You’ll AMÒ these Pizzas & Pastas! 

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Spaghettoni with whole boston lobster & tarragon for two!

There’s a new place that our Makan Kaki, Chef-Owner of Morsels, Petrina Loh has just tried along Hong Kong Street. Located conveniently for Chef Petrina, she often runs errands along that stretch, picking up her traditional chinese herbs for her own restaurant from just across the street. If there’s parking, she always takes advantage to hop out in search for something good to eat. And boy, is Amò GOOD! It’s a pizza-pasta place started by Italian restaurateur Beppe De Vito, of Il Lido fame and also, the man behind Baci, a recent 1 Michelin Star awardee. So, one would have high hopes for this casual eatery, no? And apparently, recent discovery Amò does not disappoint. Highly recommended by her other chef friends, how can you resist comfort food like Italian pizzas and pastas done exceedingly well?

Tagliolini with spicy young cuttlefish & squid ink

For Chef Petrina, the home-made pasta with spicy young cuttlefish with squid ink on the side was outstanding. So tasty & deeply umami, the tender squid pairs perfectly with the al dente Tagliolini, which she says delightedly, is like a cross between mee pok and mee kia! What’s brilliant is that you can ask for extra spice and the staff very obligingly bring out the fiery good stuff for you to add. The kitchen is aware of how some Singaporeans like their meals spicy and have concocted an insane chilli paste, made from chilli padi, garlic, salt and olive oil, all whizzed up fresh in a blender. It’s got tremendous kick and a freshness that balances the searingly hot burn, but use sparingly – you’ve been warned!

Olive you! ❤

Another lovely touch is the wooden bowls of yummy stuffed olives you get served with every meal (perfect with a refreshing Aperol Spritz – cocktail of Prosecco & Aperol). Chef Petrina can’t get enough of these briny spheres of deliciousness! Sourced from from Beppe’s family’s olive farm, these are plump little green morsels, stuffed with peppers and exploding with appetite-whetting flavour.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

If you’re looking for a yummy starter, try their zucinni flowers, unusually stufffed with a fluffy, creamy, light-as-air Mortadella filling, along with pistachio & lemon honey.

As for the pizzas, Denise (who also has been) recommends two excellent ones. Made meticulously with a starter that is lovingly tended daily, this mother dough births pizza bases full of flavor and texture. They are at once crisp, wonderfully blistered and charred on the edges, as well as delightfully tender and chewy in the centre. Taking an average of only 5-10 minutes to cook in their wood-fired oven, the toppings elevate the simple pizza to a whole other stratosphere!

Try these:

Bone Marrow Pizza

The Bone Marrow Pizza with fresh radish, wild garlic pesto and anchovy salsa verde, is rich and luscious from the marrow, yet fresh, zingy and astringent from the greens and pesto. This is a beautiful foil for the very decadent, very savoury Truffle Pizza, which is pretty much THE BEST in Singapore at the moment.

Truffle Mushroom Pizza

Loaded with layer upon layer of aromatic fungi flavour, the Truffle Mushroom Pizza boasts a creamy truffle-marscapone base, wild mushrooms, Tuscan pecorino, a scattering of microgreens and is finished with fresh truffles shaved very liberally all over the top. So delicious, so addictive, so fragrant, you may want to finish the entire pizza yourself!

Amò lives up to its name – you can really feel the love here – from the lovingly prepared, on point, super-delicious food, to the casual, lively atmosphere, to the wonderfully attentive staff (Hi Jody!) – this is one Italian restaurant that’s far from run-of-the-mill & should not be missed!

TASTE:
AMÒ – CASUAL ITALIAN RESTAURANT
33 Hong Kong Street Singapore 059672
Open for Lunch: 12 – 3pm (Monday – Friday) / Dinner: 6 – 11pm (Monday – Saturday)
Tel: +65 67237733

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A Singaporean does Italian!

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Ciao! Click here to listen for incredible Italian!

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This week sees the return of our inimitable Chang Moh, writer, columnist & cook-book author of A Helping Hand Rowena “Frog” Michaels, who first discovered this charming Italian place in Tiong Bahru. From those early days, it’s since moved to the Bugis Area, but is no less delicious and charming! But just to avoid confusion, the following pictures were taken by Frog at their first outlet in Tiong Bahru. Ah Bong’s Italian starts and ends with its Singaporean owner-chef Chris Ng, who is a wonderfully friendly guy with a great story behind his restaurant.

He studied at LSE before becoming an accountant based in the UK, which, as the gateway to the rest of Europe, allowed him to eat his way across the continent. In his travels, Chris fell head over heels in love with Italy and its food. So he packed things up, returned home to Singapore and started Ah Bong’s Italian!

In Frog’s words, Chris sells beautifully simple, authentic pasta dishes made with premium ingredients. To keep things straight forward, there are three dishes a day. The menu changes daily. Here they are eating some smokey aglio (Frog) and truffle comfort eggs (Chris):

Delicious pastas being prepared fresh, ala minute! And just in case you’re wondering how good or authentic Ah Bong’s Italian can be, Frog can testify to bringing her Italian friends for a meal there and they absolutely loved it. If that isn’t a great endorsement of the taste and quality of Chris’s food, then we don’t know what is!

Frog’s favourite menu items include the truffled mac & cheese and the spicy crab linguine, but look out for what he has on his chalkboard – the dishes change daily and Chris just might be able to do you a special order if you ask nicely! 😉 Prices are affordable, the food is delicious, what more could you ask for?

TASTE:
Ah Bong Italian
103 Beach Rd (Tan Quee Lan Street area)
#01-02 (below Marrison hotel)
Singapore 189704
Open Daily: 12 – 2pm; 6 – 9pm

Super-Fresh Tokyo-Italian

denise & chef seita

Denise & Chef Seita Nakahara

Hello Makan Kakis, Denise here. A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to dine at Terra Tokyo-Italian, helmed by chef-owner Seita Nakahara, and what a special meal it was!

Chef Seita spent his teens in Singapore before working in restaurants across Tokyo, Florence, Sicily & Torino, honing his skills in Italian cuisine. His style of Italian cooking focuses on only the very freshest produce he can source directly from fishermen and farmers in Japan & Italy, which he then prepares with a very light Japanese touch, allowing the natural flavours of his ingredients shine through.

  • Listen to Chef Seita on The Lunchtime Jukebox talking about his food philosophy and restaurant here.
  • Listen to Chef talk about his culinary roots and what kind of food he enjoys going out to eat when he’s not cooking for others.

From his humble beginnings in the kitchen helping his mother, to his training across Italy, Chef Seita’s approach to food is always to keep everything simple, without using a lot of spices or herbs to cover the flavours or fragrance – something he says he learnt from those hours spent cooking with mum. The affable, ever-so-polite Chef Seita’s love for the food and his passion is evident in the sublime plates of food that emerged from the kitchen.

His Omakase menu changes all the time, depending on the seasonal produce available and out of his creative mind, Chef Seita keeps things exciting for his customers – he enjoys being surpised and surprising diners – that’s why he will never serve you the same thing if you are a returning guest (not unless you insist, of course!).

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Service is wonderful, with very friendly staff, who are patient and careful to explain everything that has gone into each dish you are served. Your meal begins with two things:

  1. A  box of fresh ingredients presented with a flourish, so you know what you’re going to be eating, and…

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2. A really delicious homemade foccacia bread, served hot with a porcini mushroom butter I wanted (and did) to eat on its own!

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I have to say after that lovely start, nothing I was served afterwards disappointed. In fact, everything was eye-rollingly tasty – check out what else was on the menu when I dined at Terra Tokyo-Italian:

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The Uni bruschetta is the perfect embodiment of Chef Seita’s food concept – bringing the best of Japanese & Italian together – generous little mountains of fresh sea urchin jiggling atop crisp toasted bread.

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Super-fresh shellfish – Akagai, okagai, Hokkaido asparagus, cherry tomato drizzled with dill sauce.
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Another one of my favourites (and this is saying alot because I’m not a fan of tomato sauces) – the Ise bay spiny lobster linguine. Perfectly portioned, the handmade pasta was also perfectly al dente and coated in a rich, yet not cloying tomato sauce. It was light yet creamy was complemented by a succulently-sweet grilled lobster from Japan’s Ise Bay.
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Score! Managed to scoop out the lobster meat in one whole juicy chunk! And you can bet I sucked out all the briny juices from that lobster head – sooo yummaaay!

IMG_0349Ama-dai tile fish with Mediterranean sauce, Hokkaido shaved button mushroom, Japanese bamboo shoost with crispy fish skin.
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Tender Tochigi beef with mushroom sauce, charred Japanese cabbage, mustard and chives & caramelised onion – really clean, simple and absolutely satisfying, The beefy flavour really comes through thanks to Chef Seita’s delicate touch.
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Homemade Tiramisu with Japanese strawberries – an appropriate end to my Tokyo-Italian experience. This Tiramisu was again, perfectly-portioned, not too sweet and very light.

Chef Seita’s very Japanese sensibility truly shines through in his respect for his ingredients and his guests and I can’t recommend Terra more if you love Italian Cuisine but want something surprising, very fresh and light. The Omakase Menu is tailored to suit your dietary restrictions and you can choose the number of courses you enjoy. I had 7 courses (possibly more), but so light was Chef’s touch, I didn’t walk out of Terra feeling uncomfortably full, just very satisfied and with a huge smile on my face!

TERRA
54 Tras St
Singapore 078993

Open Hours:
Mon – Fri 12:00 pm-2:00 pm, 6:30 pm-10:00 pm
Sat 6:30 pm-10:00 pm

Phone: 6221 5159

Freshest Seafood, Southern Italian Style

via Gattopardo

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Today, a new foodie friend joins us and he’s the guy behind the World Gourmet Summit, Mr Peter Knipp! More than 3 decades ago, he came to Singapore to work as a professional Chef at a hotel before breaking out to start his own Food & Beverage Consultancy and 20 years ago, World Gourmet Summit was born! As a man whose carer has been built around and through food and drink, you can trust Peter to have some great makan places to share.

  • Click here & here to find out more about this year’s World Gourmet Summit – Peter Knipp gives us the insider’s run-down!
  • Click here for this week’s ocean-fresh makan recommendation!

SEE:

via Gattopardo

This week, Peter recommends a wonderful Italian restaurant whose chef hails from Sicily and is dedicated to presenting diners with the freshest, tastiest seafood prepared according to his Southern Italian roots. Chef Lino Sauro’s contemporary Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare on Tras Street will certainly excite your palate, because whilst he remains true-blue to his Sicilian roots, he gives his food a little Asian touch after spending so many years here in Singapore.

via Gattopardo

When Peter dines at Gattopardo, he forgoes ordering from the menu and leaves it up to Chef Lino to surprise him with between 5 to 7 courses of sublime small plates. From his sea urchin to hamachi to raw marinated langoustin, his focus is on giving diners a gastronomic journey of the palate through the freshest seafood. Let the Maitre D’ help you pair your meal with the right Prosecco or wines and you’ll have a beautiful experience at Gattopardo! This is one Italian restaurant that stands out from the many others in Singapore and Peter cannot recommend it enough.

via Gattopardo

TASTE:
Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare
34/36 Tras Street
Singapore 079026

Open

Monday to Friday
Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm; Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Saturday
Lunch: Closed; Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Sunday
Closed

Tel: (65) 6338 5498 / (65) 9325 8843

Where Chefs Eat: David Myers of Adrift

Denise with David Myers at his MBS restaurant, Adrift

This week, I had the chance to catch up with LA-based chef David Myers, while he’s in town to check in on his gorgeous restaurant Adrift at the Marina Bay Sands.

Chef Myers is all about fresh produce from California and Japan, and at Adrift, small plates, healthy salads, seafood, and grilled meats all come together beautifully Izakaya-style. It would be hard to pick favourites, but Chef Myers recommends you try the King Crab Melt, Hamachi Salad with Ponzu Sauce & the special Omakase menu.

For bookings, visit marinabaysands.com or call 6688 5657.

Click here for more on our conversation about Adrift, the must-try dishes, what inspires Chef Myers’ cooking and interesting projects he has in the pipeline.

So when Chef Myers is in Singapore, where does he like to eat? Here are a few of his favourites:

Every time he’s in town, Chef Myers has one go-to place – he makes it a point to stop by before he heads to the airport. He can’t get enough of the  Black Pepper Crab at Long Beach. For him, it’s that combination of the spicy pepper and the incredibly sweet, almost buttery crab that is breath-takingly delicious.

Long Beach Black Pepper Crab

Long Beach @ Dempsey
25 Dempsey Road
Open Daily: 11am – 3pm / 5pm – 1am

Another chef favourite is the ever-popular Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell. Chef Myers has tried many others, but Tian Tian remains his favourite because he feels that the chicken is done just right – poached simply and when served with the pandan-scented, chicken-fat-flavoured rice with chilli, it’s a combination that is out of this world.
TIANTIAN
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (天天海南鸡饭)
1 Kadayanallur Street
Maxwell Food Centre
#01-10/11
Open daily except Mondays: 11am – 8pm
Tel: +65 96914852

When it comes to Western food, Chef Myers is partial to Angeleno, an Italian restaurant by Chef David Almany, formerly of Osteria Mozza fame. Using fresh produce from California, signature dishes include carpaccio sliced thinly from American ribeye steaks and eggplant parmigiana, Pasta is made in-house and there’s a wood grill for their amazing steaks and chops.

Angeleno’s Iberico Tomahawk Pork Chops, Summer Beet Salad and Spaghetti of Maine Lobster, roasted tomato and tarragon.

Angeleno
Open Mon-Sat 12 noon – 11pm
20 Gemmill Lane
Tel: 62216986

Burnt Ends also remains another chef favourite and for David Myers, it’s no different. He loves the atmosphere, the food and says it’s always guaranteed a good time when you dine at Dave Pynt’s modern Australian Barbeque restaurant.
steak
BURNT ENDS
20 Teck Lim Road
Lunch: Wednesday – Saturday 11:45am to 2pm
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 6:00pm to Late
Closed Sunday and Mondays
Tel: 6224 3933
For more on Burnt Ends, check this & this out!

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of Makan Kakis & Chef Myers’ recommendations.

When In Italy…

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Via http://www.facebook.com/initaly.bar.restaurant

This week, your Makan Kaki Don Mendoza takes you to a home-style, casual Italian restaurant run by a very seasoned chef, Chef Mario Caramella, who’s been helming a kitchen that consistently turns out authentic, quality Italian dishes. Besides your pastas, risottos and usual Italian staples, in Italy does have a few surprising finds on their menu.

In Don’s opinion (and he hopes it’s still on the menu), the stand-out dish would be in Italy‘s Gran Bollito Misto, which is a very traditional Italian dish of boiled meats served with several condiments, like Salsa Verde, Tomato Sauce and grated horseradish. While the idea of boiled meats probably doesn’t sound very appetising, Don assures us that it tastes incredible because it’s been slow-boiled to get the meats nice and tender and there’s a whole variety of cuts in the dish – beef, veal, veal tongue for those who like something a little more exotic but with lots of great texture, chicken which always adds sweetness to any dish, Don’s favourite other white meat, pork and a selection of root vegetables.

The Gran Bollito Misto is lovely, comforting dish that’s served in a stone bowl to retain its heat, so it remains warm on the table for a long time. And at the risk of sounding cheesy, Don says this dish is truly a heart-warming one that lingers long after the dish has cooled!

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Via http://www.facebook.com/initaly.bar.restaurant

TASTE:
in Italy
38 Craig Road
Open Daily
Lunch: 12-2.30pm
Dinner: 6-10.30pm
Reservations: +65 64230918

Sunday Brunch at UNA

The season for gatherings, parties, friends, families and food is nearly upon us and this Sunday, why not celebrate the holiday season with an easy, breezy, big, brunchy affair at UNA? Makan Kaki Shermay Lee highly recommends the Spanish/ French/ Italian/ Mediterranean Brunch there – it’s absolutely delightful and yummy!
Located in the leafy, Colonial enclave of Rochester Park, UNA is a charming restaurant helmed by Jean-Philippe Patruno, who used to be head chef of wildly popular tapas bar Barrafina in London’s Soho. And now, the same delectable food that set London in a tizzy with snaking queues is available here in Singapore and in a beautiful environment.

Be prepared to eat. Go hungry. It’s gonna be really delicious, thanks to Chef Jean-Philippe’s impeccable technical skills and his ability to cook with real depth and honesty. Tapas and brunch foods may seem deceptively simple to make, but trust Shermay, to achieve this sort of flavour, a lot of experience and know-how is required!


A must-try is the Jamon croquetas (ham croquettes) – light, crispy, panko-coated with an oozy, creamy, piping-hot ham and bechamel interior. They are perfection and always a hit with adults and kids alike. Order lots! You’re gonna have to!


For a decadent treat, how ’bout the slow-cooked egg with smoked mash and summer truffles? Rich, over-the-top indulgence from the yolk, smokey potato and earthy truffle. If you like bread, you’ll love the roasted peppers on toast with spicy, fatty chorizo sausage and delicate quail eggs. Or go for one of their toasted sandwiches! If you want something even more substantial, the Spanish fry-up is hearty, filling and really hits the spot.

Leave room for dessert, especially their Churros! These deep-fried Spanish crullers are hard to find and even harder to do right, but UNA does! Light and crisp, not oily at all, but with enough firmness to bite, the Churros are tossed in cinnamon-sugar and come with a dark chocolate Valrhona dipping sauce.

There you have it, for a beautiful Brunch on Sunday, you really can’t go wrong with UNA @ One Rochester, where Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno serves up his home-styled cuisines from Spain, Italy and France, with a full selection of tapas, starters, mains and desserts, backed with a full bar, signature cocktails, with $48++ for free-flow cava and house wine.

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S BRUNCHY EPISODE AGAIN!

UNA
1 Rochester Drive
Reservations: 6773 0070
Open: Mon – Sat 6-11pm
A la carte Mediterranean Brunch every Sunday from 11am to 4pm
http://una.sg/#