Established in 2018 along the stretch of shophouses at Amoy Street, Solo Ristorante has since seen a change of hands several times during these 2 years. Chef/Partner Simone Fraternali, who recently took over the reins in March this year, aims to introduce guests to his signature dishes inspired by the northern region of Italy, in particular the areas surrounding his hometown of Gradara which is located near the sea.
Having honed his skills at renowned Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy as well as popular Italian restaurants such as il Lido at the Cliff and Aura (now known as Art) here in Singapore since 2008, Chef Fraternali brings with him a wealth of experience in Italian cuisine.
Set lunch goes for an affordable $26++ or $32++ for 2 and 3 courses respectively. Set dinner at $88++ (4 courses) and $128++ (5 courses). Alternatively, you may opt for their a la carte menu.
For our first course or antipasti, we were treated to branzino ($20++) – thinly sliced seabass drizzled with refreshing lemony emulsion, chopped shallots, pimento (or cherry pepper) and chives. Finely chopped shallots provide texture and sweetness to the dish.
The wagyu carpaccio ($30++): the well-marbled Grade 5 Australian wagyu beef is tender and fatty, which goes well with the umami Parmigiano Reggiano “vacche rosse 24 month” or cheese that comes from red cows and has been aged for 24 months. To cut through all that richness, the beef is accompanied with pickled artichoke made in-house, balsamic vinegar from Modena and finely minced garlic.
For the last antipasti, the melanzana alla parmigiana ($18++) will convert the fussiest of meat lovers to enjoy their vegetables. The flavours are well-balanced and the layered deep-fried eggplant is not limp. Even though the cheeses (mozzarella and parmigiano) are very savoury, the dish is not heavy. The addition of fresh basil adds a peppery touch. The fresh tomatoes bring sweetness and some acidity to the dish. Highly recommended if you are into baked cheesy stuff.
For primi, we tried 3 pasta dishes: tagliolini ($45++), pappardelle ($30++), gnocchi ($30++). All 3 dishes are winners, suited for different occasions. If you are feeling fancy, I will urge you to go for the tagliolini. One of Chef Fraternali’s signatures, the uni tagliolini is a dish inspired by his time here in Singapore. The smoked paprika, lemon zest and tarragon (who knew tarragon could go well with uni?!) give the dish a much welcomed depth and subtle heat.
The pappardelle is an unassuming dish but it packs much flavour. The pork ragout (or ragu), made from the pork belly, is slowly braised in herbs and marsala wine for 6 hours. The end result? Intensely rich and savoury porky goodness. Complements the pasta done al dente.
If you are feeling hungry, opt for the gnocchi. A hearty dish that reminds you of your nonna’s cooking. The housemade gnocchi melts in your mouth (as little flour is used in the making of gnocchi; am told that gnocchi should be soft and not chewy). The Italian tteokbokki are paired with the rustic minced beef sauce, beautifully scented with rosemary and red wine.
For secondi (italian for main or meat course), we tried two of Solo Ristorante’s signature dishes. Faraona ($36++) is guinea fowl done two ways: the breast sous vide and the leg confit in extra virgin oil. It is my first time trying guinea fowl and I am surprised that the meat is not gamey. The breast is juicy and tender, the leg flavourful and well seasoned.
The polipo ($38++) is octopus braised in its own natural juices (aka sea water) with herbs and white wine then grilled to achieve a crisp texture on the outside and a tenderness inside. The grilled tomatoes, lightly salted to bring out the natural sweetness, when combined with the creamy potato mash, makes this seafood dish delectable.
For dolci (desserts), we had tortino al cioccolato ($15++) and torta al limone ($14++). The former is a coconut and 70% dark chocolate lava cake with toffee yuzu and orange sorbet. I couldn’t quite make out the coconut in the lava cake but the warm and rich dark chocolate lava cake is divine when you pair it with the refreshing cold yuzu orange sorbet.
The torta al limone ($14++) is a lemon curd and white chocolate tart with strawberry and basil sorbet. The tangy and smooth lemon curd, made from Amalfi lemons, is perfectly sour. When it is accompanied with the slightly sweetened strawberry and basil sorbet, this is an exceptional ending to round off a heavy meal.
Chef Fraternali’s modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine coupled with the inviting and bustling dining atmosphere is a winning combination for me. Although the food is not inexpensive, it is value-for-money as the quality of the food and the well-executed dishes make me want to return.
45 Amoy Street Singapore 069871
Tel: +65 6260 0762
Tues – Sat 12pm – 2.30pm
Tues – Sun 6.30pm – 10pm
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This is an invited tasting. Written by Vanessa Khong. Vanessa is someone who enjoys checking out the local food scene. She believes the way to her heart is through her stomach.
Categories: >$60, Dates, Italian, Raffles Place
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