Sunday, April 08, 2007


C says:

Valentino’s is doing amazingly well. We finally managed to have dinner there on Sunday night, after two failed attempts at calling on the day itself for dinner on the same night. As it is, we called on Thursday afternoon for dinner on Thursday night and all we managed to get was an 8.30 pm slot on Sunday. Apart from the resulting inconvenience in terms of getting a reservation, I’m really happy that they’re doing so well, after Chef Valtulina’s unfortunate ventures in the past. (Click here for a short history on Valentino’s history)

After bypassing the Lobster Pasta the last time we were in here in favour of a pizza, and drooling at the plates of Lobster Pasta that subsequently emerged from the kitchen, I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. After seven long months, I finally got it out of my system and satisfied my craving. It did come with a price though – the $27 ‘Lobster Pasta with Pink Sauce’ that’s currently on the menu isn’t available anymore. Instead, depending on season and availability, you can order the dish with live lobster. Luckily for me, there was live lobster on Sunday; unluckily for my wallet, the dish with a 400 gram lobster cost $72 (maybe they just accidentally reversed the numbers, haha).

When I asked why the other lobster pasta wasn’t available any longer, they explained that some customers complained about the baby lobsters (crayfish?) that they used, and wanted proper lobsters instead. (Hmph! Damn you, whoever you are!) Anyway, for those of you out there who have a craving for this dish but there are no lobsters available, they apparently can do the dish with king prawns instead, but the flavour of the dish will of course be compromised somewhat.

Which brings me to… wow, I didn’t think this dish could get any better, but it clearly can, thanks to the live lobster. While the lobster itself was meaty, sweet and had some creamy roe, the linguine with the pink sauce was the best part of the dish. I guess they go hand in hand, though. The sauce was so fabulous precisely because of the lobster. It was rich, and packed such an intense flavour hit that even A, who’s not normally a crustacean fan, was duly impressed.

Actually, considering the size of the lobster and how huge the portion was, $72 isn’t all that bad. I’m not generally a lobster fan, but if I were to eat lobster, then this is the only way to have it, in my opinion. It’s certainly cheaper and a million times more pleasurable than the lobster noodles we had at Majestic Restaurant. Still, a $72 plate of pasta is an indulgence and not something I’ll order all the time. The next time we’re here, maybe I’ll see how it tastes with king prawns instead. Or I may give their squid ink linguine a try.

A decided to have a pizza again – the Alberto, which has beef tenderloin and Tabasco sauce. They weren’t particularly generous with the beef, but the slices that were on the pizza were very tender and flavourful. Still, this paled in comparison to the lobster pasta. Then again, anything would…

We deliberately skipped starters so that we’d have room for dessert. A had his favourite tiramisu again, while I checked out the dessert trolley. Most of the offerings were fruit and custard-based tarts which seemed too filling, so I opted for the Profiteroles, which comes in a manageable portion of two puffs. These were lighter and much yummier than I remember, and a perfect way to cap an already awesome meal.

I know we haven’t been to every single Italian joint in Singapore, but I still maintain that this is the best place for Italian food. The slightly far-flung location gives it a nice rustic, chill-out atmosphere, and it’s as traditional as it gets, what with Valentino’s entire family running the place. It’s probably as close to a typical Italian family restaurant as you’re going to get right here in Singapore. I love how the vibe is completely unpretentious and non-fine dining, and everyone is really friendly to all customers, be they expats, whiners, or simple folk like us.

A says:

I don’t usually like lobster but this pasta rawked. I mean it seriously RAWKED!!!

I think this (plus the consistently good pizza and tiramisu) makes Valentino’s my new favourite restaurant. Even beating Buko Nero. *gasp*

Ristorante da Valentino
11 Jalan Bingka (off Rifle Range Road)
Tel: 6462-0555
Tuesday to Sunday: 12 pm to 2.30 pm, 6 pm to 10.30 pm

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