Casa Tartufo, as its name suggests, is a restaurant that specialises in truffles. About 75% of their menu features the ingredient in some form, though more likely as a sauce rather than shaved neat on top of the dish, so prices aren't too prohibitive.
We've wanted to try it for some time, but it always looked disconcertingly forlorn whenever we walked by. It doesn't help that the main patrons of Forum Galleria, and hence their potential customers, are families bringing their young children for all manner of enrichment classes. Not the best location for a pseudo fine-dining Italian restaurant.
Still, the Restaurant Week lunch menu didn't look too bad, and we figured Restaurant Week meant that there would be a few more tables than normal so it wouldn't feel too depressingly empty.
We started out with a beef carpaccio with shaved parmesan, arugula and truffle sauce. The other starter option was a vegetable soup so that was a no brainer... The carpaccio was predictable but not too bad.
Being atetoomuch, 3 courses seemed a bit skimpy so we had a look at the a la carte menu. Two appetisers called out to me - a burrata cheese with a truffle heart, and this dish that we ordered, scrambled egg with truffle and porcini mushroom. The egg was well scrambled - slowly stirred so that it was nice and creamy with no overcooked curds. I quite liked the flavourful porcini sauce as well.
We again ordered the same main course - the veal scallopini with mushrooms and truffle mash. The sauce for the veal was suspiciously similar to that for the scrambled egg. The veal was ok, but the mash had a slightly gluey texture, possible from the potatoes being mechanically rather than hand whipped.
Dessert featured truffle too. The profiterole was filled with a truffle ice cream which I found quite different, but actually very well balanced in terms of flavour. It's not easy getting truffle into sweets without it being overwhelmingly funky, and I think they did a pretty good job with this. The choux pastry for the profiterole was unfortunately way too hard and dry.
Portions were really small; I'm not sure if that was because of Restaurant Week, but $60 per person for what we had (including the additional egg dish) still seems a bit pricey. I'll give them another chance though.
The food’s decent, but far from spectacular, and it definitely doesn’t deserve the price tag. I think you’re paying for the swanky look of the place, but really, this place could do with a more casual makeover. Given the location, I think it would do well as a casual family restaurant (but for a chi-chi yuppie family).
583 Orchard Road
#01-17 Forum Shopping Mall
Lunch: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Dinner: 6 pm to 10 pm