Sweeeeet Italian cuisine on my birthday.
I knew for myself how a dinner of bread & pasta would gratify so i fluttered down to Dolce Vita to effectuate it. Chef Marco Pedrelli totally charmed me over that evening with his upstanding Mediterranean fare & sincere affability to boot... Life is sweet indeed.
Dinner here can be a formal or relaxed affair, depending on your choice. Dining by the poolside bodes a calming retreat but i chose the warm interiors instead. Either way you're assured of laudable service from Mandarin Oriental's groomed waitstaffs.
The Olive bread had ciabatta's crust, but moister clingier insides. Escorted by a trio of sun-dried tomato paste, evoo+balsamic & flavored salt dips.
Amuse Bouche came in the form of cold cuts platter, sesame grissini & oil-marinated eggplant with capers. The cured meats sodium balanced in accordance to my liking. Twirl twirl twirl your Parma ham round the light grissini stick....
For mains, Linguine di Gamberi ($30) clinched an easy win. The prawns were sturdily enormous and strands spiced up in garlic-chilli olive oil glaze. I emphasize, glaze. Chef deployed a simple sticky viscous glaze to draw the dish's intensity. No sauce pools required.
My Spaghetti Marinara ($28) grasped similar execution. Seafood shelled primp & proper, glaze still as marvelous. A light coat was all it took for the strands to bloom in flavor... Every forkful released powers of evoo, garlic & savory tomato bodies yum.
Chef Marco insists all pastas to be handmade daily using a pasta machine hailed from Italy. His pasta is out-of-the-ordinary. Spaghetti comes Size L in full expansion, bearing firmer-than-usual bites... i totally took to this unique rustic rendition.
Stunning Olive Oil Macarons pre-dessert. Tender shells. Full-bodied EVOO fillings. These may change your perceptions of sweeetaphobic macarons.
Tiramisu ($14) was a literally neat slice (probably the neatest i've came across) binding firm mascarpone between thin sponge layers... there's even tiramisu icecream & almond biscotti to counter potential bitterness.
FRANGOLA- 14 year old balsamic-marinated sweet strawberries, vanilla cream, strawberry sorbet * Imagines strawberry chunks doused in black killer vinegar. oooh i got excited...
Until Frangola ($14) arrived on plateau and proved my apprehensions wrong. It was a good tart with almost-too-little yummy vanilla bean custard & toppings of strawberry slices interweaving white chocolate sheets. On the side a gummy Strawberry sorbet that pleased.
They ought to amend descriptions to "strawberry & white chocolate TART, vanilla custard, strawberry sorbet".
Then the restaurant successfully ambushed me with a slice of cake+song from the entire service team whoa before Chef's appearance with a red rose...... Really really sweeeeet of all of them!
*wish made, fingers kept crossed.
Chef & me (& rose) under unflattering incandescent lighting
This meal definitely climaxed my Nineteenth.
What can beat a birthday dinner with your favourite cuisine, a winsome chef & the person you love most in this world? Nothing comes close.
elaine had a happy, happy birthday...
5 Raffles Avenue
5F Mandarin Oriental Singapore