Sunday, March 25, 2012

Singapore - Peperoni Pizzeria

The Les Amis group is really making its presence felt on the Singapore F&B scene.  I tried their family pizzeria concept on my last trip to Singapore and despite patchy service, it was otherwise quite enjoyable.  And mind you, they don't charge GST nor service charge so perhaps, the slightly abrupt service and ad hoc rearrangements of tables and chairs all night to accommodate different parties may be excusable.  Noise levels are a tad high as can be expected by the spartan interiors which boast wood fired ovens, mosaic floors and fire-engine red metal chairs, especially when they're being moved around.

The menu is simple in concept but has enough choices spread across pizzas, pastas, sides, salads and desserts.  The drinks menu is also comprehensive and includes what most bars worth their salt will offer up plus a long list of beers, especially Belgian offerings.  

Wittekerke Rose 
My choice of the Rose was surprisingly good, slightly sweet from the raspberries the wheat beer had been brewed with.  More like a soda than a beer that bloats, and was a welcome reprieve after an afternoon in the humid heat that is Singapore.

Prosciutto Crudo di Parma (Parma ham and rocket salad) 
It is a pizzeria after all, and the pizza base did not disappoint, especially for fans of the thin crust.  Perhaps my only complaint is that the Parma ham was not the best kind, and a little too salty and chewy to be bit off easily with the rocket and Parmesan.  Should have just gone with the pepperoni option.  Oh well, next time.

Carbonara (Pancetta in a light cream sauce)
The spaghetti carbonara was surprisingly good.  Perfect al dente pasta and the use of Pancetta provided a smoky, savory flavor which lifted the touch of cream.

Frangipane (Warm almond cake served with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream)
Dessert was the least exciting although still competent.  Nothing to really write home about.  Down-to-earth kinda cake and ice cream.  Home-stuff.

I would go back for the pizzas and pastas if I fancy a casual night out with the girls or even just a quick dinner over simple fare.  It is a nice alternative to the cze char (hawker style family fry ups).

95 Frankel Avenue
Tel: +65-64455661

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hong Kong - Uno Duo Trio - Lana's Rustic Home Cooking

Tucked in a non-descript commercial building in the backstreets of Causeway Bay which actually boasts a few eateries, Uno Duo Trio seemed from reviews to fit the bill of decent food in a less expensive space type of deal.

It is a place which takes credit cards, unlike other "private kitchens" but it is still very much home style in terms of service and feel.  I didn't ask but assume the knowledgeable lady who explains the menu is Lana.  She enthusiastically explains the menu, what's good and what's just arrived from the shores of Italy.

Bread and Condiments
We order and get the obligatory bread and condiments, served on an artist's palette to start.  I liked the pesto and balsamic but breads were so-so, the polenta based one better than the focaccia.

Grilled Sardines
Sardines were well done.  Nicely grilled to a crisp but with skin still intact and the flesh plump and fluffy.  Touch of rocket and lemon and it didn't need more.

Gamberi Rossi de Sicilia al Mandilli de Saea
If you like prawns, this is your dish.  The sauce is almost exclusively prawn, given reprieve only by the shredded basil.  I liked that they used prawns from the Mediterranean.  Less bouncy than what Asians are used to but much sweeter.  The homemade ribbons of pasta did well to take up as much sauce as possible and were suitably al dente.

Baked pork loin
This was the least impressive dish of the night.  A tad salty and a tad tough.  Perhaps my Asian-ness in liking my meats laced with a little fat has marred by judgment for lean cuts but c'est la vie, life isn't good without a few guilty pleasures.

There wasn't anything too Italian about the Cheesecake but it decent, and served in a cute little wooden box, similar to the box in which the bill comes.  Creamy, dense, cheesy - what cheesecakes are all about.

Overall, a decent experience.  Service is home-style, friendly but a little dis-organised and forgetful at times.  So don't expect a fine dining experience.  After all, it is rustic home cooking that's really on offer here. 

19/F, Bartlock Centre
3 Yiu Wa Street
Causeway Bay
Tel: +852-3489 3862