Elisa and I have realised that the Joo Chiat/Tanjong Katong area in Singapore is somewhat of a food haven. The row of shophouses along both streets house many cafes and eateries, like LICK and Fatboy’s The Burger Bar, and we have long planned to thoroughly explore the area in order to try places such as Cupcakes With Love, coccogelo and Naive.
With today being my dad’s birthday, he requested that we go somewhere cosy and quiet that serves comfort food for lunch. And of course, Bruno’s Pizzeria and Grill immediately came to mind! This place has long been a favourite with my family as it serves delicious and authentic Italian food at affordable prices. Also, due to the small size of the restaurant, it never gets unbearably crowded or noisy like at some other popular eating places. I’m glad to say that today’s lunch did not disappoint and we left the restaurant feeling stuffed and satisfied, which is what we’ve come to appreciate about this quaint restaurant!
Zuppa Ai Funghi
Zuppa Ai Funghi ($12): Triple mushroom soup with a dash of cream. This soup was goood. It was thick, velvety-textured, and there were even chunks of mushroom in it which gave extra texture and something to chew on! And with a dash of ground pepper, it came very close to perfection. This is how I like my mushroom soups, and not that gloppy, salty stuff that comes out of cans. Give me fresh mushroom soup over canned soup any day!
Foie Gras ($28): Pan seared duck liver served with granny smith apple, prune and balsamico reduction. I did not try the Foie Gras, but my dad and mum did and they enjoyed it alot. They described the Foie Gras as very rich with a nice crisp on the outside as it was seared, which provides some contrast in the textures. My dad went as far as to say that it ‘melted in his mouth’. Also, the richness of the Foie Gras went very well with the sweetness of the granny smith apple and prune compote in the middle of the plate, and also with the acidity of the balsamic reduction. I took a bite of the apple and prune compote and it was really good (maybe because it reminded me a little bit of the caramelized apples in an apple crumble!)
Bruschetta Al Pomodoro
Bruschetta Al Pomodoro ($7): With sweet cherry tomato, basil, garlic. I have long been a fan of the Bruschetta as what’s there not to like about a crispy piece of bread rubbed with garlic and then topped with olive oil, salt and sweet and juicy tomatoes! This particular Bruschetta was no different, as the bread was nicely toasted to a crisp and the tomatoes were so juicy that I ended up with quite alot of tomato juice around my mouth. However, there wasn’t anything particularly special about this Bruschetta! Is it safe to say that I have become bored with the tried and tested bread+tomatoes combination? Maybe I should try some other toppings for the Bruschetta the next time around!
Melanzane Al Forno
Melanzane Al Forno ($18): Layered baked eggplant with tomato sauce, Mozzarella and Parmegiano cheese. I LOVE EGGPLANT. Wait, that’s sort of an understatement. Take some eggplant, top it with melted cheese and hey, I’d even be willing to give up dessert for that dish! (I realise that statement is rather extreme) Although this dish is listed under the Appetizers, I had it as my main course and I was a happy little camper for the rest of my meal. This dish never fails to amaze me with the layers of flavours and textures that come through in spite of its sheer simplicity. The melted and creamy cheese (which also provides some crispiness to the dish at the parts where it gets burnt), the silky baked eggplant, the tartness of the tomato sauce…I could literally eat this everyday. Okay, I’m going to start drooling soon and it’s only 9 in the morning.
Fettucine Alla Bolognese
Fettucine Alla Bolognese ($19.5): Fettuccine with beef Ragu sauce. I have always thought that fettucine is the prettiest pasta of all! Really! It looks like long strips of ribbons and they just make any dish look so fantastic and artistic and pretty (for lack of a better word). Whenever my sister comes to an Italian restaurant, she orders some variation of a Spaghetti Bolognese as she has this ‘thing’ for meat sauces. She said that this dish was nice enough and the pasta nicely cooked, though the Ragu sauce was a tad bit salty. And she agrees with me that the fettucine on the plate makes the dish look so much better than say, spaghetti or penne. So overall, she was pretty satisfied with this dish!
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara ($19.5): Spaghetti with cream, egg yolk, bacon and parmesan cheese. I have never been able to eat a whole plate full of cream sauce as it just makes me very jelak (a malay word that means to be satiated with food) after just one or two bites. However, my mum gamely said that she would be able to finish this whole plate on her own as she considers it her ‘sinful treat’ that she allows herself to eat only once in a while. I felt full just by looking at the plate! However, I would imagine this dish to be nicely balanced as the saltiness of the bacon would provide a balance to the richness of the cream sauce and the cheese. Isn’t there too much cream sauce though? Maybe Italian restaurants should consider not drowning the noodles in the sauce next time.
Americana: ($18): Pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, cooked ham and pineapple. This pizza was supposed to be shared, but ended up being my dad’s ‘main course’ as we were wary of over-ordering. I tried a slice (after removing the ham on it) and was pleasantly surprised at how thin the pizza crust was. Unfortunately, I have come to expect most pizza crusts to be thick, doughy and laden with cheese, sauce and toppings. That’s why I love places that serve pizzas with thin crusts (like Skinny Pizza) as i find them so much more appetizing (the crust isn’t oil-soaked and hence healthier) and they don’t make you full after one or two slices! The crust on this pizza wasn’t as thin as the cracker crusts at Skinny Pizza (of course) but was thin enough, and had a nice amount of cheese, pineapple and ham. I felt that the cheese was slightly too salty and could have had a few more bites of pineapple on each slice in order to balance out the saltiness of the cheese.
Torta di Cioccolato
Torta Di Cioccolato ($11): Warm lava dark chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream. To me, no meal is complete without dessert; this warm chocolate cake did not fail to please this chocoholic! The chocolate cake was baked to perfection, with a crisp outside and a warm and gooey center, much better than the mushy chocolate cake we had at Original Sin. The cold vanilla ice-cream and the warm and moist chocolate cake was a match made in heaven, in my opinion, as they complimented each other to create the most perfect mouthful! I want somemore of this chocolate cake please!
My family had an amazing time at Bruno’s, as we always do, and I highly recommend you to try this awesome Italian restaurant if you’re ever around the Tanjong Katong area or if you’re on the lookout for authentic Italian food at affordable prices!
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