Complimentary of Appetite Magazine, I have the honour to patronise one of the best Italian restaurants in Singapore, Pontini @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront. I was given a $100 voucher, and was struggling to decide whether to go for a-la-carte or their Executive Lunch, alas, the value of the later was simply too irresistible..
The ambience at Pontini was rather grand, with the restaurant relatively busy on a quiet weekday afternoon. First and foremost, forget about the famous Squid Ink Tagliolini or whatever memorable entrees you might have tried here previously, there’s a new chef at helm, Italian Chef Daniele Sarno, who introduced a few signature dishes of his own. But because we ordered Executive Lunch, we didn’t get to savour much of those.
I’m not sure what was the difference between their 2-course menu or 3-course menu. Difference being the dessert or soup? But anyway, we went for the 3-course set and tried everything on the buffet table, which basically included the Antipasti Buffet, a main course, dessert buffet, soup, and hot beverage.
The Antipasti Buffet Selection was rather sumptuous, with promptly refilled selection of New Zealand mussels, Tiger Prawns, Salmon, Tuna, Italian Cheese, Ham, Prawn Salad, Vegetable Salad, Sauteed Mushrooms, Mutton etc. In fact, it was so filling that I almost mistook it as a main course. I’d love to have more rounds of mussels and Tiger Prawns, if not the need to conserve capacity for my most beloved entree… desserts! Anyway, freshness was without question for the antipasti buffet, and apart from the mushrooms which probably required some level of processing, all other selection could hardly reveal the skill of the chef.
My main course was a Linguine, a “Genovese” basil pesto, with potato and green beans. It was really a big plate, and please take my words at face value, I really mean the plate, not portion 😛 I deliberately chose this picture above to illustrate how ‘little’ was the portion, but given the filling antipasti buffet before hand, as well as a small loaf of sliced bread on the table, perhaps it was a small relief the linguine came in a manageable portion. Having said that, I am indirectly hinting I wasn’t really impressed by this entree. I was more keen to select Snapper Fillet from the menu, but since my partner opted for that, I thought I should order something else so we could reach out different dishes. I was not sure whether was it because I was already half full, but I found the Linguine tasted bland. The almost tasteless potatoes certainly didn’t help, and personally, I would have prefer more olive oil or garlic and spices, even mushrooms or some minced meat would have helped to bring in more flavour.
My partner’s Snapper Fillet main course was more tasty, the thinly fried crust retained the fresh texture of the fish, but nevertheless, still not quite the finished product I anticipated. It was served in tomato sauce with capers and black olive, it came with the look, I confess, somehow I was wondering, would a slice of lemon or lime instead of the tomato sauce added more appetizing factor? Make no mistake, it’s still nice, but perhaps I really wasn’t into Italian food 😛
And for me, the Grand Finale… I really think Italians do best in dessert, and many of these here were really the very best I’d ever tried! Brownies, Coconut custard, Pecan custard, Tiramisu, and the Almond yogurt (couldn’t remember their actual names really) at the side, generally with just adequate amount of milk, that won’t cause too much nausea feeling in overdose. In other buffet, I usually could do with just one round of desserts, right here, I done two! And if there’s anything that could really bring me back here, I have to say, these are the ones!
Oh, I just remember I forgot to mention the soup. It wasn’t deliberate, anyway, I only tried the Cauliflower Soup, but that just as well summed up why I forgot it… nothing special.
Grand Copthorne Waterfront
392 Havelock Road