La Luna Rossa

PJ Partners is a restaurant group which emphasizes on combining quality, authenticity and creativity in delivering a truly distinctive epicurean experience that celebrates the uniqueness of cuisines all over the world.  For more than a decade, they have been cultivating rich culinary experiences across the world by not only building partnerships with others in the F&B market in Asia, Japan and beyond, but also introducing exotic international cuisines to Japan, and now exporting the outstanding Japanese food culture internationally.
Helmed by CEO Seiki Takahashi, PJ Partner’s portfolio of F&B businesses span with a wide spectrum of different concepts and price points. In Singapore, PJ Partners are behind restaurants Takumi Tokyo at Keppel Marina which serves Teppanyaki, Robatayaki and Sushi; Enmaru at both Laguna National and Ion Orchard, an Izakaya which specializes in yakitori; Ginza Bairin at Ion Orchard, a causual tonkatsu-specialty restaurant; and Salt Grill & Sky Bar at Ion Orchard which serves contemporary Australian cuisine. The latest addition to this restaurant group is Ginza Sushi Ichi (post is coming real soon!), the first Singapore outpost of the 1 Michelin star Tokyo restaurant; and La Luna Rossa, a Japanese-Italian eatery helmed by Chef Masahiro Takeda.
Mr Takashi explains of the La Luna Rossa tie-up, “If you go to the kitchens of top restaurants in Italy, you’ll be surprised at how many Japanese they have working in there. Many Japanese chefs come back to Japan to open their own restaurant after working in Italy for many years. I always feel that Italian restaurants in Japan deserve to be brought out to the other countries.”
Chef Masahiro Takeda has spent 8 years in Italy. He has also worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in both Italy and Japan, and also La Luna Rossa in Tokyo. What makes La Luna Rossa different is that they put a slight Japanese twist to Italian cooking (you normally hear French-Japanese cooking, but rarely Italian-Japanese). La Luna Rossa brings itamesh into Singapore – “Ita” referring to “Italy” while “meshi” refers to infusing Japanese flavors into Italian food.

Complementing the modern take on food, homely bricked walls at the entrance and kitchen contrasts strongly with the contemporary elegant of the interior, allowing a sophistication and comfort at the same time. We were seated near the window and the open kitchen, which allowed us to have the best of both worlds – the fascinating view of the buzzling Scotts Road, as well as a glimpse of chefs cooking and Chef Masahiro Takeda taking orders and making the final touches of each plate. But one thing worth commending the most is the fact that ventilation was so good that you won’t even have thought that it was an open kitchen.
There are three set lunch menus: $25++, $38++, $60++. The main differences between the $25 and $38 sets are that in the $38 set, there is a choice of starter, meat or pasta for mains (the $25 set only has pasta), and desserts cost an additional $5 in the $25 set. The $60 set has oysters as starters, pasta AND meat, and a dessert. My mum and I went for the $38 set lunch, while my dad went for the $25 one.
Some warm breadsticks and focaccia with olive oil to start of the meal.

Caprese, Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil leaf

Caprese, fresh Italian Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil leafComplemented with just the right amount of olive oil, the Mozzarella was refreshing and had just the right creamy flavor and texture. I’ve always love Caprese for its simplicity yet freshness and wholesomeness 🙂

Roasted WAGYU Beef Salad with Intingolo Sauce

Roast WAGYU Beef Salad with Intingolo Sauce. We particularly felt that the wagyu beef was exceptional. It was cooked perfectly to medium rare, and the fact that it was cut to such thin slices made it all the more easier to eat and enjoy. However, the dressing was largely ‘invisible’ so to speak. It was probably too light and we could barely tasted it, but it was enough to ensure that the salad was not dry.

Fresh Fish of the Day sautéed with Ginger Mustard sauce

Fresh Fish of the day sautéed with Ginger Mustard sauce. Fish of the day was Barramundi.  I particularly feel that Barramundi is often overshadowed by its counterparts such as Cod or Salmon. Well, I do agree that Barramundi is a rather boring fish. It tastes … normal. I guess. But what Chef Takeda has done takes this fish into an entire different level. The fish was moist and slightly sweet, which the mustard sauce complemented extremely well. The fish skin was also crispy, just the way I like it to be. There was a side of vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes and lotus root chips. The mashed sweet potatoes were exceptionally awesome it was sweet and creamy 🙂

Braised Cross-cut Veal Shank with Gremolada Sauce

Braised Cross-cut Veal Shank with Gremolada Sauce. The veal was tender, but not tender enough to allow that melt-in-your-mouth quality. In other words, it could have spent some more time braising. My mum also commented that a huge part of it was the bone so there wasn’t that much meat. The sauce was thick and tomato-y, alright I guess, nothing mindblowing.

Spaghettini with Pancetta, Onion and Tomato Sauce

Dad’s Spaghettini with Panecetta, Onion and Tomato Sauce. This was a simple dish done well. The Spaghettini was cooked perfectly al dente, and the tomato sauce was neither too sweet nor chunky, but coated the pasta well. There was sufficient amount of crispy pancetta and onions as well. Overall, it was a satisfying dish.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu. This was recommended by our waiter. I don’t acutely like tiramisu due to the predominant coffee flavor and the large portion of cheese. It’s too creamy, in my opinion, and I’m not a creamy person (likewise I would prefer pasta with tomato sauce than cream sauce). So this tiramisu for me was indifferent, though my parents especially loved it. The cake was light and fluffy and the cheese was thick and creamy – yes, nothing special for me unfortunately. 

Chocolate Terrine with Orange Sorbet

Chocolate Terrine with Orange Sorbet. Now this is interesting – in both good and bad way. Terrine is usually a French meatloaf similar to a pâté, but made with more coarsely chopped ingredients. So Chocolate Terrine would equate to a block of chocolate. Extremely interesting and exciting isn’t it? 🙂 However, when I took a bite of it, I felt that it was slightly too thick and sweet, it almost gets jelak (a Malay word which means feeling so overwhelmed after eating too much of something, that you can’t just have a morsel more a Malay word which means feeling so overwhelmed after eating too much of something, that you can’t just have a morsel more) after a while. The Orange Sorbet, on the other hand, was extremely refreshing but sour. So I guess the best way is to eat them together and allow the sourness of the orange sorbet to arouse your palate and desire to eat the sweet block of chocolate. Interesting pairing though. The 2 pieces of chocolate cake on the side were mediocre, nothing special.
Black coffee or tea comes with the set.
Service was fantastic. The waiters were polite, proper and knowledgeable, but not too intrusive. For the amount that we paid, this is no doubt value for money. However, I could hardly taste or feel the Japanese influences on Italian food. It was competent, but nothing out of the world. Maybe his light virtuous interpretations are just too subtle for me. That being said, I would definitely be back again for dinner as most of Chef Takada’s specialties are feature on the dinner menu.
La Luna Rossa
Scotts Square
No. 6 Scotts Road, #02-01
Tel: 6636 2952
http://laluna-rossa.com/
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This entry was posted in Dessert, Dinner, Italian, Japanese, Lunch and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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