We had an off day today, and decided to finally try Chef Angelo Sanetti’s (ex-Michaelangelo) new joint for lunch.
Unfortunately the location is a real downer. We knew it was on Arab Street, but failed to check exactly where, so A was driving around the roads surrounding Arab Street trying to find parking. Turns out the place is directly opposite Golden Landmark Hotel (yes, that end of Arab Street), so A tried parking in Golden Landmark Hotel. Another big mistake – the Hotel’s carpark has stolen the crown from Burlington Square as being the worst carpark in Singapore. Anyway, if you’re planning on driving there, park at Raffles Hospital – it’s just a short 5-minute walk.
Citibank has an ongoing promotion till February 2010 – a one-for-one promotion on their usual $45 set lunch, which is a very good deal. I like the fact that the set menu is standard, and you only get the promotion if you pay with Citibank, unlike menus that are only designed for certain credit card holders, because I always think the quality for those menus is compromised.
Unfortunately they were having some problems with their suppliers so some of the items on the menu weren’t available. To start with, A had the calamari, and I had the mushroom medley – a thin slice of toast topped with mushrooms sautéed in butter with garlic and topped with arugula. There was a huge disparity between mine and A’s. Mine was superb, whereas the calamari was bland and quite chewy.
They had issues with their seafood and duck breast suppliers, so that eliminated the prawn penne, slipper lobster tagliatelle and magret de canard options from the menu. A had the gnocchi with duck confit in a pesto cream sauce for his main, and I had the braised baby lamb shank. My only experience with gnocchi so far has been the one at Valentino, so in comparison this one was a little mushy for my liking.
The lamb shank was heavenly. I was quite surprised – I’m not a huge fan of braised lamb shanks because they usually end up tasting quite similar. This one came with a nice rich jus, and more importantly, it was ridiculously tender yet flavourful at the same time. If I had to find a flaw, it was that the sides were a bit uninspired, though the artichoke puree did add a nice acidic tinge to the otherwise rich meat.
A had the tiramisu for dessert, and I had the Chocolate Delice – cold chocolate ganache on a macadamia cookie dough disc and served with strawberry sorbet. I couldn’t handle more than half of mine; it was way too rich and chocolately for my liking. The tiramisu was ok, but Perla’s is much better.
The food here is far superior to Michaelangelo’s post-Chef Angelo, but because of the location I don’t know if it can survive long term. Business wasn’t great for a Friday lunch, and while the food was quite good, I’d still rather go to Valentino’s or Pasta Brava.
Definitely recommended, especially for value. Unlike other places with shrunken set portions, everything we got for our set lunch was regular-sized.
While the food is very good, I wouldn’t say it was spectacular. Overall, I’d recommend this as a place for a good hearty meal.
Btw, the parking at the hotel opposite is horrible. Your best bet is parking at Raffles Hospital and making the short walk over.
126 Arab Street (opposite Golden Landmark Hotel)
Lunch: 11am - 2pm
Dinner: 6pm - 10.30pm
(Closed for lunch on Sat)
(Closed on Sun)