With a history dating back to the 1980s, the Da Paolo group has spawned a miniature empire providing fine Italian fare with 13 outlets island wide and counting – in the line-up are 2 restaurants, 2 BistroBar concept outlets, 1 Pizza Bar and 8 Gastronomia gourmet delis.
The Da Paolo Ristorante, for instance, embodies both the pleasures of Italian gourmet and wine. The branch at Holland Village exudes a relaxing ambience reminiscent of a tropical resort that provides for an ideal getaway from the bustling city where you will feel at ease.
Feel closer to nature when you sit at the back of the restaurant with glass windows separating the restaurant and greenery.
An extensive menu of over 76 labels of Italian wine of white, red, rose and sparkling is exclusively available at Da Paolo Ristorante. Two bright options are the La Favorita, Fellegro, G. Gagliardo, Piedmont ’09 that costs S$12++ by the glass and the Fiano IGT Tufiano, Colli della Murgia, Puglia ’10 at S$94++ a bottle, with the former bursting with fresh aromas and lively flavours of pear and yellow apples with a delightful citrus-floral finish and the latter being a perfect wine for appetiser, with an elegant scent of peach and a nice balance of dry and sweet.
Uova Strapazzate e Tartufo Bianco S$45++ (Scrambled eggs and white truffle)
From the White Truffle Menu, we had the White Truffle on Scrambled Eggs as our starter.
The luxurious white truffle is imported directly from Italy, and for S$45++, you will get a generous serving of 3 grams. This dish was a fabulous opener; the distinctive scent of the white truffles paired perfectly with the simplicity of scrambled eggs.
(Note from Glenn: Reading and seeing this starter, reminds me of the meal at OTTO Ristorante.) http://www.hungryepicurean.com/2010/12/otto-ristorante-white-truffles/
A simple and healthy antipasti option would be the Caprese, comprising of roma tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella. The thick slices of tomato were fresh and clean tasting, thus allowed the quality of the mozzarella cheese to shine through.
Prosciutto di Parma e Melone S$22++
(Parma ham and rock melon)
An European favourite, the Prosciutto di Parma e Melone was presented in a simple and no-frills manner, with thin slices of parma ham and chunks of fresh rock melon.
Capesante Arrostite con Crema di Cavolfiore S$26++
(Roasted scallops, cauliflower cream, red sweet-sour onions)
The Capesante Arrostite con Crema di Cavolfiore featureed roasted scallops that were decent, enlivened with the fragrant sweet-sour onions and accompanied by a luscious cauliflower cream – I enjoyed the 2 components a lot.
Scaloppa di Fegato d’Anatra S$23++
(Roasted Duck Liver, baby spinach salad, raisins, green apple, balsamic cream)
You will not be disappointed with the Roasted Duck Liver. The generous slabs of livers were expertly cooked, remaining velvety tender and with a blush of pink with a slight crisp on the surface. Embedded with just the right amount of seasoning, this dish was a pleasure to have. Its pristine flavours were elevated by a light balsamic cream and its richness was well balanced with intersperse of green apple slices and baby spinach salad.
This dish scored well in the taste department; I’ll highly recommend it to those who have no qualms of consuming liver.
Soup of the Day S$13++
As the Pumpkin Soup emerged from the kitchen piping hot, I couldn’t wait to dive my spoon into it. Despite its temperature, I finished it in minutes – it was perfectly seasoned and had a thick yet smooth consistency – mostly of pumpkin puree (not heavily laden with cream) – with crunchy fresh prawns swimming within.
This soup appeared humble in the array of rich offerings, but ended up being a highlight –it was so comforting that I would gone for seconds.
Tagliatelle al Granchio S$26++
Tagliatelle, crabmeat, tomatoes, cream
Among the pastas, the Tagliatelle al Granchio was a worthy pick. The ingredients included crabmeat, tomatoes, vodka and cream. It was perfectly executed – boasting al dente pasta, with a sufficient amount of juicy crabmeat and the subtleness of vodka to delicately sweeten this dish. Tomatoes and cream blended with other vegetables to give silkiness and richness to the dish without being too heavy.
A lighter version served without cream is possible but I would highly recommend going all out for the full version.
I appreciated the fact that fresh egg pasta was made in their own pasta laboratory daily; the quality was definitely evident in this dish.
Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia S$26++
(Spaghetti, cuttlefish, black squid ink)
Spaghetti was tossed with squid ink that was blended with vegetables to give an intensified flavour and finally tossed with a ragout of squid. Personally, I would love to have it made of squid ink pasta dough, instead of egg pasta cooked in squid ink sauce. But, the sauce did provide a unique flavour that wasn’t a mere colouring agent.
Ravioli con Guancia di Manzo S$26++
Ravioli, beef cheek, veal jus, shaved Parmesan
The Ravioli dish was a standout choice. I didn’t manage to get a picture as it was snagged up too quickly. I highly recommend this dish, for it brought to mind the comfort of Italian cooking.
Risotto di Spinaci con Aragosta S$24++
Carnaroli Rice, Baby spinach, slipper lobster, lobster bisque
I had a perfectly al dente risotto at The Tastings Room some time back, and whilst I’m sure that the argument of the perfect doneness is never-ending, at Da Paolo, it is a tad underdone for my liking
Doneness is a highly subjective definition so don’t be too quick to strike it out just yet. This flavourful dish didn’t disappoint in the taste sector though; it exhibited the right amount of creaminess with the plump seafood.
Merluzzo con Purea di Patate e Salsa al Tartufo Nero S$34++
Cod fish fillet, potato puree, black truffle sauce
Filetto di Manzo alla Rossini con Pinoli e Uvetta S$36++
Pan fried beef tenderloin, duck liver, baby spinach, pine nuts, raisins
Some of the desserts available at Da Paolo Ristorante that should whet your appetite include:
Crespelle Agli Agrumi S$12++
Homemade Crepes, Citron Sauce, Blood Orange Sorbet
Bonet Piemontese e Gelato S$12++
Classic Piedmont Amaretto Chocolate Dessert, Chocolate Ice Cream
Ladyfingers, Coffee, Egg Yolk, Mascarpone Cheese, Marsala, Valrhona Cacao
Da Paolo Ristorante (Holland Village)
44 Jalan Merah Saga #01-56
Telephone: +65 6476 1332
Lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Da Paolo Ristorante (Club Street)
80 Club Street
Telephone: +65 6224 7081
Lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Closed for Saturday Lunch, all Sundays and Public Holidays
|About the Author
Melissa Koh is interior design trained, with a strong passion in photography and food. Her dream is to travel the globe, experiencing different cultures, food and art, documenting every moment on camera. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org