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MY TO-GO LIST
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Ristorante Da Valentino #1
11 Jalan Bingka
I love Italian food! And I think I’ve just had the best Italian meal of my life.
Kim, Jon and I decided to recce the restaurant chosen for Yoke Yee’s birthday celebration. Reaching shortly after noon, we were lucky to get a table without reservation as they are apparently fully booked during the weekends.
Complimentary bread was served with an olive oil dip. I only tried the olive oil which is really good. The herbs make it very aromatic and fresh.
Our starter of Combo Salad ($24.90++) was today’s special. Mixed fresh greens are served with a generous sprinkling of pine nuts, olives, walnuts, shredded apples and parmesan cheese. I love it! This is the highlight of the whole meal for me. Even though I don’t like cheese, the savory and delicate taste of the parmesan cheese goes so well with the sweet apple slices.
The nuts and olives also give a nice crunch and aroma to the otherwise bland salad. Since it’s made with skimmed milk, parmesan cheese has a low fat content so this is a really healthy yet delicious dish. I have to admit though, this is the priciest salad I’ve ever eaten but it’s really worth it!
This is easily the best but not the perfect ravioli I’ve eaten so far. The pasta is silkily smooth but the edges are still a little too hard for my liking. The parma ham filling is rather generous and has a nice texture. Anyone know where has the perfect ravioli?
I like the sauce the most as it tastes really fresh and rich, unlike those watery sauces found in some Italian restaurants. Like the ravioli, the pasta is cooked just nicely al dente. The pieces of chicken are not so thinly sliced as to be indiscernible.
You won’t find any desserts in the menu because all they differ everyday. The desserts are displayed in a trolley which the waiter will push to your table and then he will introduce the various sweets.
I was really very disappointed when told that my favourite Italian dessert, tiramisu, is sold out. Apparently, Jon and Kim found this amusing. Since we will be coming back next week, I specially reserved 2 tiramisu for our next visit.
The Chantilly al Cioccolato Bianco ($8.80++) is a sponge cake with custard and chocolate cream fillings topped with Chantilly cream and white chocolate shavings. Chantilly cream is sweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream and it gets its name from the French market town (Chantilly!) just north of Paris which is famous for its whipped cream. There is a subtle hint of alcohol as the sponge cake is soaked in Jamaican rum. This cake looks very pretty and is very light. Somehow though, I feel that this cake will appeal more to sophisticated adults.
The Profiteroles ($8.80++) are the Italian version of English cream puffs covered in creamy chocolate sauce. They are said to have originated from Renaissance France and Italy.
The puffs are incredibly soft and the combination of fresh cream and luscious chocolate sauce does not render it overly sweet. But since I don’t like cream, this doesn’t really catch my fancy.
My favourite dessert today is the Chocolate Salami ($8.80++) which is very interesting. As its name implies, these soft baked cookies look like salami—only that they are made of dark and white chocolate. Eaten together with the vanilla bean ice cream, these little morsels have an intense chocolate flavor that is enhanced by the ice cream.
Valentino is opened by an Italian family and provides authentic Italian cuisine in the most homely Italian ambience you can find in Singapore. The red-bricked walls are decorated with the family’s memorabilia and I like the cozy ambience. Even though it may seem like a fine dining restaurant, no one care if you just wear shorts and slippers.
Word of warning: Be prepared to pay more as you are paying for high quality food. We didn’t know how much the items cost until we asked for the bill. Food portions are dainty but sufficient. Located along Jalan Bingka, this establishment is not easy to find without a street directory. But for the truly great food here, I don’t even mind the inaccessible location.
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