Publico Ristorante sits on the ground floor of Intercontinental Hotel at Robertson Quay. This riverfront Italian restaurant features an alfresco section akin to a garden, along with cool, relaxed indoor seating. The restaurant encourages sharing of food, as the servings show.
For antipasti, the beautifully soft texture of the calamari plays off the crunchy semolina-flour exterior. The seasoning proves a smidgen too salty for me, but works for my dinner companion. There is a good balance between the natural sweetness of the cauliflower and the salty crust.
The ingredients of the bruschetta individually taste marvellous, especially the fresh, tangy sweetness of the tomatoes with a hint of spiciness, and the rustiness of the lightly charred sourdough toast. The trick is trying to get a bit of everything at once, since the tomato halves fall all over.
The heady seafood aroma of the lobster spaghetti reminds me of a hearty home-cooked Italian dinner. There is a good combination of acidity and garlic, again with a hint of spice, and the lobster meat seems endless. However, the spaghetti could be a little al dente.
Tartufata is a white pizza with smoked scamorza that appeals to lovers of strong cheeses. This rich flavour is compounded by the umami truffle (for which the pizza is named). The juicy chunks of porcini not only change the texture of the dish, they actually provide brief respite from the other flavours, assuaging your palette to prepare you for the next mouthful.
After that climax of a pizza, La Griglia pales in comparison. The three types of roasted potatoes almost steal the thunder from the steak, which my dinner companion and I feel is rather fatty.
Creatively designed to look like a pot of earth, the tiramisu is a smooth finish a very filling meal. The cream is light and almost fluffy, and the crispy chocolate sand provides a sensual juxtaposition. A shot of Limoncello augments the dessert as the rum is quite light (they serve a non-alcoholic version of the tiramisu as well).
Overall, Publico Ristorante delivers a memorable experience, with the comfortable settings, chill friendly vibes befitting of its Robertson Quay location, and warm, well-trained staff who make excellent wine pairing recommendations. I do hope to try more items on their menu soon.
1 Nanson Road Singapore 238909
T: +65 6826 5040
M – Th 5pm – 11pm, F 5pm – 12am, Sat 12pm – 12am, Sun 11am – 11pm
Ambience / decor: 7
You may be interested in…
–Atmastel, South Beach: A Casual Italian Restaurant. Misled by Rave Reviews.
–Blue Label Pizza, Ann Siang: Atas Pizzeria from Sister Restaurant of Luke’s Oyster Bar
–Forlino, Fullerton: No Big Names but an Easy, Excellent Fine-Dining Meal
–Senso Ristorante & Bar, Club Street: Sunday Prosecco Brunch Starting from $68++ (So Worth it!)
Written by Tan Ken Jin. True to the name of this website, KJ is closely associated with rubbish, organising litter-picking activities that culminate in a makan session (because #Singaporean). That, and he once tried marinating salmon in blueberry juice and orange juice. He survived.