The Saveur guys, who made French food affordable to Singaporeans, are serving Italian cuisine this time at Concetto. Initial reports commented that Concetto isn’t as impressive as Saveur. I disagree.
From the start, the decor is different. Instead of the ubiquitous industrial decor, Concetto has a polite, cheery post-apocalyptic feel, with herbs quietly making customers high with oxygen and strong afternoon light streaming. Life finds a way within concrete jungle; hope in a hopeless place.
The vegetarian pumpkin fagottini ($8.90), an oblong stuffed pasta shaped like Mcdonald’s apple pie, was complex with evolving layers of sweetness of mashed pumpkin, pumpkin marmalade, raisins, and crunchy almond flakes. The sweetness was undercut by a pinch of salt, brown butter, fried sage leaves, and a mildly piquant vinaigrette, giving it different flavors with each mouthful. It was overly oily and may be too sweet for some, but since I relish sweet mains, this was superb with its complexity: every bite was a different flavor of candy.
At first bite the crab risotto ($12.90) was a little disappointing: too little crab, had a smelly sea taste, sauce was heavy and uninspiring, and rice was undercooked, BUT after we ate a few spoonfuls, we couldn’t stop. It got very addictive. It was like a Rihanna-Chris Brown relationship: it wasn’t good but we went back for more.
The wagyu tender ($26.90), which came with a foie gras tasting like 猪肝 pork liver, was juicy and had a great bite that allowed chewing in an enjoyable way (as opposed to chewing tough food).
Only thing I didn’t enjoy was the dessert, fruit tart ($7.90), overly crusty without any blueberries in it, just a thin layer of its jam. But the macerated strawberries with a rich homemade vanilla ice cream made up for the tart’s inadequacies.
Even the service was first rate, with a cute bespectacled boy checking in with us now and then. Although many servers were young (and, I assume, inexperienced), they were polite, prompt, and looked happy. Great service, tasty and inexpensive food, comfortable environment – what is there to dislike? We spent about $67 for two persons.
2 Handy Road, The Cathay #01-11 Singapore 229233
T: 6735 1141
Rating: 3.913/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.