It was 7pm when I stepped into the restaurant; seeing a filled dining room, my expectations were naturally heightened. The dining room looked pretty much the same from how I remembered it to be, dark walls, dim lightning and relatively large tables, all clad in white table cloth.
This blog had visited Garibaldi once previously but unfortunately, that visit did not leave much of an impression. I’m not saying that the food served was in anyway bad, it was just, how should I put it, not mind blowing? This would most definitely explain my 2 year hiatus from the restaurant.
A part of me, was hoping that Garibaldi would not disappoint and figuratively blow my mind away, yet the other wants to be reserved, given the magnitude of both positive and not-so-positive comments that I’ve heard.
Bread was served warm – which was a good sign, but other than that, really, it was rather ordinary. A olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette accompanied it.
On a sidenote, it is funny how time seems to have gone past us so quickly, yet we constantly relive the memories of yester-year that we so fondly remember. I clearly remember that the exact same type of bread was served, in the exact same tableware.
Amuse Bouche: Seasoned Tomatoes on Beard
Sweet and Juicy Tomatoes – lightly seasoned with Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil. Simple yet undeniably pleasing.
CAPESANTE – Hokkaido Scallop with US Green Asparagus and Truffle Emulsion (S$28++)
While the green asparagus were not much of a shout-about, the truffle emulsion was awesome!It was creamy and was infused with a mild truffle flavour that aimed, not to overpower the freshness of the scallops but to complement them. However, a minor disappointment was the fact that the scallops could have done with a minute or 2 less on the stove top.
Speaking of truffles – I just love them to bits, winter truffles, black truffles – You name them, I love them. The pungent earthy flavours and intense aromas of the highly prized delicacy is worth every single cent.
PROSCIUTTO – Finest “Pio Tosini” Parma Ham with Traditional Romagna Fried Dough (S$22++)
Instead of the usual Rock Melon and Parma Ham combination, Garibaldi’s rendition of the classic appetizer included fried dough instead of rock melon. To be truthful, I had most of the parma ham on its own, without the fried dough. It was that good! Salted to the right degree and had none of that meaty flavours you commonly find in local store-bought ham or on a relatively inferior quality parma ham.
White Asparagus with Poached Egg with Shaved Truffles
It was the white asparagus season when we went and both of us decided to share a obligatory white asparagus.This was one of the day’s specials but I forgot to note the price down. I would expect it to have been around $30++?
To be frank, while I have to admit that white asparagus tend to taste a lot sweeter and are a lot more tender than their green counterparts, I am not one to go gaga over them.
The poached egg was done beautifully and when broken, worked well with the cream sauce in unison. The shaved truffles were a welcome accompaniment. (Read previous paragraph on my take on truffles)
LINGUINE – Linguine with Crab Meat and Vodka Sauce (S$28++)
What is an Italian meal without a pasta dish. Taking up on the waiter’s recommendation, we ordered the linguine pasta.
Originally meant to be part of the pasta course in a full course menu, we decided to order 1 serving of the pasta and have it split into 2. Therefore, what you see above, is only half of actual serving size.
What should have been the pièce de résistance of the meal was a let-down. Being an Italian restaurant, an award winning one at that, the pasta was a tad over-cooked for me and really, I could not find much of the crabmeat in the dish.
Roasted Pork Loin
I took a glance at the main courses available in the menu and all of them sounded safe, a little too safe perhaps. Therefore, I decided to be a little adventurous and order of the special main of the day. The roasted pork loin called out for me, when the waiter went through reciting the specials.
What seemed like an adventurous choice, was in fact, a safe choice. The pork was decent, slightly veering towards the dry quotient. Creamy and finely mashed potatoes provided some form of carbohydrates while the slightly sweet diced apples lent a great contrast and to the other wise monotonous dish. (Apples and Pork always go well together, don’t they?)
If there was ever 1 pork dish that I would die for, it would have to be the pork dish that I had in Hong Kong at Joel Robuchon!
MERLUZZO – Roasted Atlantic Cod with Black Olive Crust, Spinach Cake and Balsamico (S$42++)
The cod fish seemed to speak out to my dining partner, in an alluring and inviting tone; It was minutes before she decided to have the cod.
I tried a bit of the fish and I thought that it was, for lack of a better word, palatable. The cod was marginally overcooked, resulting in the outer parts of the fish being dry. Once that was gotten past, the rest of the fish was succulent and moist.
The spinach cake, reminded me of the Kale Royale, during my visit to Private Affairs. Comparing both renditions, Private Affairs’ was more softer and tasted more creamier while Garibaldi’s was more firm, probably from the gelatin.
GELATI – Your Choice of Premium Homemade Gelato (S$12++)
A simple gelato dessert ended the meal for me. On hindsight, I should have gone for the chocolate lava cake or the tiramisu.
ZABAIONE – Mixed Berries with Marsala Wine Sabayon and Pistachio Gelato (S$14++)
My dining partner, who had ordered this dessert after much deliberation, let out a big smile when she tried this.
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant
36 Purvis Street
#01-02 Talib Centre
Tel: +65 6837 1468
Daily 12noon – 3pm, 6.30pm – 11pm