The consultant chef of Alba 1836, Alessandro Frau, had more than 10 years of experience as executive chef at Starwood hotels before opening Acqua in Phuket on his own. Helming the kitchen is Sardinian native, Luca Piras. There is an extensive range of wines to go with the Italian food. A 3-course dinner can go up to $100++, so we went for a 3-course lunch ($38++/$55++).
The food was disappointing. The starters came out alright, then things quickly degenerated. The best starter was from the $38 menu: grilled eggplant rolls stuffed with truffle ricotta cheese on roasted eggplant mash. A tad chewy, but delivered what was described. From the Executive lunch menu, grilled octopus on fennel mash had an unpleasant sourness–was it balsamic?–while seafood soup was watery.
For mains, the roasted half baby chicken was dry, and bitter from over-roasting. The seabass was sweet, but the side dish, banana shallot, was horrid; I wanted to puke when I ate it. We had to send the mushroom spaghetti back because it was way undercooked, too hard, and nothing we couldn’t make at home. The waiter returned to us and asked if we wanted a new plate, or if it was ok to carry on cooking that same plate of pasta. A good restaurant will never allow a customer to make that choice.
More service blemish: a waitress asked if she could clear my plate as I was still eating bread. Then came the unimaginative cannoli and dull, sticky pannacotta. To put it mildly, we did not enjoy the experience. I’d rather cross the street and eat at predictable Rhubarb. We paid $185 for three of us.
28 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089610
T: +65 6222 2048
M-F 12-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.