced sausage meat in it which gives it a rather interesting texture. The truffle taste was quite strong too and since I love mushrooms, I really enjoyed this pasta! =D
Next we had some Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli ($17.90)
served with a butter and sage sauce. The thing I love about Italian cuisine is that it is very rich and flavourful but that also means that it can be rather fattening, especially when almost everything contains butter, cream and cheese. Well, I say eat first and worry about the calories later! =P
This is one of my favourites here – the Risotto Porcini ($23.90)
with saffron and bone marrow. You’ll probably notice a few red strands in the sauce – those are the saffron which is one of the most costly spices available in the world. A few strands of saffron also has a coloring effect which turns the sauce into a deep orange colour. This dish is creamy, rich, and oh-so-very satisfying.
We also got to sample some Mixed Sausages
which turned out to be quite average end when compared to the many delectably rich pastas we just had.
Braised Lamb Shank in Chianti Wine
Doesn’t this piece of meat on a bone look impressive? Well, it’s a Lamb Shank ($28.90)
with Chianti wine that has been braised for over 4 hours, such that its meat is tender enough to just fall off the bone. However, I felt that the tomato-based sauce was a little bit on the bland side for me. I would have preferred it to take on a stronger, saltier and richer flavour.
Grilled Lemon Sole
I seldom associate fish with Italian cuisine, but here’s one on the menu – Grilled Lemon Sole
. Fish, to me, is mainly about how fresh it is more than how it is cooked. The meat for this was fresh enough and also flavourful enough, but it’s not exactly the kind of dish you would think of ordering at an Italian Restaurant.
Finally, for my absolute favourite part of every meal; it’s dessert time!
The Lemon Tart
here is sour and refreshing enough to invigorate your senses, but at the same time the sourness is not too overpowering and well balanced out with the sweet meringue on top and tart pastry. Plus, it comes with a little bit of jam on the side too, if you’re not good with sour foods.
And finally, the main star of the show is… Tiramisu
! One of my all time favourite desserts. This Tiramisu reminds me of the one I used to get at Paragon (though the restaurant that sold it closed down a long time ago). It has really light mascarpone cheese and a rich, strong espresso coffee flavour to it. Though I would have liked my Tiramisu with a bit more Tia Maira liqueur in it to give it that extra kick! =P Still, this is one of the best Tiramisu I’ve tasted in a long time.
Overall, I really enjoyed the good Italian food and with the great company of other food bloggers as well. Here’s a big THANK YOU to Chef Alfredo Colle
and Ristorante Pietrasanta
for hosting us!
Risotto Porcini,Tiramisu,Fettuccini al Tartufo
Date of Visit: May 29, 2013 Other Ratings: