CLOSED: Pontini Italian Restaurant, Grand Copthorne: Italian Lunch Buffet on Sat & PH ($48+)

EDIT: Pontini has closed down.

Pontini Italian Restaurant Singapore Review
Florentine Chef Daniele Sarno, who has honed his skills at Michelin-starred kitchens, presents an Italian buffet lunch, focusing on simple and fresh ingredients. For instance, he insists that the dips, breads, and pastas are made in-house. Many ingredients, such as flour for pastas and pizzas, are imported from Italy, and many animal products come from sustainable sources.

Pontini Italian Restaurant Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Menu

Pontini Italian Restaurant SG Price
The antipasti, pizzas, pastas, and desserts are free-flow, while each guest can choose a main each. The antipasti didn’t have a wide selection, but they were delicious. The chilled baked butternut squash with crab meat and black truffle tapenade was my favorite, sweet from the earth and the sea. There were also cured salmoncheeses (pretty decent), cold cuts, dips, artichoke (everyone’s favorite, pictured above), and, of course, bread. When I heard it was baked in-house, I tried a piece and was surprised by how rustic and homely it tasted, and convinced everyone to try it. 

Pontini Italian Singapore Buffet Price
Pontini Italian Buffet Grand Copthorne
Pesto with homemade tagliolini
Pontini Italian Buffet SG
The pizzas came thin-crusted, and there are 3 flavors (but you can add more toppings): tre porcellini (ham and mushrooms), vegetarian, and margarita. The first was the best, meaty, salty, savory. There are 5 types of pastas to choose, and the pastas, made from scratch in-house, were fantastic. It was slightly harder than al dente, but somehow, the chewiness brought about a rusticity and a great mouthfeel. Go for carbonara (pictured above, with penne), which is lighter (and healthier?) than elsewhere.

Pontini Italian buffet
The mains have 3 options: braised beef brisket (pictured above), spicy tomato chicken thigh, and baked Norwegian salmon mignon. The chicken worked best for me, bouncy texture, tender, tangy.

Pontini Italian buffet SG
There are, however, two areas for improvement: firstly, orders were mixed up, and the pizzas and pastas, made a la minute, came out slowly (understandable since it was their second Saturday of operations, and they didn’t expect a full house); and secondly, the selections, though exquisite, were limited. It would be icing on the cake if there were more antipasti, some gelato, and some pastries from Pastry Chef Nicolas Maugard with Michelin-starred background who is with the hotel group.

Pontini Italian buffet SG
In general, the food was bright, honest, clean, and surprisingly healthy for a buffet. The food had a quality that reminded me of home, that is, if I came from an Italian family. It wasn’t the kind of buffet that would leave you bloated and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. It was the kind that you could try every dish once, and you leave contented.

Pontini Singapore

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Level 2, 392 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169663
T: +65 6233 1100
Lunch buffet on Saturdays and Public Holidays, 12-3pm ($48+)
Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Written by 

Thanks, Jennifer and Shawn, for the invited tasting.

6 replies »

  1. I went for this buffet on 1 November 2014 upon seeing your and others’ review. I assume all reviewers went for the same tasting session given that each of you featured the same mains. However, none of the mains mentioned in this or other reviews of the buffet lunch were on the menu. Instead, the only mains available were (1) Tuscany style stewed lamb, (2) Sauteed black mussels and (3) Marinated grilled chicken breast. My friend and I ordered (2) and (3) – each diner only gets to pick one main – both of which were absolutely appalling. The broth in which the mussels were cooked was frightfully salty – inedibly so. The chicken breast was tasteless, tough and dry. Like cardboard. Except thicker. The portions were also incredibly small. There were only 4 tiny mussels and the chicken breast is less than half the size of an iPhone – and I do not mean the iPhone 6+. I felt compelled to write this review as Pontini’s practices are rather unethical – showcasing different food for media tastings versus what’s actually available for their lunch buffets. I will also be posting this in other blogs so that no one else gets conned like I did! That said, the pasta and pizza (which are free flow) were pretty decent.


  2. Hello, what about drinks? Does the $48++ price tag come with any special selection of drinks? I’m assuming the tea/coffee are already there though…


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