Opened since 1999.
This Italian restaurant started off as a wine focused establishment serving red and white wines from Italian regions like Piedmont and Tuscany, direct import from the owner.
Later, due to the demand of regular customers for home style Italian food to complement the wine selections, the friendly Japanese lady owner had a Neopolitan chef (from Italy) to spend a stint in the restaurant.
He designed the menu and taught the back-then European trained sous chef on cooking the very homely dishes we are familiar with – thin crust Neopolitan pizza, homemade ravioli and gnocchi, and etc.
If you are a wine lover, you would find exclusive Italian brands here off the mass market from Asti (to import soon, not available yet).
Tucked away along the serene Roya Ville neighbour hood, you could spot Ritz Strudel house on one side, and a deli on the other side.
Across the shop houses is a row of lush green aligned by Bukit Timah road.
I was quite hesitant to give away this hidden gem, more or less well known among the neighbourhood but not on the blogosphere.
However, as a food blogger, I feel obliged and reluctantly sharing this gem.
The table setting has the colours of Italy flag.
I started off with a sweet latte.
This plate was certainly appetising, and just perfect for two-person sharing.
Every item was fresh and rustic tasting. Nothing fancy, home style all the way.
Due to replacement of new fryer in the kitchen, we missed the opportunity to have fried calamari on the plate, hence it was replaced with stir fried button mushrooms in white wine – I could taste the heady aroma from the leftover alcohol.
This is one of my favourite dishes, pan fried aubergine slice was slightly crumbed. Wrapped within was the melted mozzarella cheese. So good.
I think I might have found one of the best thin crust pizzas here.
The crunchy and tasty crust had to be consumed as soon as served!
The toppings were designed according to the owner’s favourite ingredients which worked out so well.
Ah, here comes my potato fill of the week.
As soon as I learnt gnocchi was made in house and fresh, available with porcini and cream sauce – I did not hesitate to summon one.
The gnocchi was potato-ey and soft (unlike the factory made ones which turned out bouncy and tasteless), coated heavily in the porcini scented cream sauce and thick slices of porcini itself, I feel like making a trip out for this as I’m typing. I wouldn’t want any truffle oil in this dish at all – who says truffle is the best?
My favourite dish – highly recommended!
The white wine used in this dish was no different from their house wine, they used drinking wine to cook out the flavour and fragrance.
I can see why this dish is popular, the heap of clams easily doubled or tripled the normal amount served in other Italian restaurants, and I did not see any empty shells – what an honest dish.
This is a dish that has the balance of rich cream and a little tomato tang.
A comforting one, great for kids too.
The aglio olio was fragrant, again, fresh seafood items here cooked just right.
This main course was refreshing as it is not a common combination found elsewhere on this island, not me anyway.
Springy prawn flesh was grilled until slightly smoky, then drizzled with aged balsamic, lastly dotted with lightly fried chopped garlic and herbs.
The herbs could be a little overwhelming.
These desserts were home made as well.
Smooth chilled custard soaked up the deep caramel flavour, such a fantastic classic sweet.
The wobbly panna cotta was so creamy and velvety.
Mixed berry sauce was also made in house, I could taste the grits and tartness from the real berries.
As rustic assemble as it gets. I found tiramisu the least delicious, it was a little dry and weak on coffee and liquer.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the satisfying home cooked Italian meal here.
Well, I hope you are able to try them out too – don’t forget the nice wine (which I had to skip during this trip out due to medicine intake :( )!