Category Archives: Italian

Buttero

Credit to L – the restaurant for our Spiffy Lunch this month was so new that there weren’t any blog reviews up yet!

L, Z and I shared 3 pastas.

Pappardelle with lamb ($22)

20140511-161612.jpg This was their off-menu special. An interesting combi of tomato, black olives, barley and lamb. Caution though that it has a very strong lamb taste/smell that may not be for everyone.

Pappardelle with spanner crab ($25)

20140511-161711.jpg This was recommended in their write-up in the papers. I saw it as “snapper” crab and wondered what the heck that was until S set me straight. It was a light pasta; the tomato base was not too thick/sour.

Black pasta with chopped prawns, mussels, cuttlefish and chilli ($24)

20140511-161810.jpg L actually ordered it for himself, but when the server mentioned that this was the best amongst the pastas, I unashamedly dictated that we were sharing; poor L. We totally agreed with the recommendation and this was our favourite! It was flavourful, briny, with the taste of the sea and a slight hint of red chilli spiciness.

N bucked the pasta trend and ordered a lamb sandwich ($16). It was nicely presented; he finished it all but did comment that his jaw was aching from the chewy bread and meat.

20140511-162457.jpg To round off the meal, we ordered 3 desserts ($12 each) to share.

Canoli

20140511-161917.jpg Light vanilla cream within a crusty shield. We easily finished it all.

Vanilla panna cotta

20140511-162022.jpg The consensus was that the panna cotta was too dense texturally, though it was light on taste. It wasn’t enjoyable enough to finish.

Banoffee pie

20140511-162132.jpg This dessert was super sweet! You dig your spoon in and no matter what you fished out… toffee, banana, mascapone cheese… it was just a mouthful of overwhelming sweetness. Not for the diabetic.

Overall, a non-snobbish and cool Italian place with great pastas (though the portions are quite small). Another gem along Tras Street.

20140511-162218.jpg 54 Tras Street
Open (tba)

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Latteria Mozzarella Bar

December is a month for birthday celebrations. We celebrated J’s birthday at Latteria Mozzarella Bar last Friday.

Given the restaurant’s name, it was a must to start our meal with cheese.  The “mozzarella glossary” in the menu was thoughtful. Simply cos’ it sounded feminine and cute, we chose the plaited buffalo sized buffalo mozzarella (or more properly known as treccia). The cheese had a mild flavor and was pillowy and slightly chewy. I really liked it.

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We all chose from the set lunch menu ($28++ for 3-course).

The starter was a choice between the potato and leek soup and the parma ham croquette.

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I chose the latter as I am not a great fan of leek. The croquettes came in small square packages. They were crisp on the outside with warm creamy potato inside. It was all good until you bite into the “parma ham”. L blurted out my sentiments exactly: “What was this supposed to be again?”. It really didn’t quite taste like any parma ham I know; it was closer to minced beef or lamb. Once I got past that, they tasted alright.

You can choose from 3 mains – mozzarella risotto, grilled sirloin in truffle sauce and baked seabass fillet aquapazza style. Z and I shared the first 2 mains.

The risotto was extremely rich and creamy and could probably feed an entire family. It got too much after 5 mouthfuls. If you can’t share it, I would suggest you don’t order it.

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The sirloin came medium rare (I had realized at that point, we weren’t asked about our preferred doneness) but it was all good as it was juicy and tender. The truffle complemented the beef well. It was a pity it was served lukewarm at best and I do prefer my food hot.

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I have a slight aversion to fish, having choked on a fish bone when I was young. But for the sake of this blog, I pinched some of L’s seabass. I actually liked this best of the 3 mains! The fish was very fresh and the clam-based broth added a briny flavor to the dish.

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Dessert was lemon panna cotta. The curd was firm and not as wobbly as others I have had. It was milky and the lemon flavor plus the berries provided a tart contrast. Beware though; the berries left all of us with deep purple teeth and lips!

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Overall, the set lunch was underwhelming, especially after the cheese. We did notice that other diners having the ala carte dishes seem to be enjoying their meals more; perhaps we should have gone the same way.

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40 Duxton Hill
Open 12nn-230pm (Lunch, except Sat) and 6-11pm (Dinner)
www.latteriamb.com