392 Havelock Rd G/F
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
T: +65 6233 1100
I had the privilege among several others (folks from HungryGoWhere, Chubby Botak Koala, The Arctic Star, Purple Tastes and Madame Chewy), to be included for this Media Invite, at the very new Grissini (transl. bread sticks), situated at the ground floor of Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
The kitchen is helmed by Chef Antonio Cocozza, who is from Naples (±20Km North West from the renowned City of Pompeii), who’s lived in Singapore for years. And former owner of Don Antonio Pizza Bar, on Jalan Klapa. Unlike most other Italian restaurants, Chef Antonio belts out some of the Southern Italian Signatures. So, be prepared to be pampered with seafood themed dishes, as well as the much anticipated grills straight from the Josper Oven.
The calm classy mood for dining sets in almost instant, as you’re ushered to your seat, courtesy of the eloquent service staff. Interesting play of interior lighting for the respective kitchen stations, contrasting against the soothing dim lighting at the tables, and private rooms. True to the name, you will find that all dining tables are set with Grissini in the middle. And no posh restaurant comes without a comprehensive wine selection.
The Charcuterie Platter (Prosciutto Di Parma), accompanied with sliced Parma Ham, Grissini (bread sticks), Fig Mustard & sweet Fruity Chunky bits, served on a mega platter that feeds 8pax. Take your time to savor the goodness of the paper thin Parma Ham, and the appetite awakens. The fig mustard gives it a little sweet punch.
Smoked Cheese Salad – Smoked Burratina served with Parma Ham, Yellow Frisée, Baby Rocket, and scented with (Primo Dop) Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Melted cheese is always somewhat sweeter than room temperature or chilled. The Burratina is soft & creamy, with tinge of smoked aroma, and crumbles to a curd whey like texture. Goes well with everything served in the platter. Worth a try.
Heirloom Tomato Salad– Cimelio tomatoes, baby rocket, Taggiasca olives, fresh basil, drizzled with Primo Dop & basil oil. Though I’m a self-professed meatarian, I actually enjoy tomatoes, but it’s not every day that you get to indulge in Cimelio heirloom tomatoes in this part of the world. Their shapes, sizes & tastes vary, sprinkle a little salt, and the chemistry rocks.
Cheese with Parma Ham – pan fried buffalo mozzarella wrapped in 12mth aged Parma ham, marjoram herb, baby rocket, orange oil & Taggiasca olives. Let it sit for a little to cool off, so it’s easier to manage the semi molten mozzarella. The milky cream of mozzarella gushes through with flavor complemented by the aged ham. Loved it.
Mushroom Risotto – Acquerello Carnaroli rice, cooked in Porcini mushroom broth, creamed with butter, parsley & Parmigiano Reggiano. I found the texture to be pretty enjoyable, not too wet & not too dry, while the flavor of mushroom is thorough.
Tortelli Veal Cheek – handmade pasta stuffed with veal cheek, served with butter, sage Parmigiano Reggiano & Alba white truffle oil. Call if wontan 云吞 or sui-kow 水饺 or dumpling 饺子 if you like, as it is the Italian answer to our Asian version. The table was silent for a moment, the nod of approval was unanimous for this one.
Spaghetti Clams – Artisanal spaghetti with fresh Veraci clams, Frascati white wine & Primo Dop. Looks typical, but the ingredient isn’t. The clams are succulent sweet, and the white wine just brings taste levels up a few notches.
Boston Lobster Linguine – Artisanal Linguine Pasta with fresh Boston Lobster, Datterino tomatoes, Frascati white wine & Primo Dop. The lobster is pre-smoked, before putting into the concoction, so give it a good mix, before you start putting any of it into the mouth. The smoky scent is a little stronger than expected, but it grows on you, as you chug along.
Change of cutlery indicates the moment we’ve all been waiting for, flame licked meats
Grilled Octopus – straight from the Josper Oven with roasted ratte potatoes, Taggiasca Olives, Datterino tomatoes & baby rocket, served with a herbal oil dip. Slice the tentacle thick or thin, and you will experience the different level of juiciness. In my opinion, there was no need to any dips of sorts, a little lemon zest is OK, but I feel it conceals the true flavor.
Wagyu Ribeye – Australian wagyu with parmesan cheese flakes, Datterino tomatoes & baby rocket. While most people tend to steer clear of the fatty bits, but in my opinion, that’s where all the goodness is.
Spring Chicken – nice deboned juicy tender, served with roasted ratte potatoes & sweet green asparagus. When a chicken is deboned, it’s evident that the bird looks a little smaller than usual. But once you sink in on the tender juices, you’re in the zone.
When their powers combine, they unleash endorphins! Unlock that smile of yours, after a hard day’s work. I’m not much of a sweet tooth, but if I have to choose, I enjoyed the Limoncello Tiramisu best. As for the Gelatos, they’re not quite the typical types you’d expect – they’re savory & flavor rich. Personally, the basil flavor was nice, and I found the black truffle oil & olives to be most interesting. Chocolate Tarts should be a hot favorite for chocolate lovers.
In all, I feel this joint is one of the few Italian joints that offers a decent selection of charcuterie & cheeses, has a pretty balanced variety of pastas & pizzas, and juicy delicious proteins (ranch or coast) via the Josper Oven. Not to mention, select wines that go well with the course of meal.