Pietrasanta the Italian Restaurant

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Can I be completely honest here? I’m not one who would willingly live my life on pizza and pasta. Italian food is magnificent; its rustic and hearty authenticity can awaken the dead and magnetise them back to wooden tables by a fire on a cold night, the red-and-white checkered tablecloths abound with bruschetta and coarsely-cut garlic bread and moon-sized pizzas just for extra hearty assurance.

I’ll start off with that tomato sauce starter there. A little cup of salty heaven, looking down on all Ketchup-derived descendants around the world. Dip a little bit of bread in it, or drink it straight. Shot or slow, that’s up to you. I like to dip my finger in every now and again. That’s just me.

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Margherita (Italian mozzarella with basil leaves in tomato sauce)- $16.90

Prosciutto E Funghi (Italian mozzarella, cooked ham and button mushrooms in tomato sauce)- $18.90

The pomodoro pasta you see at the top was a special request by the kids, otherwise they usually only serve lasagna, a hefty portion of beautiful noodle and melting, sweet meat. The pizzas are all thin-crust but burst with the appropriate flavours with each bite. Tomato comes through like the shining opera singer, but doesn’t crack any windows. I prefer the funghi version, only because less cheese and more fungi (how weird do I sound) is my thing. The whole idea of button mushrooms usually turns me off, but its bouncier, firmer texture as opposed to something like shitake or chanterelle worked superbly with the melting cheese and tomato.

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Zappa Di Pesce (Fresh seafood soup) –$15.90

Italian tomato, rocket and parma ham salad– $14.90

Burrata and smoked scamorza– not sure of the price as this was a simple, special request

Squid ink fettuccine with crab meat sauce– $20.90 (In other words, my favourite dish)

Home-made fettuccine with sausage and truffle– $24.90

Now then. Would you LOOK at that burrata? It’s hard to get something produced fresh and seasonal wrong, but God, they never go wrong with the burrata. Cold, pure and oozing like uncontrollable organ spillage. I should seriously reconsider food blogging with my abhorrent descriptions. But honestly, it’s actually one of the most beautiful things in the universe, coupled with good balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil and ripe Italian tomato. Parma ham if you want, but let’s not forget to worship the purity of that bone-white baby burrata.

If it wasn’t for the heady richness the sausage fettuccine offered, I would say that it would be the best of the lot. But the lolling tongues of fettuccine and achingly creamy sauce served to appease much of the obesity resistance movement of my stomach, and it just gets too much after about 5 minutes. The squid ink, on the other hand, is lighter, but darker, if you know what I mean. A decadent smorsgabord of savoury umami flavour, grounded by the honest humility of an experienced pasta maker. Homemade, they say? Homemade it really is.The crab meat is the best part, juicy and chunky, and makes for a nice break when you’re not looking in your lady’s mirror desperately scrubbing away at your blackened teeth.

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A mash up of my uncle’s Ossobucco con gremolada (four-hour braised veal shank–$32.90) and Risotto Porcini (risotto with porcini, saffron and bone marrow–$23.90)

If you know me well, I prefer the supposedly icky gelatinous bits and bobs of an animal to the meat itself- bone marrow, fish eyes, blubber, cartilage, fat trimmings, you name it, I’ll have it. I’m basically the hopeless bottom feeder. The tender braised meat is absolute divinity, and it paired wonderfully (surprisingly too, for the pairing was spontaneous, I tell you that) with the rich, aromatic risotto, yellow, fat, plump little pearls. Al dente, with an almost smoky air about it.

And lastly, tiramisu. I’m not associating a price with it, because, well, tiramisu. I don’t think this is the best around, for the sponge could have done with a more luxurious and thorough caffeine and rum spa. A little dry, a little too sweet. The cocoa was decadent, but didn’t mask a less-than-rich interior.

Reliable Sunday lunch resort.

Rating: 4.8/5

Pietrasanta

5B Portsdown Road
#01-03 Singapore 139311
Tel: +65 6479 9521

Wild Rocket at Mount Emily

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Ashamed.

Close the curtains, whip out the knives. Attack the Alex.

Where on earth have I been? Well then, I believe life takes over sometimes. Over even what I wanted to ascertain as good old routine. And so I have been swayed from conformity and ended up on the wrong road with a heavy heart. I missed this. The whole process of writing and a-pouring-out. Quite a lot.

Back to this review. Wild Rocket was a place I visited may, many weeks ago. A sophisticated place for all things delectably local, with a Singaporean touch on every invention and mish mash of stuffies, like mahogany on green with a dash of pink. I believe my first time was some sort of celebration with the paternal side of the family. A set menu for a party of at least 10, the appeal established on the grounds of a romantic and dimly lit cove casually thrust in the centre of the place. Oh right, and good food. Come to think of it, I should like to visit this place in the daytime, for all I remember were shades of burgundy and brown- why, even the waiter seems to have a black face. Literally, from the stretching shadows.

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pomelo coconut salad

Airy fairy, light and cold, cold, cold. The pomelo offset the creamy sweetness of the dish doused in this wonderful coconut cream. The oriental factor settled in so appropriately and wasn’t at all annoyingly out of place. A petite starter to get the juices flowing. I actually didn’t expect it to be so tantalising, but it was and I was happy and so I looked forward to the next seam of depth in this intriguing menu.

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Stuffed pepper with crabmeat and potato mash

This was a filler move.

For the vegetarian maman. I myself was surprised at how well it turned out, with succulent crabmeat and a textured mash.

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nori tsukudani spaghettini with arabian white prawns

Tingling, delicate, al dente, perfect. It was a tiny twirl of local goodness on a vast white thing of a plate, with the very arabian prawn (yes, the names of things alter my perception of them) sheltering each strand from any damage (oh God forbid.) But do go ahead, I implore you to not take a bite of this mini mountain of stringy bites. Isn’t the feeling of an explosion of skinny winny noodles the best in the world? When you’re in such a restaurant as this, at least, with the dim light caressing your hair and the moon watching over with a white jealousy. What can she do, for now you have are the king or queen of spaghettini treasure. The flakes added gorgeous spice, and the portion was perfect in the 10 course meal.

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Wild rocket chendol

May I just say the best twist on this local dessert. Ever. Ever. The coconut cream shaved ice was glistening with the shower of thick gula melaka sinking into the smooth, shaven surface of the sphere, hiding the little worms of green chendol and multicoloured treasures. A local sea, if you may. I think I was halfway through when I realised that this was the one time whereby I wasn’t hit with an ounce of slight sugar-induced sickness, since all the components did not rely too heavily on each other and so the balance was absolutely spot on.

Missing these treats already. Such finesse within obvious complexity, and yet everything retained an air of refined elegance. More would be good, thanks. Brilliant, brilliant.

Rating: 4.7/5

Wild Rocket (at Mount Emily)

10A Upper Wilkie Road

Hangout Hotel

Tel: 63399448