Failing to get a last minute reservation at Valentino’s last Sunday made us quite psyched for it, so sometime around mid-week we called for a reservation for this Sunday. They have 2 sittings – one from 6 pm to 8.15 pm, and the other from 8.30 pm onwards. We chose the earlier one so that our food would have enough time to digest.
Since our last visit, they’ve changed the lobster pasta on the menu yet again. If you’ll recall, the $27 Lobster with Pink Sauce gave way to a dish whose cost was subject to the weight of the lobster. Now, apparently after customer feedback, they’ve standardized the size of the lobsters that they order, so the Lobster Pasta is back on the menu, at a revised price of $42.90, for a medium-sized crustacean.
Needless to say, I ordered that again, and while it was quite exquisite by any standards, it was somehow not quite as stellar as the one we had the last time. I guess this proves that the quality/size of the lobster directly affects the final outcome of the dish.
We shared the Tomino cheese wrapped with parma ham and pan fried. We had this once before, and this time it was possibly even better than before. The parma ham was crispy, and the cheese was slightly molten and gooey inside. Each mouthful was quite salty but not excessively so, and yet also quite mellow thanks to the cheese.
One of the reasons we wanted to come here was to try their Squid Ink pasta, to see how it compared to the one from Friends at Jelita. After racking our brains on how to fit in everything that we wanted to order, the waitress suggested that we share the Squid Ink pasta as a starter. This was oilier than the Friends one, and while it was still tasty and the squid pieces very tender, I actually think the Friends one was better. The squid ink sauce at Friends was fuller bodied, and I think the shaved parmesan was a contributing factor.
My main was obviously the lobster pasta. A ordered one of the daily specials – the grilled tuna. After a bad experience at Da Paolo Rochester where the tuna was so overdone that it was dry and flaky like canned tuna, I specifically requested that the tuna be done quite rare. We weren’t disappointed. The fish was perfectly done – seared on the outside, and still moist and rare in the center. Enhanced with just a squeeze of lemon and drizzled with good olive oil, this showed that the best way to show off good ingredients is to keep it simple.
Amazingly, after all that we still had room for dessert. Barely. A had his trusty tiramisu again, and I tried the Chantilly cake with chocolate chips and shaved white chocolate. This lighter-than-air sponge cake was a perfect end to an incredible dinner.
Have a hard time deciding what my favourite restaurant is now. I think just for the range of things I like on the menu, this place beats Buko Nero. I still get the feel that the staff frown on the fact that C and I don’t order any vino to go with our meal though.
Ristorante da Valentino
11 Jalan Bingka (off Rifle Range Road)
Tuesday to Sunday: 12 pm to 2.30 pm, 6 pm to 10.30 pm